Virtual private servers have become a popular choice for web hosting because they offer many benefits of dedicated servers at a lower cost. They also provide the added benefit of easy scalability. Since each VPS is virtualized, the configuration can be updated with a software modification rather than a hardware upgrade. Still, dedicated servers often provide better performance since all the resources of the physical machine are dedicated to a single server.
A VPS 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 they are functionally equivalent to a dedicated physical server, and being software-defined, are able to be much more easily created and configured. They are priced much lower than an equivalent physical server. However, as they share the underlying physical hardware with other VPSes, performance may be lower, depending on the workload of any other executing virtual machines.