If you want a dedicated server without the hassles of a dedicated server, a virtual private server – also called virtual dedicated server – can meet that need. The VPS acts like a dedicated server, but it’s much easier to maintain.

The primary benefit to a VPS is that you can run your website on one server while keeping a copy of it on another. This ensures that you always have a back up. You can also test new developments to your website without interrupting your Web presence by doing the testing on the second server. It’s a great solution for companies that need the benefits of a dedicated server without the big-time hassles.

Some popular VPS software include:

  • Virtuozzo
  • Linux VServer
  • User-mode Linux
  • Xen
  • FreeBSD Jail
  • Mware
  • FreeVPS
  • and OpenVZ

Each of these software providers have advantages and disadvantes. You should do your homework and compare the software you are interested in before deciding on the one you want to use. A virtual private server is a great alternative to a fully dedicated server that gives you the appearance of running on a dedicated box and you can upgrade from your shared hosting plan reasonably easily.