Choosing Between A Virtual Private Server or The Cloud

By on December 10, 2013

Many companies today are shifting towards cloud technology for their needs, but this isn’t always the best solution. A virtual private server offers many of the benefits of a cloud server but is a time-tested solution that is secure, scalable and predictable.

What is VPS Hosting?

A virtual private server operates almost exactly like a dedicated server. A single machine can run multiple virtual private servers, allowing a company to split the cost of the technology among other users. Virtual private servers are completely dedicated servers on a software level, giving the company an incredible amount of flexibility, freedom and control. VPS offers a scalable solution for companies that don’t require a dedicated server. At the same time, companies on a VPS solution can add more memory, processing speed and disk space as they desire.

VPS servers are extremely secure. The cost of a VPS server is usually a flat fee based on the estimated resources the company will use. Companies are allowed to exceed these limits under some circumstances. VPS servers have been used for years by companies that need an alternative to ordinary shared hosting plans and dedicated servers. Overall, VPS hosting is usually less expensive than cloud hosting.

Choosing Between A Virtual Private Server or The Cloud

What is Cloud Hosting?

Running a web server in a cloud platform is a relatively new development. Many companies are enamored of the cloud’s ability to instantly scale its resources. This allows the company to only pay for the resources that it needs. However, it also means that the company’s billing will not always be predictable. Cloud hosting has often been used to host services that have unpredictable amounts of usage, such as websites that are used heavily only during specific peak times.

One of the major problems inherent to cloud hosting involves security. Cloud hosts have not been around for as long as VPS hosts and not all of them are reputable. Third-party applications are often used for cloud hosting that may not be completely secure and the company does not retain full control over their data or their applications due to the nature of the cloud infrastructure. There have been many security concerns related to cloud-based platforms in recent years.

Choosing Between a Virtual Private Server and a Cloud-platform Server

Cloud hosting has a single, very unique advantage: it is instantly scalable. Websites that have highly-unpredictable traffic patterns may embrace the cloud as a way to lower their overall billing. However, this is also problematic for most companies that require standardized budgets. VPS hosting is often better suited to a corporate environment for this reason.

While cloud platforms offer very exciting technological options, many of the security issues in the platform have not yet been addressed. Cloud platforms spread existing information over a multitude of machines, and security breaches on any of these machines or on any of the third-party applications running on these machines could represent a significant problem.

When choosing between a virtual private server and a cloud platform, you should keep in mind that largely anything that can be done on the cloud has already been done on a VPS in the past. While cloud technology is newer, it isn’t necessarily better. Cloud hosting technology is largely useful for large scale and experimental technology that requires unpredictable amounts of system resources than a standard corporate infrastructure.

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