VPS vs. Cloud web hosting: What’s better for your small business?

As a small business, it might not be practical to have servers in the building to house all the files and data. Instead, it is likely more cost efficient for the IT department to use web hosting from an outside vendor. When evaluating the hosting options, business owners have two main choices: VPS or cloud hosting. Each type of hosting has its merits, but choosing the wrong hosting service for the company can result in unnecessary headaches. Before making a selection, it is a good idea to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each.

What Is VPS Hosting?

VPS hosting offers the feel of having your own server without the required cost and maintenance of actually having your own server for the business. What you get is a virtual server that is both web based and private. Since it is a private server, you get all of the options and features that you would have with an in-house dedicated server. This means that the IT department of your small business has complete control in configuring and customizing the virtual machine with VPS hosting. The resources you are purchasing with VPS hosting are disk space, processor speed and memory. When selecting VPS hosting, a specific amount of storage resources are paid for in advance. As more resources are needed, the hosting package can be upgraded.

What Is Cloud Hosting?

Cloud hosting has some similarities to VPS hosting, at least in terms of basic functionality. The big difference between VPS and cloud hosting is that all of the system resources for cloud hosting are on-demand and shared. Instead of a single private server that is all your own, several cloud servers share system resources as one unit. The resources you are purchasing with cloud based web hosting are CPU usage, bandwidth and memory utilization. When selecting cloud hosting, there is no predetermined amount of storage resources that are paid for in advance. Instead, users pay based on the amount of storage that is actually used.

Advantages and Disadvantages

VPS Hosting School advocates VPS hosting as the best for businesses because it allows small business owners to set a budget for web hosting and stick to it. They caution that the on-demand usage model of cloud hosting can result in higher-than-expected costs when the need for system resources soars suddenly. While this can be true in some instances, cloud hosting can also result in lower expenses than VPS because the business may only need a fraction of the storage space that is offered with the lowest VPS hosting plan.

Since VPS hosting simulates a private server, it is highly secure. In contrast, cloud hosting has resources which are distributed across several machines (the cloud) which makes it difficult to determine where exactly your data and files are stored at any given time. This makes cloud hosting less secure than VPS hosting. Because of the cloud structure, however, resources are available continuously which is not always the case with VPS hosting since the resources are centralized.

Small businesses with predictable web traffic may benefit more from VPS hosting than cloud hosting, but if there is the possibility of unpredictable usage of resources or web traffic, then cloud hosting may offer you more benefits. Ultimately, business budget expectations and expected usage are the defining factors in which web hosting is best suited for a small business.

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