Cloud vs. VPS vs. Shared Hosting – Part 1

A lot of startups and SMBs need access to very basic server resources to host their website. They don’t require cloud based REST APIs, automatic scaling or the ability to run their application as part of a high-performance compute cluster. These are your traditional content providers that sell products in on-line shops, host blogs with inline adverts and generally ensure an online presence exists for their bricks’n’mortar business.

So I find it surprising when I see such traditional content providers move their online presence to the cloud. This fact, more than anything, shows that the marketing of cloud solutions can cloud (excuse the pun) the decision making of those responsible for your company’s infrastructure.

Outsourced solutions for server hosting have existed for many years. And while they may not be in fashion, they are likely to service your business just as well, and at a lower cost than the cloud:

  • Virtual Private Servers (VPS): If you want direct RDP or SSH access to a dedicated server, then take a look at VPS. A VPS is dedicated virtual machines where you get full console access to install tools, manage services and tweak the system to your needs.
  • Shared Hosting: If you don’t require any console access to fine-tune your application and OS, then shared hosting is an even cheaper solution. A shared host is a service that runs your application in a dedicated partition, and provides a simple interface (eg. cPanel) to manipulate some of the system settings.

You will find that VPS and Shared Hosting are cheaper and easier to manage than anything offered by the key cloud providers today. If you are running a basic website then cloud is likely not for you.

Next article: When is cloud suitable for a basic website?

By Simon Ellis

Simon is the owner of LabSlice, a new startup that allows companies to distribute Virtual Demos using the cloud.

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