Blog / The Cloud and the VPS: the differences

The Cloud and the VPS: the differences

by SW Team

CapturaWe keep talking about projects and the implementation of them. What to choose? A hosting, a server, VPS or Cloud? There are multiple possibilities.

In this post we will define Cloud and VPS, we will try to discern their differences and we will see again the equation: more criticity means more investment.


The service known as Cloud doesn’t stop being a virtual machine that’s used basically as a physical server but for a exclusive use. For it to be a virtual machine means that it uses virtualization. This mechanism divides the server in different virtual machines for them to work as physical servers.

Why ‘Cloud’? It’s called ‘cloud’ because it is a virtual machine that abstracts the physical hardware. Elements such as the network or storage are virtualized, i.e, they are not located in a particular location: if it fails, the Cloud will search for another hardware node or will keep operating.

The Cloud’s scalability is the most valuable element of this kind of service which allows to resize the hardware immediately. Also, for being a ‘infrastructure as a service’ or IaaS, it can be managed like a real server.


A Virtual Private Server, is a partition method or a virtual environment creation of a physical server in others servers and allows these new servers to operate like one single machine/server. Each VPS has its own software: operatively is like a dedicated server, the difference is that the hardware is shared. The segmentation of VPS is done by virtualization. The scalability in the VPS is possible, but just in a limited way.

The differences

-          A Cloud server is tolerant to hardware failures: this service infrastructure (abstracting the hardware) allows it to move to different nodes while the VPS depends on the physical server where it belongs

-          Cloud servers work with Xen or KVM technology for the virtualization. This mechanism allows the Cloud imitates to the perfection the physical servers behavior. It resembles so much that it can assign resources like processors or RAM memory. The VPS, has been assigned with resources but it is subjected to the physical server resources where it belongs.

-          Failure's interruption: when it happens, the Cloud server can continue operating with the ‘swap’ mechanism, while the VPS has to ‘steal’ resources from its machine neighbors or maybe stop operating.

-          While the VPS usually doesn’t allows different kind of types of administration (console access, for example), the Cloud server it’s usually offered with different kinds of management, from 0 to the maximum.

-          The price: the VPS is usually cheaper than the Cloud servers

Now, from the virtualization mechanism where the ‘ virtual environments’ or virtual machines are created, we can find the Cloud server, in which it can be managed all: the infrastructure. And also, failure-proof. The VPS, a virtual machine, allows to manage services like a own server but in a limited kind of way and not failure-proof.

What can we choose? That was our question. We believe in the professionalism of the projects and the importance of invest in what it is more critical.

With any doubt, in SW Hosting we’ve bet for the infrastructure as a service for our customers, failure-proof, scalable and managed in different ways, and where price and professionalism go hand in hand according to the needs of the project.