VPS hosting has been around for many years and has provided an adequate and cost-effective platform for many business and personal hosting requirements. It was certainly a lot more affordable than dedicated hosting where a single server is responsible for only your hosting needs.
Cloud hosting, as an alternative, used to be a fairly expensive option and many people shied away from it. With advances in technology and ongoing cost reductions, more and more people are taking a second look at cloud hosting, if they have not moved over already.
Before we look at the advantages of cloud hosting, let’s understand the different technologies.
VPS – Virtual Private Server
A VPS server makes use of a single physical server which is then partitioned or split up into individual servers for a number of clients, giving each one their “own” dedicated server. This is called VPS hosting.
A cloud server, on the other hand, employs a number of different servers, sometimes even in different locations, all linked together to provide your hosting requirements.
The decision on what form of hosting to utilise is extremely important. It will influence the performance and reliability of your web-based content or application and could have severe implications as your hosting requirements grow or change. Switching platforms is painful so you want to avoid this where possible. The costs involved are also an important factor to consider.
The Advantages of Cloud Hosting:
- Greater Flexibility: One of the biggest advantages of cloud hosting is the amazing flexibility and scalability it provides. As you are not restricted by one partition on one server, you have access to the full capacity of all servers on the cloud as and when needed. This is vitally important as your requirements increase over time and is especially useful when you have a sudden spike in activity. By the same token, if your resource requirements become less, you are not fixed into a large capacity solution that you no longer require, it scales up or down with ease.
- Improved Reliability: The single most important thing you need from your provider is reliable hosting. While no system is perfect, cloud hosting, by its structure and design, will offer improved reliability and the potential for downtime is greatly reduced when compared to VPS hosting. Due to the fact that cloud hosting incorporates a number of servers simultaneously, as opposed to just one with VPS, you have redundancy and backup. This applies to the application of your hosting as well as your data. If one or more servers in the cloud go down for whatever reason, there are other servers that can carry the load. The process and/or data will simply shift to other servers connected on the cloud.
- Price: While cloud hosting is still generally more expensive than a VPS solution, it has come down dramatically and will continue to do so. The main price advantage a cloud solution offers is that you will only pay for the resources you need, when you use them. In other words, you do not need to invest in a large, expensive plan when your requirements are still growing. As you need and utilize more resources, or less in some instances, you will be charged accordingly. You do not have to pay for resources or capacity that is not used.
- Security: It is vital that your hosting provides good security. Security on each server forming part of the cloud is similar to that used on dedicated servers or VPS with the addition of security protocols at the data centres and all points between components of the cloud. You also do not run the risk of suffering any consequences of another user on a shared server being hacked, blacklisted or getting a virus as your environment is separate.
- Infrastructure Control: You are not restricted by the shared severer and are therefore able to customize your environment as you chose to. You also have freedom to utilize the operating system of your preference.
Give some thought to the requirements and dynamics of your specific environment, taking into account future growth as well as occasional spikes. Do your research and make a careful selection.