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Cloud Containers or VPS? Here's how to choose

/ Cloud Containers
When you need more than shared web hosting, should you Containerise or go virtual in another way?

If you’re looking for something more than shared web hosting, most providers would tell you that the next step is a virtual private server, or VPS. But more SiteHost customers opt for our Cloud Containers, which might be less familiar but are usually easier to work with.

How similar are Cloud Containers and VPS?

Virtual Private Servers (VPS) and Cloud Containers both use virtualisation technology to partition servers and allocate hardware resources on cloud platforms.

However, a VPS is more like renting an unfurnished house where you have to set up everything yourself, from interior design layout to the pieces of furniture that will come with it. Having Cloud Containers, on the other hand, is like renting an apartment where you get to pick all the furniture and decorations, and find them in place on move-in day.

Why Cloud Containers?

The better question is: why wouldn’t you go with Cloud Containers? After all, it gives many developers the flexibility they need to run different websites with less work on the technical side.

And aside from this, it boasts other benefits:

  • Greater reliability and scalability. Containers on a single Cloud Container server can share resources efficiently, which is a big step towards lower downtime and glitches. You can also scale up to a larger Cloud Container server easily, in just minutes, and with no worries on how your expansion will affect your sites’ performance.

  • Less maintenance to worry about. Cloud Containers put developers in control of the server but with less technical complexity. They’re easy to use and we maintain the servers underneath, which gives you even less to worry about. And if you add Managed Hosting, we look after the maintenance of your container images, among other things, around the clock. In comparison, VPSs are completely unmanaged by default.

  • Compatibility. Easily run different sites, frameworks and versions on the same server. For instance, one container can run a website on Apache + PHP 5.6 while another container can run Nginx + PHP 8 on the same server. This is not easily done on VPSs.

  • Multi-location server infrastructure. Cloud Containers can be spun up in locations all around the world. At SiteHost, we run our own datacentre in Auckland and our own gear in Sydney. We’re also serving Cloud Containers out of Tokyo, Singapore, London and California thanks to Linode datacentres. This ensures your servers are close to your customers and let them experience your website at its best.

  • More default security features. Cloud Container plans already include automatic backups (which are a paid extra on VPS plans) and SSL (on a VPS, you have to install your own).

At SiteHost, our Cloud Container platform comes with pre-built containers that are designed to make it easy to run your websites and applications. Additionally, we are proactive in improving the Cloud Container platform so you can develop things more quickly and easily.

Just recently, we released Container Cloning, which allows you to easily create a copy of an existing container or synchronise the data between two containers without worrying about the technical work or disruptions to your live sites.

Why VPS?

With a VPS you get some of the benefits of shared hosting mixed with some of the advantages of a Dedicated Server. Here, you still have physical “server-mates” but there are resources allocated only to your virtual server.

One thing you must take note of is if you’re looking for hosting for your Windows environment, VPS is for you. Cloud Containers cannot run Windows.

The main benefits with VPS are:

  • Your choice of Linux Distro or Windows Server version. You have the flexibility to choose the OS that works for you. Multiple versions of Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS and Windows Server are available. If you need something more specialised, we can likely accommodate that as well.

  • Flexibility. VPS offers full control over the configuration of your server. So if you have very specific needs and want to continually tinker under the hood, then a VPS may be the option for you. Needless to say, you need to be familiar with server administration and management.

  • Less cost and lower resource utilisation. VPS is much more affordable than Dedicated Servers or other fully-customisable options. Depending on your configuration you can run a less resource-hungry environment than Cloud Containers, leaving more resources for everything else.

  • It allows root access and administrator access. Root access and administrator access function as authorisation to access any function or resource on your server. The only difference is they apply to Linux and Windows, respectively. This is one of the most salient features of VPS hosting, giving you greater control over the entire server environment. With Cloud Containers there is no root-level access. Just note that if you opt for root access for VPS, then Managed Hosting Services become unavailable to you. So it’s either you add management or manage it yourself.

Either way, why SiteHost?

At SiteHost, whether you go for a VPS or Cloud Containers, we take hardware very seriously. Your websites will run on modern CPUs and NVMe storage. They also run faster for your kiwi customers because our data centres are right here in New Zealand.

The dedication of our expert engineers is also what makes SiteHost a preferred hosting provider. Our engineers are available 24/7/365 and we measure our response time in minutes, not hours (or days).

Customers on every single hosting option we offer love being on modern hardware and getting great expert support from a local New Zealand company. Sign up with us today and see why SiteHost is a trusted leader in the industry.