Physical Servers vs Virtual Server – This Or That

When it comes to selecting hosting solutions for an organization or an enterprise there are quite a few options available. Each and every hosting service has its own benefits and drawbacks that if not selected correctly, will affect the entire business or the organization’s goals and objectives. There are two most preferred and very popular solutions for hosting. They are: dedicated servers which are also known as physical servers and the other one is the virtual server. 

Choosing the aptest hosting entirely depends on the features that a company or a business organization requires. As you read through you will understand clearly all the pros, cons and working of both types of servers i.e physical servers and virtual servers. 

Physical server – An overview

A physical server is also known as a dedicated server. When you select a physical hosting server, all the resources associated with it such as storage space (disc), GPU cores, RAM, networks, etc. will be allocated to a specific client or the user. 

Since all the resources are dedicated to a single user, they are called dedicated servers. This type of server can be used to host various applications and sites and can also store huge amounts of data or information related to the business. The hosting service provider will allocate a physical server in a data center and remote access will be enabled to the sole client or the user.

Virtual server – An overview

The emulation of a dedicated server is known as the virtual server. This type of server is not a physical machine nor is it tangible, it is just a virtual machine that is created on the dedicated server. A piece of software called the hypervisor should be installed and kept ready on the physical server so that a virtual server can be created through it. 

The hypervisor enables the admins to develop and then launch all the created virtual machines in the physical machine through the server. Storage discs, RAM, cores, etc. for the virtual server are shared from the physical server. Multiple virtual servers can be hosted on a single physical server. As the virtual server gets the resources from the physical server, this is also called shared hosting. 

Though the virtual server is hosted on a physical or a dedicated server, it is still independent. The user or the client using the virtual server will have the exact experience of using a physical or dedicated server.

Major Differences To Be Considered – Physical Servers vs Virtual Servers

Mentioned below are five major hosting differences between physical servers and virtual servers.

  1. Security 

Every type of hosting has its own advantages and disadvantages where security is considered. Being the sole owner of a physical server, more privileges are given to the user or the client. This is why the users of physical servers have the capacity to install and put forth numerous security measures. But most importantly, the users are also responsible for safeguarding their premises from digital attacks from hackers. 

The vendors of servers will always protect and maintain the virtual servers. They will guarantee security but will restrict your access controls. However, all the service providers make sure maximum security is provided. The security of the virtual server and physical server go hand in hand.

  1. Scalability 

It is a well-known fact that all virtual servers are extremely flexible. With very few taps, various resources and functions can be easily removed and added. But on the other hand, in physical servers, extra physical servers must be manually added. Through this, it is safe to say that virtual servers are comparatively faster and easy to scale. More necessary resources can be easily and quickly added to the virtual servers. Virtual servers are the best go-to when scalability is taken into consideration.   

  1. Performance

The dedicated and virtual servers both provide optimal performance. Either of these servers can be configured in an exact manner where all their specifications match. In a virtual server, there will be a decrease in performance, and resource choking might occur for a temporary period as all the virtual servers share the same single physical server. But in a physical server that is not the case, as all the users have resources that are separately allocated for private usage. This is why they provide excellent consistency. A dedicated server or the physical server is the best go-to option when performance is a major concern. 

  1. Business Continuity 

Virtual servers are not harmed in case of natural calamities or any form of sudden disaster. Virtual servers have the ability to migrate from a single physical host to a different physical host. But physical servers are very susceptible to damage. They will definitely get destroyed in case of natural calamities. The damages that are caused will ultimately lead to a spike in downtime and the SEO ranking will get reduced. 

Damage caused in a virtual server can be quickly mitigated and can be up and running in no time, but it’s not the same with physical servers. Though physical servers have a disaster recovery plan ready in place, it will definitely take a long time and lots of effort for the smooth functioning of the servers again.

  1. Cost 

The virtual servers are emulations in a digital form that can be modified, created, and also destroyed. The allocated resources can be altered or changed at any point in time. The virtual servers are the most scalable and budget-friendly as their sources can be scaled up according to the increased needs. 

In a physical server, as the requirements increase, additional components must be physically added. Several start-up businesses tend to go with physical servers right from the initial stages of launching their site, this will result in higher hosting costs. The set-up process will also be one of the cost factors. Unlike the hypervisor that is used in a virtual server, a physical server demands manual set-up, which involves additional charges. With this, we can conclude that the virtual server is the best choice where pricing is considered.


By getting to know about both the server types, you could have clearly understood the major features and differences each one possesses. A dedicated server is costlier but provides more power, liberty, stability, and performance. Virtual servers are a perfect fit for small to medium-sized organizations or enterprises. It is totally up to you, to select the most suited server type according to your preference.

