VPS hosting and cloud VMs offer a similar service – a virtual dedicated hosting environment at an affordable price. Whilst the actual service is the same, they both act differently and are designed for different audiences.
Performance can vary with VPS services, with cloud services providing a more consistent hosting experience. The performance variation of VPS hosting arises from the allocation of VPS to hardware nodes; as a VPS is hosted on a single hardware node, the node that has the most spare allocation in relation to the specifications of the VPS will become the home for that VPS and as spare capacity and the number of users on a hosting node can vary, so can the performance of individual VPS. Cloud hosting on the other hand is more consistent because VMs aren’t allocated to a single node and instead rely on the collective resources of the underlying infrastructure. Storage is handled by central SAN devices and where any element of the infrastructure fails, it won’t impact performance because there will be enough collective hardware to handle this.
Cloud VMs and VPS offer a dedicated hosting environment that runs its own installation of the chosen operating system, for the most part this is either going to be Windows or Linux. A dedicated hosting environment is one that can be configured as per the customer’s individual requirements, with full access being granted on either platform for full management. Windows virtual machines can be managed through Remote Desktop, an application that is available on Windows and Mac desktop computers; it allows for direct access to the Windows GUI so that you can access and install applications much in the same way you would on a Windows desktop computer. SSH access is provided for Linux servers, and whilst this is a command line interface, experienced users will be able to take advantage of this to install the applications and services that they require. With cloud and VPS services, web hosting companies often provide a web-based control panel to allow for easy server administration.
Some Cloud hosting providers offer automatic scaling of resources. The idea of auto-scaling is that as your VM runs low on resources, additional resources can be automatically allocated to your server in order to ensure that it remains stable and is capable of handling the loads that it is presented with. Any good web hosting provider will allow customers to set a limit on how far resources are scaled because additional resources cost and for financial purposes many customers have a set monthly budget that they don’t wish to exceed. Additional resources are much more abundant in a cloud environment than they are a VPS environment because there are more servers underpinning a distributed infrastructure, which is why cloud environments are recommended for businesses requiring a high specification hosting service. VPS would be a better option for customers who have a clearer idea of the level of demand that they are going to be presented with and those with lower resource requirements in general.
As a conclusion, VPS hosting, whilst an older form of virtual hosting, is available to offer companies that know the resources they are going to require a cheaper form of hosting. Many VPS platforms can offer auto-scaling in the same way that cloud hosting can, but the fixed resources and packages provide businesses with the confidence of knowing how much they are going to be spending each month. Cloud VMs on the other hand are able to offer improved performance and are an ideal choice for larger companies looking to develop a highly scalable infrastructure where resources are abundant.