They have some similarities, which has led to some people using virtual private server (VPS) and private cloud mentions interchangeably. At first glance, the differences might seem minute—but once you understand the major differences, you’ll see that choosing between the two can make a big impact on your business. For starters, the server setup between the two couldn’t be more different. A VPS has one physical server that is shared with a group of users. It’s kind of like how a basic shared server works, and there are a number of accounts linked to that server.
However, there’s a lower cap on how many people can use a VPS, leading to better performance and speed. Clients also get more control, at least on their part of the server. Using virtualization software allows clients to be kept separate from one another, so you don’t really feel like you’re sharing. A private cloud uses many servers as well as a distribution system. This is known as “redundancy,” and is a great backup if one of the servers goes down. It’s kind of like setting up a RAID 5 hard drive—you’ll see everything like it’s on one server, but it’s actually on several.
Location and Growth
Another key difference is where exactly the hardware is located. A VPS is almost always hosted off-site at a web hosting provider’s location. This can be helpful with security, since many businesses aren’t able to offer the same type of safeguarding as a web host. However, a private cloud is located on your site (or a site you own). There are some exceptions with both of these, especially as cloud providers are moving towards hosting private cloud options, but for the most part these location differences ring true.
Whether your business grows or shrinks, you can never truly predict the future. Scalability is critical, and cloud control panels allow for fast changes and deployment. If you want a new virtual server or resources, it just takes a few seconds of managing the admin panel. However, a VPS needs a manual service upgrade, completing a tech support ticket, or perhaps calling a customer service agent. Which one best suits you depends on your tech savviness.
The Mighty Dollar
The decision shouldn’t totally come down to cost, but it does play a big role. To put it bluntly, private clouds are expensive. The hardware is costly, you’re in charge of setup, installation, maintenance, and everything else. You can save a little with a hosted cloud, but then you won’t get the same level of control (which is why people who go with private clouds do so in the first place!).
Compared to a private cloud, VPS is much less expensive. It’s also less expensive than a dedicated server hosting setup. For those on a budget, you can’t beat VPS.