VPS vs Cloud Hosting: Starting a New Website

If you’ve got the best new idea for a business or a blog, you’ll need somewhere for that website or blog to live. You’ll need servers to store all that glorious content about the best ways to train your puppy so that you end up with a dog with a good personality, or all those graphics showing off the amazing kind of music production that your business can offer. Whatever you’re doing, you need a place for it to live. Web hosting gives you that place for it to live.

While there are a number of different options for web hosting, VPS and cloud hosting are two solid ones. In this article, we’ll give you a bunch of information about both to help you make an informed decision about which kind of hosting you can best use for your website. You should know that VPS hosting vs cloud hosting both offer very similar hosting solutions, and you probably can’t go wrong with either.

VPS vs Cloud: How to Give Your Data a Place to Live

Servers give your website an environment to live in. It’s sort of like a giant set of tubes that the hamster of your website can run around in. It allows people to see and interact with your hamster of a website. A VPS is a virtual private server, while a Cloud is also a virtual private server, although of a different type. People usually use a virtual private server to refer to a slice of a single physical server, whereas a Cloud hosting solution is a virtual private server that runs off of a network of physical servers.

Let’s get an understanding of the native environments of VPS vs cloud hosting. A VPS is a virtual private server, which works by sharing information on a single physical server. Companies can set up physical servers with a number of virtual private servers, which all can run simultaneously on the physical server. A section of the server is set apart for your website, and there’s no crossover of resources or data from within the server.

Cloud hosting vs VPS offers you a different kind of server solution. In VPS vs Cloud hosting, both are going to use bootstrapping methods to make adjustments to physical servers to get them to work as virtual servers. While VPS uses a single server to split into virtual private servers, cloud hosting uses a more networked solution. Cloud hosting will leverage an entire room of physical servers that split into a potentially unlimited network of virtual servers that all work together to handle web resources and traffic. 

VPS Hosting Features

A VPS hosting solution allows you a lot of flexibility in features. The virtual private server is technically your server in every way, so you can have all the information and customization that you want. You can’t do anything about the physical server, however, so if there is anything specific you want to do that requires different hardware you might be out of luck. Still, VPS hosting will offer you far more customization than a cloud hosting solution can offer, because you have your own dedicated server, although it’s a virtual private one.

Scaling

Because of the physical limitations of the VPS, it offers a lot less scaling power than a dedicated server might be able to offer you. With a dedicated server, you can easily add more power and storage. A VPS might run out of room for you and you’ll have less immediate control over the data. You’ll have to wait to download and move things around. This can create logistical nightmares if growth becomes a bit sporadic for your website.

Speed

If you know the size of your site and don’t expect any surges in traffic, your website will generally thrive on the speed of the VPS. Because you have dedicated resources on a physical server, you should have a certain standard site speed. If the hosting company that you’re working with cuts corners, however, a physical server might have too many virtual private servers on a single machine, and you might experience unanticipated lagging and slowdowns. 

However, if you expect your website to have to scale at various times and to experience certain surges in traffic during certain times. For example, you might have things that trend, like a news blog, or things that are seasonal, like for sales. During times like this, a cloud hosting solution can handle those surges without having to make expensive changes to your hosting solution.

Security

While it isn’t quite the same as having your own physical server, VPS offers a lot of security, because your information and data runs as if it were its own single physical server. Of course, if another website has poor security it might create problems for your server, because if the physical server that you’re sharing goes down, then down goes your virtual private server as well.

Cloud Hosting Features

In VPS hosting vs Cloud hosting, both offer similar solutions. Both will allow physical servers to be turned into virtual servers to help a greater number of people meet internet hosting needs. VPS is built for more stable environments. If traffic is growing at a consistent rate end over end each month and is fairly predictable, then VPS hosting will probably work well for your website.

Flexible Hosting

If you need greater flexibility to handle surges and recessions in traffic or anticipate big jumps and differences in web usage, then cloud hosting might be a better solution for your website. Cloud hosting allows you to handle those fluctuations in traffic. With cloud hosting, your website and all other websites on the servers have a lot of flexibility. They work together as a team. If your website uses up a lot more traffic one month, it can pull some resources from other websites in a way that no one will notice. In a month where you generate less traffic, your additional resources can help out other websites.

The flexible hosting ability is cloud hosting’s best feature. It makes it a great hosting solution for any website that features growth which can be unpredictable.

