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Understand the differences between VPS vs. VPC

Both a VPS and a VPC distributes resources and hosts applications, but a VPS is, essentially, a VM used as a server, whereas a VPC is a full private cloud environment.

Virtual private servers and virtual private clouds monitor and distribute resources, but a VPS is suited for applications that maintain steady usage, whereas a VPC is better for applications with fluctuating demands.

When choosing between a VPS vs. VPC, organizations should consider the types of applications they plan to deploy. A VPS is a VM with dedicated resources organizations can use as a server. A VPC is a private cloud environment that spans multiple servers and provides more flexibility and scalability to meet specific needs.

Organizations should use a VPS if they require more control over their servers, want improved reliability or run sites with somewhat fixed usage patterns. But organizations that must accommodate fluctuating workloads and changing business requirements should consider a VPC. A VPC brings with it an entire cloud ecosystem, whereas a VPS is just another server.

What is a VPS?

A virtual private server, also known as a virtual dedicated server, is a VM hosted on a physical server in a multi-tenant environment. A VPS resides in a cloud provider's data center along with other VPSes. VPSes can't interact with each other unless they're owned by the same organization.

A VPS works similar to a physical server that organizations can configure remotely and is capable of running business applications. Organizations typically choose a VPS if they can't afford or don't have adequate space for a server.

Each VPS contains a specific OS to run organizations' applications and has dedicated resources. Hypervisor software abstracts the host's physical resources and dedicates a set amount of resources to each VPS. VPS resources are always available and aren't accessible to other VPSes on the server.

A VPS offers a number of advantages, including improved control over the OS. Organizations can also install more services and implement different types of applications on a single VPS, such as web and mail servers. A VPS also offers reliable and predictable services and promises improved security because resources aren't shared.

A VPS offers many of the same advantages as a dedicated host but without the higher price tag. Even so, a VPS is more expensive compared to a public virtual server and, sometimes, organizations require better technical expertise to run a VPS. This means IT staff must be able to complete software installations, site maintenance, software patches and security updates.

Organizations should also be wary of deploying too many VPSes on a physical host because it can harm network bandwidth and storage I/O. In addition, a VPS resides in a multi-tenant environment, which might represent too much security risk; the hypervisor prevents a VPS from sharing resources and data, but it's possible for other tenants to target the hypervisor and exploit a weakness. To ensure security, admins should only run software they trust and install appropriate security software.

Despite these challenges, a VPS can still benefit SMBs that want some of the advantages of a dedicated host without the costs. Organizations that require more control over their servers, want improved reliability or run e-commerce sites might consider a VPS.

What is a VPC?

A VPC is a logical division in a multi-tenant cloud environment that uses network technologies such as encryption, tunneling, private IP addressing and virtual LANs (VLANs) to provide an isolated cloud environment.

A VPC virtualizes compute, storage and network resources and makes them available to multiple VMs, similar to a public cloud service. But a VPC provides more granular control of the cloud environment, including jurisdiction of resources. Organizations can also run code and manage network components.

Cloud providers that offer VPC services typically use virtual networking technologies to define and secure a VPC. A cloud provider such as Amazon might use VLANs to partition a VPC or use VPNs in conjunction with dedicated subnets. Amazon VPC provides organizations with virtual networks dedicated to their accounts.

A VPC offers many of the same benefits as a public cloud but with added privacy and infrastructure controls without the complexities, costs and overhead. In addition, a VPC can act as a bridge between private and public clouds, which simplifies implementing hybrid cloud strategies. VPCs also offer improved reliability and security because they dedicate and isolate resources.

VPCs can appeal to organizations that are already committed to a public cloud model but are experiencing resource limitations. This is especially true for SMBs that require better reliability, security and control but lack the budget or resources to deploy an on-premises private cloud.

One challenge of a VPC is it's more expensive than a public cloud. VPCs are also more complex to configure, manage and monitor. Security is another concern because a VPC operates outside an organization's firewall within a multi-tenant environment, which can introduce security risks and raise compliance concerns.

Virtual private server vs. virtual private cloud

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