The growing popularity of cloud hosting packages has seen users all around the world swapping out their VPS hosting packages for cloud hosted alternatives. The main advantages of cloud hosting packages are their flexibility and scalability; with a VPS, resources such as CPU, RAM and disk space are fixed depending on the original purchase agreement, whereas cloud hosting packages have embraced the ‘pay per use’ model where users can add and remove server resources at a moment’s notice. This article will examine VPS and cloud hosting packages, pointing out a number of ways that cloud hosting packages are better than their VPS equivalents.
A VPS, or Virtual Private Server, is a virtualized hosting environment that is created on a dedicated server. It will have access to some, but not all, of the server’s resources.
Upgrading a VPS is a cumbersome process. If more RAM, CPU power or disk space is needed, the upgrade process will take a great deal of time and large costs will be incurred, assuming the upgrade can even be made in the first place. More often than not, the VPS will need to be migrated over to a more powerful server, which may involve downtime lasting multiple hours.
This can cause problems when servers need to be scaled up to meet the demand being put upon then. If a website grows in popularity but the server is unable to cope, the website will load slowly and perform poorly, which can lead to a loss of business or readership.
Likewise, VPS servers are unable to scale downwards, too. Many VPS server users have more resources available than they need, meaning they pay more for their servers than necessary.
Cloud hosting packages are able to scale with ease.
Instead of being hosted on a single server machine, the cloud servers are hosted on a centralised system that is able to scale to easily adapt to the strain being put upon it. If a single cloud server is unable to manage a website’s load, a second or third or fourth additional server can be drafted in to help keep website performance snappy. Later, if the website load reduces, the additional cloud servers can be disabled, leaving just the right amount of server resources to ensure that website performance is not compromised.
This scalability directly affects pricing.
With VPS servers, a package is chosen and a monthly or annual fee is paid depending on the specifications of the VPS itself. This fee remains the same regardless of whether the VPS’s resources are being used well or not, meaning webmasters who are underutilising their VPS server resources are paying extra for resources that they do not need.
Cloud hosting packages operate on a ‘pay per use’ basis with the pricing scaling dynamically to match the amount of server resources being used; users pay only for the resources that they use. This means that, if only a small amount of server resources are being used, the cost of the cloud hosting package decreases. Likewise, if the number of resources being used increases, the cost of the package increases to match it.
Since VPS’s are virtualised onto a single server, if the server was to go down due to a hardware failure, it may take hours if not days to restore the VPS from a backup. This potential downtime could incur great costs and loss of business.
With a cloud hosting package, the server could be easily reinitialised onto another cloud node, meaning the potential downtime caused by an act of catastrophic hardware failure could last minutes or a few hours at most.
Once a VPS’s resources have been used to their fullest, the VPS will start to slow and website performance will suffer as a consequence. The website will load slower and feel more sluggish to users.
With a cloud server, a ‘load balancer’ will automatically assign resources to the website depending on the website load, ensuring that the website will always run at a baseline performance.
This automatic load balancing ensures that visitors to the website will always be guaranteed a high quality user experience with quick website performance and short loading times.
Cloud hosting packages offer additional flexibility and scalability over VPS hosting packages and, due to the pay per use pricing model, users only need to pay for the server resources that they use, which can help reduce costs in the long run. Looking to the future, it’s likely that, as cloud hosting packages become more popular, VPS hosting packages will fade away; the advantages of cloud hosting packages over VPS hosting packages are simply too great to ignore.