Recently every company is offering 2 types of Virtual machines to their customers – Virtual Private Servers and Cloud Servers. The difference you might ask ? Well the name.
Let’s dig deeper into the world of Hosting vs Cloud Computing and start with the definition of cloud. The basic definition that was overall agreed on was the one from NIST (The National Institute of Security and Technology) and beside some other definitions, Cloud Computing was defined by 5 simple sets:
A consumer can unilaterally provision computing capabilities, such as server time and network storage, as needed automatically without requiring human interaction with each service provider.
Broad network access
Capabilities are available over the network and accessed through standard mechanisms that promote use by heterogeneous thin or thick client platforms (e.g., mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and workstations).
The provider’s computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi -tenant model, with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand. There is a sense of location independence in that the customer generally has no control or knowledge over the exact location of the provided resources but may be able to specify location at a higher level of
abstraction (e.g., country, state, or datacenter). Examples of resources include storage, processing, memory, and network bandwidth.
Capabilities can be elastically provisioned and released, in some cases automatically, to scale rapidly outward and inward commensurate with demand. To the consumer, the capabilities available for provisioning often appear to be unlimited and can be appropriated in any quantity at any time.
Cloud systems automatically control and optimize resource use by leveraging a metering capability at some level of abstraction appropriate to the type of service (e.g., storage, processing, bandwidth, and active user accounts). Resource usage can be monitored, controlled, and reported, providing transparency for both the provider and consumer of the utilized service.
In recent terms you would add to the first and last point the complete control of the environment via client accessible APIs.
Now how does this help us find the difference between a VPS and a Cloud Server? Not at all since both terms are non technical. The term VPS was created by the Hosting Industry to distinct the simpler term Virtual machine and include the word Private – meaning the resources you buy are 100% yours. In combination with full root access this showed your VPS would have all benefits of a Dedicated Server but at a lower price.
So far so good. When Cloud Providers started taking away business from classic hosts (by offering Cloud Services as described), a defintion had to be made up to instantly become also a cloud provider by simply inventing the term Cloud Servers. Most providers will say that a Cloud Server differs from a VPS that it runs on a Cloud while VPSs use single Servers that are virtualized, giving you different kinds of service levels. While that only shows that most providers simply did not care about their clients selling them single point of failure VPSs, its not a distincvie feature since a VPS can run on a cloud (like our realVPS with multi redundancy using our realCloud infrastructure) but it will never become a cloud. One of the key benefits of cloud environments is that you only pay for what you use – if you just need a single always on server a VPS is totally fine – but when run complex environment that have different loads at different times it comes handy to turn off resources you dont need and dont pay for them – thats a cloud. Also upgrades are granular (upgrade single components at steps you define and not prepackaged Options).
So please lets name things at their name – a VPS is a Cloud Server is a VPS, and a Cloud is a Cloud. There is nothing wrong with that but lets stay true to facts.