InsightCloud Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

We've designed this section to answer any additional question you may have about are Virtual Servers. If this section doesn't answer your specific questions please contact our sales team on 0844 846 3333 email insightcloud@uk.insight.com and we will be happy to answer your question.

What is a virtual private server (VPS)?
We take a powerful server and split it up into smaller (virtual) servers, each able to run completely separate operating system instances from one another. This allows you to make the best use of shared hardware resources while being completely isolated from other virtual servers on the same physical server.

How do I know if a virtual private server is right for me?
If you are currently looking at a dedicated server or feel that shared web hosting might not provide you with the level of control and flexibility your business needs you should certainly look at a virtual private server.

What is the difference between shared web hosting and a virtual private server?
Shared hosting is called "shared" because a number of different web applications (most often websites) run on a single operating system on a physical server, sharing resources.

A VPS works in a similar way, but benefits from virtualisation technology to allow multiple operating system instances to run on the same physical server. In both cases each account is completely independent from other accounts on the same physical server.

What are the advantages of a virtual private server over shared web hosting?
By running a completely separate operating system for each account on the same physical server you are no longer competing for shared resources. Giving you dedicated RAM, a guaranteed share of processor power and full redundancy with automatic failover.

Because you're not sharing you will have full flexibility to run your VPS how you choose, installing applications you want. However, a virtual server is not a managed service and you will be responsible for maintaining it.

What is the difference between a dedicated server and a virtual private server?
A dedicated server is just what the name suggests – a complete server dedicated to you. No one else shares any part of the server hardware or operating system with you.

A virtual private server does share some parts of the underlying hardware with other virtual private servers. However, the operating system and applications are completely isolated from the other users by the virtualisation software.

Although very similar to a dedicated server to the end user, as you're sharing the cost of some parts of the server hardware the price of a VPS is much lower than that of a similar dedicated server.

What are the advantages of a virtual private server over a dedicated server?
Virtual private servers are designed to be economical, allowing multiple accounts to share the hardware resources of one physical server, but with a high degree of privacy. The separation is achieved by running a completely separate operating system for each customer to provide the power and control of a dedicated server with unrestricted administration access and automatic failover at a much lower cost.

Why is the cost of a virtual private server less than that of a dedicated server?
It's because multiple virtual private servers share the resources and the expense of the hardware, whereas with a dedicated server one customer pays for everything. A VPS is a great way to get the security and privacy of a dedicated server at a fraction of the cost.

What technical knowledge do I need?
A virtual private server from Insight is very easy to setup and comes complete with a range of pre-installed software. However this is not a managed service and you will be responsible for maintaining your server, so an understanding of the technology is recommended.

What level of control do I have over my virtual private server?
You will have unrestricted root access to the system to install, modify, and configure your own applications.

Is the Insight virtual private server range reliable?
Our 24/7 data centre has been designed to be highly available to provide you with piece of mind. Its architecture has no single point of failure and includes clustered servers with automatic failover and RAID protection for storage.

Do I have access to a control panel?
Parallels Plesk 9 control panel is available as an optional extra.

What operating systems can I choose from?
All Insight virtual private servers are available with Windows 2008 R2 Standard and Web Edition, CentOS 5.5 and Red Hat Enterprise 5.5

How may IP address are included?
Each Insight virtual private server is provided with 2 IP addresses. It is possible to purchase an additional 2 IP addresses.

What is Microsoft Dynamic Data Centre?
Built on Microsoft® Windows Server® 2008 Hyper-V™ and Microsoft System Centre, Microsoft Dynamic Data Centre ensures your virtual private server will be continually monitored and optimised to ensure your core applications achieve maximum performance at all times and any issues are dealt with rapidly.

What is Microsoft Hyper-V?
Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 is a stand-alone server virtualisation product that allows multiple operating system instances to run on one physical server.

What is a vCPU?
A vCPU (virtual CPU) is an allocation of processing power for your virtual private server.

On a more technical level, each vCPU represents two threads that run in parallel and are available to your VPS, enabling your VPS to run demanding applications simultaneously. Furthermore, any application that can take advantage of additional threads can benefit from running in a VPS with multiple vCPUs.

What's the difference between a virtual private server and cloud computing?
Virtual private servers are powerful physical servers split it up into smaller (virtual) servers, each able to run completely separate operating system instances from one another thanks to the latest virtualisation technology. This allows you to make the best use of shared hardware resources while being completely isolated from other virtual servers on the same physical server.

Cloud computing (or cloud hosting) is a highly scalable system that is not dependent on one physical server, so it's redundant from hardware failure. It allows the pooling of a large number of separate physical computers/servers together so that they act as one. Users are then able to pull resources for computing from the cloud on demand and scale up and down whenever they wish.

Insight's virtual private server solutions make the best use of both of these emerging technologies. Designed in collaboration with Microsoft experts, our virtual servers utilise the latest virtualisation technology to give you the power to upgrade server performance at any time. While our clustered server architecture with RAID protected SAN storage provides full redundancy with automatic failover in the event of an outage, for ultimate reliability and complete peace of mind.