How do Cloud and VPS differ?

After highlighting the similarities between Virtual Private Servers (VPS) and Cloud Servers previously, this blog shares one person’s opinion on the differences between the two. As a complicated and much debated topic, it’s important to keep in mind that Cloud Servers are an evolution from VPS, so are in most cases based on similar but newer technology which is why the subject can be so contentious.

The main differences for users between the VPS and Cloud are the increased flexibility and scalability available with Cloud.

When buying VPS, it’s available in fixed and flexible forms. Any features that allow you to change a VPS from its original configuration without having to migrate to a new VPS should be considered a bonus whereas with Cloud Servers, such features are inherent. VPS could just mean hosted servers with the physical resources divided up by a hypervisor. More often, a service provider will have an element of multi-tenant compute across a large pool of resources. Behind the scenes your provider will enable the customer’s VPS to have some flexibility. Or a VPS could be part of a fully multi-tenant and redundant environment with centralised Storage Area Network (SAN) storage; Fasthosts’ own VPSs run in such an environment.

The most common need for flexibility is to increase either storage or RAM for a website or similar application as its use grows.  VPS is more likely to have downtime if you change the resource levels.  Whereas a Cloud Server might let you re-size ‘on the fly’ without any interruption to service. The economics of a Cloud environment work in everyone’s favour. Customers are able to size and pay for the resources they need and the hosting provider benefits too, running hundreds of virtual machines on a single Pod / Cluster. This means that customers can be varying sizes but the overall resources still average out with no adverse customer impact.

Cloud has become an established infrastructure and has progressed so that large technology vendors compete to better their products. Having this choice of technology gives hosting providers the ability to match infrastructure types with their own value-added service provision and provide you with the best service possible.

Some people argue that to use the term ‘Cloud’ scalability and redundant infrastructure are not enough, but the payment terms have to be flexible too. This could be offered in several ways:

  • Being able to reduce resource levels
  • Not having a set-up fee
  • Having ‘metered billing’ in arrears
  • Simple pay as you go contracts- ensuring that you don’t get ‘locked in’ to a service you no longer want.

These can be good points to discuss upfront with your provider to make sure they can fulfil your company’s requirements. Fasthosts Cloud Server is flexible, scalable, has redundant infrastructure and flexible payment terms. Find out more on our website at

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