Cloud Web Hosting is a new phenomenon in the web hosting industry, and as a result there is a lot of confusion about just what comprises cloud web hosting, and how it differs from more familiar models of web hosting which have been popular for many years.
In this article we compare Cloud Web Hosting with VPS (Virtual Private Server) Web Hosting.
For the purposes of this article: we’ll work from this definition of cloud web hosting and VPS web hosting
Cloud Web Hosting: Web Hosting services provided by a large number of computers networked together in such a way that they function as a larger, more fluid computer. Websites are hosted on portion of the virtual composite computer, rather than on a single machine.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Web Hosting: websites are hosted on a virtual machine, which is a portion of a physical server which is compartmentalised from the rest of the machine such that each web hosting account effectively has its own smaller but separate server. This is cheaper and less powerful than a dedicated web hosting server (where an account runs on the whole machine) but more powerful and more secure than shared web hosting (where hundreds or thousands of accounts and web sites are run on a single machine, with little compartmentalisation of resources.
You might be forgiven from the above definitions and other reading on the world wide web for thinking that cloud web hosting and VPS hosting are mutually exclusive. Actually, there is considerable overlap between these terms.
Cloud Web Hosting is different from traditional VPS hosting because web sites are hosted on a larger cloud of servers, rather than a single server. However, this large cloud is too big for a single user (except for massive companies like Google or Facebook) so in practice each account on a cloud server is a VPS or a Virtual machine (much like a dedicated machine created from a portion of the cloud). Some other cloud hosting services are effectively shared web hosting running on a cloud server rather than on a single machine.
Lets look at the pros and cons of various forms of cloud hosting vs traditional VPS web hosting:
This video from VPS.net cloud hosting services does a fantastic job of explaining some of the differenece between cloud web hosting, Dedicated, VPS and shared hosting. Check it out.