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virtual private server (VPS) or virtual dedicated server (VDS)

A virtual private server (VPS), also called a virtual dedicated server (VDS), is a virtual server that appears to the user as a dedicated server, but that is actually installed on a computer serving multiple websites. A single computer can have several VPSs, each one with its own operating system (OS) that runs the hosting software for a particular user.

How a VPS works

A VPS hosting provider relies on virtualization software, called a hypervisor, to abstract resources on a physical server and provide customers with access to an emulated server, called a virtual machine (VM). Each virtual machine runs a complete operating system, and has restricted access to a portion of the physical server’s compute, memory and storage resources. Customers have access to the VM’s OS, but not to the physical server.

While multiple tenants can share VMs that reside on the same physical server, those VMs are restricted from interacting with VMs owned by other tenants, hence creating a server that is logically private, but not physically separate.