Hosting is difficult to understand for some. With a number of available options, it gets complicated to make a choice. ‘Hosting’ here means storing. The website data is stored on special computers and it is made accessible via the internet. This is simply what web hosting means. When someone types the URL of your website hosted or stored on a particular server, the web browser on your computer or other devices will download the website files from the server so that you have access to the website. These servers are termed as web servers.
Having built a website and registering the domain name is one step short of getting people to access to your website. Hosting is done to make a website live and active on the internet. It is basically the space on a web server that you purchase to store the files of your website. Hosting business is expected to reach USD 154 billion by 2022.
Do We Understand What Virtualization Is?
Before we come to discuss the topic, it is essential to make sure that we understand what virtualization is. In computing, the word ‘virtual’ refers to something that physically is absent but software makes it appear as if it is there. Virtualization technology is used to create virtual versions of computer hardware, network resources, and storage systems, etc.
A computer system, virtual machine or VM, is created using software that makes use of physical system resources like RAM, CPU, and storage, but it is kept away from the other computer software. This is easy to create, change, or destroy without causing any damage to the host computer or without affecting the host at all.
What about VPS?
VPS refers to Virtual Private Server which is a virtual machine that an internet hosting service provider sells as a service to its clients. A virtual dedicated server is also the same thing. As a business or an individual, when you decide to host (store) your blog or other website data on a virtual private server or a virtual dedicated server, that is called VPS hosting.
VPS is of the many types of hosting options available- shared web hosting, reseller hosting, dedicated hosting service, managed hosting service, colocation, clustered hosting, grid hosting, and cloud server hosting.
What does VPS hosting offer?
Control is what VPS offers. If you have the technical expertise to set up a customized environment, then you can go for a virtual private server for your website. It is generally opted for by the users who have utilized their shared hosting plans.
- Customization: VPS gives root access to the server and you get to control the operating system as well as the server software.
- Performance: VPS is high on performance because of the guaranteed server resources. The physical server will still have its limitations though. If there are other websites making use of the same physical server then that will affect your website’s performance.
- Secure: A VPS server is incredibly secure, though not as secure as a dedicated server but safer than a shared server.
VPS is a good option after you have tried shared hosting but it is not the most scalable option and that’s when we come to talk of the cloud server hosting option.
Cloud Server Hosting: An overview
Cloud is a metaphor for the internet. In the simplest form, it refers to the storage of data over the internet instead of the hard disk on a computer. In a cloud, the resources aren’t aggregated in one server like the VPS rather they are spread over different physical machines and that creates a network of potentially innumerable virtual machines. These VMs are based on an underlying network of physical servers. That is analogous to a big VPS.
Pros and Cons of the Cloud
- Scalability: Cloud hosting is a great option for businesses who need a scalable hosting service. Within a few moments, the cloud server can be scaled up to meet the surging demands. It offers a higher uptime as well. If a physical server fails, the website is easily shifted to another server, avoiding disruptions.
- Customizable: It offers a fair amount of customization. But you may be thwarted by the number of servers needed to spread the settings across.
Cloud shines in its potential to scale but it is not meant for every website. The hosting set up will need some technical skills for a proper configuration. Security in cloud server hosting is derived from the fact that the cloud environment is separated from other users on the same physical server network.
Which one of the two is better for me?
When it comes to making a choice between a cloud server and a VPS, the best option depends upon what your needs are. If you wish to launch your website as soon as possible and you are not concerned about the scaling, then VPS should work just fine for you. But if your website is expected to be flexible and if it has to deliver on the performance front, then the cloud is a better option. It offers you immense server power and flexibility. VPS is a fit choice for people who simply want to launch their website while cloud is for those who want to level up their website hosting.