In a dedicated hosting plan, a client leases or rents a physical server from a hosting provider. With Dedicated hosting plans, the client has complete control of the physical server and access to all its resources. This is a good fit for companies that have websites that expect a high amount of traffic, that are running intensive CPU applications, and that are hosting enterprise CMS sites.
To break things down a bit, cloud VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting is when a web hosting provider takes one massive server and partitions it up so that it can have several servers on it, each of which can run its own operating system and can be re-booted independently. Sounds simple enough. So what is the difference between managed VPS and unmanaged VPS?
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Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) lets you provision a logically isolated section of the AWS Cloud where you can launch AWS resources in a virtual network that you define. You have complete control over your virtual networking environment, including selection of your own IP address range, creation of subnets, and configuration of route tables and network gateways. You can use both IPv4 and IPv6 in your VPC for secure and easy access to resources and applications.
I have some sites hosted on a shared-hosting/cpanel environment and need to make a move up. I have some experience running my own server, but it is very basic (a local box to do live testing/file serv). My question is how difficult is it to run a VPS, should I buy a managed VPS (with stuff already installed), or unmanaged (blank box), and lastly if I go for unmanaged what steps should I take to keep my VPS secure? Edit: Also how difficult is it to backup files and databases? Can it be automated?