To host applications on the Internet, people normally choose hosting services. But, as cloud services develop more and more, many consider them as an alternative to hosting.
Hosting and clouds are somewhat similar, but they are still different solutions for different tasks. Let’s see what their differences are and which option is right for you.
In both cases, you buy server computing power. You connect to them via the Internet and use them for your own purposes.
When it comes to hosting, you can rent a virtual (VPS) or physical (dedicated) server.
It’s the same with the cloud. You have the option to connect a virtual machine or rent an entire physical (bare metal) server.
There are other similarities as well. But let’s talk about the differences now.
This type of hosting allows you to rent space on a single server.
You utilize a portion of that server’s capacity. Other customers also use it. Each user is allocated a guaranteed and strictly limited amount of resources. This is called a virtual machine.
When you connect to a VPS, you use a virtual machine with a specific configuration: it has a specific number of virtual processor cores, amount of RAM, and disk space.
It means that the amount of resources you have at your disposal is limited. For example, in our hosting, you can connect to a virtual server with a maximum memory capacity of 32 GB and a maximum disk size of 1,200 GB.
With the virtual machine, you get one IPv4 and one IPv6. You can’t change these IP addresses—you can only buy additional ones.
You pay for hosting monthly. This is a pretty convenient option. You choose a plan and pay a fee every month.
But this arrangement is not very flexible. Should you want to change the VPS configuration or increase or decrease the amount of power consumed for a certain period, it’s simply not possible. You’ll have to switch to another billing plan, which will take time.
Hosting management is carried out through the control panel. In our hosting, we have ISPmanager, a convenient and intuitive tool that allows you to work with the server and websites through a simple UI.
A cloud solution is quite different from a hosting service. You don’t pay for the server, but for the infrastructure.
With hosting, you can rent space on one server, while in the cloud you can connect several virtual machines at once and join them into a single network.
As a result, you get more resources: hundreds of gigabytes of RAM and tens of thousands of gigabytes of disk space.
You can assemble each virtual machine yourself to suit your tasks.
External IP addresses can be easily changed.
Cloud services are billed per minute. You only pay for the resources that you have actually used.
Virtual machines in the cloud provide flexible and scalable infrastructure. You can increase or decrease power consumption at any time with just a few clicks.
Clouds are perfect for developing applications. You can quickly deploy test environments to test your programs, and disable unnecessary resources later.
The infrastructure is managed via an API. This is a more complex approach. To work with resources, you need certain knowledge and skills. But your options aren’t limited to those in the control panel.
Recently, the G-Core Labs Cloud got its own Terraform provider, making infrastructure management even easier.
There are also many additional services and tools in the cloud that hosting can’t offer. For example, snapshots for easily returning to the previous state of a virtual machine, and load balancing across virtual servers.
In terms of security, clouds also trump hosting. In addition to DDoS protection and firewalls, many cloud services obtain certificates confirming their compliance with the proper security requirements. For example, our cloud has a PCI DSS certificate. This means that user payment data can be processed on our servers. We guarantee its full protection.
If you have chosen hosting on a dedicated server, you won’t share its resources with anyone. The entire server is yours, which means you have more computing power at your disposal.
Apart from that, a dedicated server isn’t much different from a VPS. You also get one IPv4 and one IPv6, and you can’t change them.
Hosting management is also carried out through the control panel. The services are billed monthly.
In terms of security, you have the same tools: DDoS protection, a firewall, and SSL certificates.
If you wish, you can rent multiple servers and even aggregate links using LACP. But you won’t be able to fully manage the server network, balance the load between servers, combine them into a common project, or provide different access rights to different users. Hosting doesn’t provide such functionality.
A bare metal server is a separate physical server that you buy in a cloud.
How does it differ from hosting on a dedicated server?
Hosting is a less flexible but simpler solution. Resources are easy to manage, but there are fewer options.
The cloud is a more flexible, complex, and comprehensive solution. By choosing cloud services you not only get the server’s computing power, but a full-fledged infrastructure. You need to know how to manage it. On the other hand, it can be customized precisely for your complex project.
A hosting service is a simple, economically advantageous, and very effective solution for more or less static projects without large traffic bursts.
What type of hosting to choose depends on your resource consumption. A VPS is suitable for medium-sized projects. For large-scale, resource-intensive applications, it’s better to choose a dedicated server.
Still not sure which service you should choose? Start with a free consultation. Our experts will explain what is best for the successful implementation of your plans.