When purchasing a VPS hosting package the web hosting provider will manage all the hardware and while you will have administrative access through a control panel to do whatever you want with your server, they will still make sure that it is available, has up-to-date system software, it is secured and has the available hardware resources to run according to the VPS package specification.
Shared hosting is like you are living in a room with a lot of friends. It means you must fit in the same room and you must split the cost of several things because it is affordable and cheap. However, several individuals are sharing the same space, it means everyone needs to live within a space with restricted resources among them. You will have to use the same things (that sounds a little unhygienic).
koding.com has a free VM running Ubuntu. The specs are pretty good, 1 gig memory for example. They have a terminal online you can access through their website, or use SSH. The VM will go to sleep approximately 20 minutes after you log out. The reason is to discourage users from running live production code on the VM. The VM resides behind a proxy. Running web servers that only speak HTTP (port 80) should work just fine, but I think you'll get into a lot of trouble whenever you want to work directly with other ports. Many mind-like alternatives offer similar setups. Good luck!
Users are guaranteed the resources on their VPS web hosting account. This means that your account will always be allocated the set amount of RAM, CPU, and Disk Space you’ve chosen regardless of what other users on the server are doing. This allows for greater stability and performance of your website. You also do not share the Operating System with any other users, providing better security for your website files.
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The force driving server virtualization is similar to that which led to the development of time-sharing and multiprogramming in the past. Although the resources are still shared, as under the time-sharing model, virtualization provides a higher level of security, dependent on the type of virtualization used, as the individual virtual servers are mostly isolated from each other and may run their own full-fledged operating system which can be independently rebooted as a virtual instance.