Customization

Unlike VPS hosting, which has a dedicated virtual server that can handle a high degree of customization with everything short of making actual adjustments to the hardware of a physical server, cloud servers are a bit more difficult to customize. While it’s possible, you might have to make the customizations on every single physical or virtual server, and so you’ll be a bit more limited by the hosting service.

Scaling

If you’re building a startup that you think has room for massive growth, but you aren’t quite sure how much resources to bet on this, cloud hosting is an excellent option. The right cloud hosting service can offer you near-unlimited resources that can be continually scaled in order to handle the traffic surges that you experience. Your cloud runs off a number of physical servers, so there’s no single weak point in the entire network of servers. If something fails, you’ll be up and running on a different server.

Of course, all this communal data might be a drawback as well. If you don’t expect explosive growth, you might get resources sapped from your website by another website that is experiencing an explosion of traffic. This scaling ability can also hurt your website performance.

Security

Cloud hosting is still fairly secure because all of the data is kept separate and all the virtual servers are unique. However, it is a bit less secure than running things off of a virtual private server.

Cloud vs VPS: Direct Comparisons

So cloud and VPS hosting solutions are very similar in a lot of ways, though there are some distinct differences. Mainly Cloud and VPS systems offer different types of vulnerabilities, different price points depending on the types of websites you’ll be running, and different levels of complexity and customization.

Types of Failures

Websites might seem like they exist in outer space or in a different dimension, warping onto your computer at the touch of a key. But actually, web information exists in something fairly similar to the computer or phone that you’re looking at right now. Web data exists in physical space, and has to be called from a system to show up on your device. When there’s physical technology, there is the possibility of failure.

VPS hosting runs from a single slot on a physical machine. Because of the physicality and limited nature of the server, if that particular slot on the server crashes, your website will be completely unavailable until that slot is fixed. There’s not moving things around or bootstrapping your site from a different location. You’re down for the count until the fix happens. 

Cloud hosting doesn’t run your website from any single server. A single slot or single server crash won’t put your website out of commission. Worst case scenario, it reduces the total amount of resources that the cloud can pull from. Unlike a virtual private server or even a physical dedicated server, you don’t have a single point of weakness to lose your website and your data. 

Cost

Cloud hosting can generally be a cheaper solution for your website because you are generally charged for what you use. If your traffic drops, you were less of a strain on resources, and your bill might drop to reflect that change. With a virtual private server, you’ll pay a flat amount of money for the resources that you’re taking up. Drops in traffic won’t cause a drop in price. Of course, this can set a more stable ceiling on what you pay.

Then again, cloud hosting generally also factors in a payment for the sheer amount of hardware and technology that it takes to run the cloud environment. You’ll also pay for spikes in data usage, just like a phone bill. This might make your monthly bill a bit more wobbly, and create a higher payment environment. For smaller operations, virtual private servers might be cheaper.

Complexity and Customization

Cloud environments are more complex than virtual private servers. While you can technically get as much and more customization from a cloud hosting environment, as compared to a virtual private server, it might require more expertise and patience to get to this point. 

Meanwhile, customizing a virtual private server is almost the same as customizing a dedicated server. You just won’t be able to make as many physical alterations to the setup. When you’re using a virtual private server, however, you might be limited to the kind of operating system that the host company is using, and Linux systems are fairly common for this. Cloud hosting systems can usually accommodate a range of operating systems, and are more friendly to Windows and Mac solutions. 

Then again, with the cloud environment, you’ll have less customization over the physical servers because they’re used to create an environment for the virtual servers. If you want to make customizations that require more specific tweaks, you might need virtual private servers.

Really, How Secure is VPS Hosting vs Cloud Hosting?

VPS hosting has a security level that is comparable to dedicated servers. The virtual private environment is mostly separate from the other virtual private environments that are running on the same server. It has a dedicated physical space. While this dedicated physical component makes it more vulnerable to breakdowns and technical issues, it simultaneously makes it a more secure location.

Some kinds of attacks can target the web infrastructure that cloud relies on. Additionally, the physical servers are spread across many locations, and might be vulnerable to physical data security. You don’t really know where all your access points and data are with many cloud hosting services.

Conclusions

Cloud hosting is the newer method of hosting, and has quickly gained a ton of traction. There really aren’t too many drawbacks to using cloud hosting instead of virtual private servers, especially if the hosting service you go with is a trusted source and has plenty of resources. Cloud hosting gives you more power, better price points, and easier scaling.