What is the difference between a cloud, VPS and dedicated server?

A dedicated server is a single physical server with fixed resources, where all the resources on the server are exclusively for you. Whilst this has obvious benefits, in many use cases a dedicated server will exceed your resource requirements and you will find that you are paying for resources that you simply don't need. Additionally, if you do need to upgrade the resources on your dedicated servers, it can often require downtime while the hardware is changed.

Simplified, a VPS is a virtual server hosted on a powerful dedicated server, securely seperated using hardware virtualisation from other running virtual machines on the same physical server. Whereas it is common for the hardware on a physical server to sit idle 99% of the time, running multiple virtual machines atop a dedicated server allows us to realise the potential of those previously unused server resources. This approach means you get the security and flexibility of a dedicated server at a much reduced cost to you, whilst also allowing you to upgrade the server resources in little more than the time it takes to restart the virtual machine.

A cloud server uses the same virtualisation technology as VPS, but utilises a cluster of dedicated servers rather than just one. This means cloud servers can recover from hardware failure in seconds, simply by moving the virtual machines to a healthy server in the cluster and with no human intervention required.

The underlying architecture used by cloud servers contains no single point of failure, so cloud servers are usually the best choice for your mission critical applications.

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