A virtual private server (VPS) is a virtual machine sold as a service by an Internet hosting service. The virtual dedicated server (VDS) also has a similar meaning. A virtual private server runs its own copy of an operating system (OS), and customers may have superuser-level access to that operating system instance, so they can install almost any software that runs on that OS. For many purposes it is functionally equivalent to a dedicated physical server and, being software-defined, can much more easily be created and configured. A virtual server costs much less than an equivalent physical server. However, as virtual servers share the underlying physical hardware with other VPSes, performance may be lower, depending on the workload of any other executing virtual machines.
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