VPS Hosting is a popular web hosting solution for growing websites that need a secure, scalable, isolated and affordable hosting solution. VPS or Virtual Private Server Hosting is the natural upgrade from a Shared Hosting solution, as people who have exhausted the resources of a Shared Hosting setup migrate to VPS Hosting.
One of the many benefits that VPS Hosting offers is complete root access to the server. In this article, we will decode the meaning and benefits of full root access in VPS Hosting.
What is VPS Hosting?
VPS Hosting stands for Virtual Private Server Hosting and it’s a method of hosting websites where multiple websites share the resources of a single server. This is true of Shared Hosting as well. However, the differentiating factor is that in VPS Hosting, the bare metal server is virtually divided into multiple, isolated virtual servers with hypervisor-based server virtualisation. Due to the isolation, each website in the server is dedicatedly allocated a fixed number of resources. Once a website is allocated some resources, other websites cannot use it. So, in a way, it becomes your own private server and hence the name – Virtual Private Server.
For example, if you subscribe to a VPS plan that offers 2 GB RAM, 2 CPU cores, and 50 GB storage, those resources are yours, even if you’re not using them. No website on your server gets access to those resources. This ensures that your website has stable, predictable performance.
What is root access in VPS Hosting?
Root access simply refers to administrator access in Linux. If you’ve ever used your home PC, you’ll know that Windows asks for ‘Administrator’ access if you’re trying to delete or move an application. The word ‘root’ is a Linux version of that administrator access.
The concept of root access was developed so that guest users or people without expertise wouldn’t be able to modify, move, or delete important files on a computer. Root access essentially gives you the highest level of access to your Linux machine. In a VPS Hosting environment, it means having root access will allow you to have unhindered, unrestricted access to your server.
The need for root access stems from system administrators wanting complete control over the server. System admins often need to fine-tune configurations, install third-party applications, change security settings, and so on to deliver optimal website performance and security. Doing these tasks without root access is close to impossible.
One of the most important advantages that the architecture of VPS offers is root access. As mentioned earlier, resources are fixed for a website in a VPS Hosting environment. The advantage of this architecture is that each website can then be treated as a small, independent server. And once you have an independent server all for yourself, root access makes a lot of sense, given that it allows you to customise your server exactly the way you want it.
Advantages of root access in VPS
Business websites or even personal websites usually have products or services on sale, meaning that financial transactions happen on the websites. This calls for increased security and there are many third-party applications and software that provide enhanced security services.
Root access allows you to install these applications without having to check with your web hosting provider. Not just that, you can also completely customise your website’s security configurations. This may include installing additional firewalls, configuring server settings, and even modifying system files to strike that perfect balance between great performance and robust security.
Ensure that only system admins can modify and alter critical files
When working with servers, it’s important to understand that the best people to work on them are experts who know exactly what they’re doing. Perhaps the most important advantage of having root access is that you can create access hierarchies and ensure that everyone gets access to only what they need and use.
With root access, you can create users and allocate the exact access level that you want to grant to that particular user. This way, not only will your server’s overall threat exposure go down, but you’ll also be able to eliminate problems arising due to accidental modifications.
Complete control over the server
As your website grows, you’ll see that you need more add-ons, server-wide applications, niche software, and things like that. If you don’t have root access, you need to clear these installations with your web hosting provider every single time. Not only is this an additional step to your workflow, but it’s also time-consuming, not to mention the fact that your web hosting provider may not support some applications altogether.
With root access, you get complete control over your server. This means that you don’t have to check with your web hosting provider every time you want to install a third-party application. You can also edit any file that you choose to and even configure existing server applications to suit your needs. This includes system files and even OS registry files.
Root access saves time
Without root access, you get little control over what you can do with your website. Most changes that you want to do will have to be cleared by your web hosting provider, meaning you’ll have a lot of time waiting for your provider to clear changes.
With root access, you have the freedom to do whatever you want to do and at whatever time you want to do. This saves a lot of time for you and for your system admins who can implement performance and security upgrades as and when needed, instead of having to wait around for your provider to go through your request and decide whether or not a request can be cleared.
The only disadvantage of having root access is that it’s all-powerful. If you don’t know what you’re doing, then there’s a very real chance that you’ll end up deleting or modifying crucial files with no way of reverting back to the previous settings or configurations.
However, if you’re an expert in the area or if you have an in-house IT team that has the required expertise, root access is a must. It gives you the freedom to set up your website exactly the way you want it. It also allows you to make modifications that can result in greater performance and security.
When you’re looking to buy a VPS Hosting plan, ensure that you ask and ensure that root access is available. HostGator offers scalable VPS Hosting plans with complete root access. Powered by KVM Hypervisor, our VPS plans come with a pre-bundled control panel, expandable SSD storage, quick server provisioning, managed VPS services, and 24×7 expert service support.
With our VPS Hosting plans, you’ll be able to take complete advantage of root access for your VPS Hosting Server and enjoy a stable, secure, and scalable VPS Hosting setup.
To know more about the other web hosting categories and to choose the right option for your business, visit our Hosting Blogs Category.