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I know that VPU stands for Virtual Processing Unit (versus CPU), but what does that mean exactly? Is it just the new terminology for referring to processor resources in a virtual server versus a dedicated (physical) server?

My understanding is that VMWare can apportion cores in a processor across virtual servers. Can VMWare also allocate virtual cores that exist due to hyperthreading?

Is a VPU a shared core (i.e. shared across other hosting accounts)? Or does each VPS typically get 100% of its allocated VPU?

Is a Cloud Hosting VPS different from a traditional VPS from and end user's perspective?

I'm still a little fuzzy on these concepts, and I'm trying to evaluate different hosting plans.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted
  1. It means that your VM is assigned a number of virtual CPUs, the OS in that VM 'sees' that/those virtual CPUs and can schedule work against it/them. Of course they're actually mapped to real CPUs but the virtualisation/time-slicing mechanism hands out real CPU processing capability to the VMs as required.

  2. You could say that yes, though I'd have said 'virtual server versus a physical server' myself.

  3. Yes but VMWare doesn't present sub-core units to VMs, if you have a 4 vCPU VM then its work will be carried out by one or more real physical CPUs/threads.

  4. Yes it's shared (unless specifically, and stupidly, specified to be dedicated).

  5. No not really, you just have no idea where your VM is in the world.

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Thanks. So is a traditional VPS core shared as well (expanding on question #4)? Will a shared VPU suffer poorer performance versus a (stupidly) dedicated VPU? – JohnB Jun 15 '11 at 16:02
a) yes and b) it depends on load – Chopper3 Jun 15 '11 at 16:20
b) is pretty vague! – JohnB Jun 15 '11 at 19:11

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