Virtual private server (VPS) is a marketing term used by Internet hosting services to refer to a virtual machine for use exclusively by an individual customer of the service.The term is used for emphasizing that the virtual machine, although running in software on the same physical computer as other customers' virtual machines, is functionally equivalent to a separate physical computer, is dedicated to the individual customer's needs, has the privacy of a separate physical computer, and can be configured to run as a server computer (i.e. to run server software).
Each virtual server can run its own full-fledged operating system and can be independently rebooted.
The practice of partitioning a single server so that it appears as multiple servers has long been common practice on mainframe computers and mid-range computers. It has become more prevalent with the development of virtualization software and technologies for microcomputers.