VPS vs Cloud Hosting

Cloud Hosting vs VPS

When the time comes to choose your web host you’re probably going to have a ton of questions. Hosting can seem a little complicated. You have cloud hosting, shared hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated servers and you have dozens of hosting companies to choose from as well.

Yikes! With this post, we hope to reduce a little bit of that confusion and narrow in on two different types of hosting: cloud hosting and VPS hosting. As you’ll soon learn, each of these types come with distinct advantages and disadvantages.

Keep reading to learn more about cloud hosting vs. VPS, so you can determine which one will be the best fit for your website.


What Is VPS Hosting?

VPS servers are also known as Virtual Private Servers. This style of hosting is essentially one physical server, which is then divided into several smaller virtual servers. Each one of these virtual servers acts as its own dedicated server environment.

Since you have your own dedicated section of the server, you have your own set of allocated resources and can customize and configure your server partition exactly the way you want. Plus, there’s no exchange of data or file access between accounts on the VPS server.

However, they can tend to be less reliable because if one physical server fails, then every VPS using that server fails as well. Their performance can also vary if one site happens to be hogging resources on the physical server.


Who Should Use VPS Hosting? 

Virtual Private Server hosting is great for users looking for more control over their website, with the technical skills to set up a customized environment.

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Pros and Cons of VPS Hosting

A VPS can be a great choice for website users who have outgrown their shared hosting plan. However, it’s not perfect for every kind of website out there. Below we look at the pros and cons of VPS hosting, so you can make an educated decision.

VPS can be heavily customized. They’re similar to a dedicated server in that you have root access to the server and have control over the OS and server software. However, there may be some limits imposed due to the physical server configuration.

VPS also tends to have very high performance, as you’re guaranteed a certain amount of server resources. However, you’ll probably be limited to an extent by the physical machine. Plus, there’s the chance your performance can be affected by other sites using the same physical machine, or when you push up against your plan limits.

A VPS isn’t the most scalable solution. Sure, you’re guaranteed a certain amount of server resources, but it’ll be difficult to scale your site quickly and your existing host might not be able to handle any traffic surges, depending upon the volume.

Lastly, a VPS is incredibly secure. It’s not quite as secure as dedicated hosting, but it does beat out shared hosting. Your VPS will operate independently of any other sites sharing the same physical server, but there’s a chance that poor security of another site could affect your own.


What Is Cloud Hosting?

Cloud servers are similar to a VPS hosting environment. The key difference is that instead of having a single server that’s dedicated to your site (as is the case with VPS), the resources are spread out amongst a bunch of different physical machines.

With cloud hosting, you have a network of potentially unlimited virtual machines. All of these virtual machines rely upon an underlying network of physical servers. With all of these virtual machines connected together, you’re basically creating one massive VPS.

With a cloud hosting platform, you benefit from the use of multiple servers, so you have more available resources at your disposal. You can increase the power of your server whenever you’d like to meet varying traffic needs.

While cloud hosting offers more flexibility than VPS hosting, it doesn’t allow for quite as much customization.


Who Should Use Cloud Hosting?

Cloud hosting is a great choice for website owners who need the flexibility that cloud hosting provides, to enable increased performance to meet surges in traffic.

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Pros and Cons of Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting is a great option for website owners who want a scalable and high performing host behind them. Cloud hosting comes with a lot of benefits, but it’s not perfect for every style of website, as you’ll see below.

Cloud hosting offers you decent customization options. However, you may be limited due to the sheer amount of servers you need to distribute the settings across. Configuring your hosting setup to get the most out of your network also might require some technical skills.

Cloud hosting truly shines in its ability to scale. Essentially you’ll have an entire network or servers to tap at a moments notice for additional storage, or to meet rising traffic needs. Also, due to the high availability of servers, you’ll have very high uptime and great performance. If a physical server failure ever occurs then your site will be switched to another server.

Your cloud hosting environment will also be very secure and will be separated from other users on the same physical server network. However, since your host is entirely web-based this does make it more vulnerable to attacks.


VPS Hosting vs. Cloud Hosting: What’s Best For My Website?

The biggest difference between the two server environments is scale. If you’re looking to launch as quickly as possible and don’t care about scale, then a VPS server can be a great starting point. However, if you demand a flexible hosting setup and a high level of site performance and storage then it’s worth checking out a cloud hosting environment.

With cloud hosting you get access to a near unlimited supply of server resources. For sites with variable traffic levels, or sites that are scaling quickly, then cloud hosting can be the perfection solution. Cloud hosting offers you great server power and ultimate flexibility, from resources usage to pricing.

Overall, VPS hosting will be less efficient and limited in its level of resources available to your site. However, it’s a great fit for people who simply want to launch a website and have outgrown the limits of their shared hosting environment. A VPS is powerful and does offer improved performance, however the chances of your site going offline, or running into a resource issue is higher with VPS hosting, than cloud hosting.

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Kevin Wood writes about technology and human potential. You can find him at his virtual homes Wooden Writing and Counter Culturist.

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