CS or VPS—What's the Difference?

Cloud Server (CS) and Virtual Private Server (VPS) are often used interchangeably. While similar and equivalent in some ways, the main difference is the virtualization technique and the management of the underlying operating systems used in each.

CS Technology

CS environments use enterprise-level virtualization techniques, virtual machines or “guests” can have the independent operating system of their choice, providing more control and flexibility and greater levels of reliability and performance.

An increasing number of organizations require more stable and secure business hosting environments, making independent and fully isolated operating systems essential. CS environments are geared towards more robust, resource-intensive applications and provide users with options for high-availability, load balancing and disaster recovery.

  • Multiple independent OS's for each VM
  • Completely separate VM for each user
  • No sharing of physical resources (CPU, memory, hard drive), all resources are physically allocated to VMs, not allowing VMs to “burst” resources
  • Much higher guaranteed hardware performance (CPU, memory, hard drive)
  • Recommended for more robust, resource intensive applications
  • More reliable and secure, while providing users with more control

VPS Technology

VPS environments on the other hand are typically set up with all the virtual machines on a physical server sharing a single instance of the same operating system. This limits users' control over their virtual environment settings.

Hostway's enterprise-class CS solutions are based on Microsoft's latest virtualization technology and offer premium features. Our CS offerings include such additions as managed backups and geographic diversity, high-availability servers with failover and redundancy, and virtual private clouds.

  • One single operating system (OS) environment exists on a host server that is shared by all virtual OS instances
  • Virtual Machines (VMs) are created as isolated environments
  • Only software settings are independent
  • Changes to hardware settings (such as memory or network details) or OS versions (through patches or updates) is not allowed
  • Physical resources are shared (CPU, memory, hard drive), allowing VMs to “burst” resources (to use more resources during periods of high loads than allotted)
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