Must Know Pros And Cons Of A Virtual Server

In recent years, virtual servers have become an increasingly popular choice for businesses of all sizes. Here we will explore the pros and cons of virtual servers and discuss some of the key factors to consider before making the switch. In this paragraph, I will discuss the importance of virtual servers. By isolating an application or service on a virtual server, you can improve security and manage infrastructure more effectively. You can also scale your infrastructure more easily, as you can add or remove virtual servers as needed.

Virtualization may be a familiar word that you might have heard a lot, in recent years. In fact, nearly 92 percent of companies or businesses have some form of virtualization inside their IT (Information technology) infrastructure. You probably already use virtualization to some extent in your own business process. But what virtualization actually means in the context of server or hardware hosting? What does a virtual server mean? How are they different from a  physical dedicated server and most importantly which one is right for you?

What Are Virtual Servers?

A virtual server also known as the Virtual Private Server (VPS) or virtual machine (VM), runs on a physical computer, which is a standard physical system with computing resources such as hard drives, RAM, GPUs, CPU cores, etc. 

A tool called a hypervisor is used to enable virtualization. The hypervisor tool allows administrators to develop and run more than one virtual server on a single physical server. Creating or developing a virtual server is like creating a folder on your computer. It exists as virtual media on a physical computer and provides you with all the functionality that a server might need. Compared to all the physical servers, a virtual server simply shares all the resources of the physical server on which it had been built. It has all the features of a dedicated server like storage units, RAM, CPU cores, and so on, which are allocated accordingly by the hosting service provider. 

For example, take a physical server that has 32 GB of RAM, an administrator can easily create multiple servers virtually and each of them will be allocated to this 32 GB memory pool. An admin has the ability to create 2 Virtual Machines with RAM (16 GB) each, 8 Virtual Machines with 4 GB RAM each, 3 Virtual Machines with 8 GB RAM each, and 8 GB remaining, and this goes on. Simply just think of a virtual building as a physical server, and each of the individual apartments is assigned to a single user – a virtual server. The building’s functions will be shared by everyone, though the space is private.

Virtual Server And Dedicated Server

One of the major advantages of owning a virtual server is the feature of scalability. As virtual servers are only assigned from the physical server, they can be modified, created, and destroyed at any time. You can buy a virtual server and start using it in minutes.

Assets are allocated to the virtual server based on their requirements, so this is why it is very flexible. You can start with a virtual server that has 8 GB of RAM and increase the RAM to 12 GB in real time without adding any physical components. It’s just about your hosting provider abstracting and allocating more resources from the collection.

This is ideal for businesses that are still starting out on a small scale to mid-scale but may expand online in the days to come. You do not have to invest in additional resources right from the start in expectation of growth like you would in the case of a dedicated server.

Virtualization allows you to access additional resources along the way. It also ensures that you only pay for what resources you use, making virtual servers more cost-efficient than other dedicated servers. Moreover, virtual servers are portable, meaning they can be instantly transferred from one physical server to another without the need for physical work. This gives you the liberty to change vendors or hosts without having to worry about the migration process.

Pros And Cons Of Virtual Servers

Pros Of Virtual Servers

  • Pay only for what you use 

You only pay for the features you use, making it much more budget-friendly compared to buying a dedicated server.

  • Scalability of server resources

Virtual servers are super flexible and scalable. As your business grows, you can increase or decrease resources as you need. You can even automate resource allocation so they are automatically applied based on the load and traffic they possess.

  • Easy recovery in the event of a disaster or attack

Recovering a virtual machine (VM) in the event of an attack or disaster is way easier. Virtual servers also allow you to develop backup snapshots that you can revert to if needed.

Cons Of Virtual Servers

  • Not as powerful as a dedicated server 

Various virtual servers work on one physical server and also share their properties. This could also result in performance degradation when compared to that of a dedicated server.

  • Limited to available resources  

Your selections are inadequate to what is available on the physical computer. For example, though you can choose how much you want to use, you may not be able to choose the brand of GPU or processor which you really prefer.

  • Not ideal for large e-commerce businesses or IT agencies 

Meanwhile, virtual servers are still hosted on the shared server, they will not be adequate to support the online requirements of large companies serving millions of employers and multiple sites.

Verdict: What’s Best For Your Business

Finally, it all comes down to what your business or organization needs. Virtual servers are comparatively more affordable but they are not able to provide enough features that are required by large companies or corporations. Whereas, on the other hand, dedicated servers offer more liberty and property, but are much more expensive when compared to virtual servers.

If you think that your business needs consistently high performance for multiple applications and sites consider purchasing dedicated servers. However, if you want excellent performance for your SMBs with the ability to scale as needed, all without breaking the bank, go for a virtual server.