Before you mark this duplicate I read all the suggestions an none answer my question.

I am being told something by a hosting provider, however what they are telling me is contradictory to what I am seeing online, this information is coming from the CEO of the company so I do not want to call him out unless I make sure I know what Im talking about.

Question: What do Virtual Private Server vs Dedicated Cloud run on?

This is what im being told/sold

VPS average cost is about ~$80/mo 2 CPU, 4 GB RAM, 60 GB Disk

Dedicated Cloud cost ~$350 for the same specs, that includes the server a Virtual Firewall, CPU Burstability and some other bells and whistles.

What im being told from the potential new hosting provider:

VPS is a single machine that usually has windows installed on it, the windows machine is the host which provides you the VPS (guests), an application installed on the box is what separates the different guests, all the resources for that 1 machine are shared, noisy neighbor is a big problem. If someone were to gain access to the windows host they would have access to every guest. Also any other guest could gain access to your guest, I am assuming some skill would have to be involved.

Real world description big room with a curtain separating customers

Dedicated Cloud is a cluster of servers using VMWare as the host application, you server could be on any one of the servers in the cluster and if a server goes down you will be vmotioned to a new one, DRS, QOS. Resources are not shared and noisy neighbor is not an issue. Storage is 3 tiered iSCSI appliance

Real world description a hotel, anyone who whats in has to get past the front desk, anyone who has a room can only access their room and has no way of knowing there are other rooms in the hotel.

I run a couple VMWare servers myself, not clustered just single however each guest is in fact sharing the resources from the pool of resources available.

I understand you get what you pay for, and the Dedicated Cloud does in fact seem more robust than their description of VPS,

Are they down playing VPS?

On the flip side the company where my application is currently hosted is telling me there is no difference between VPS and Dedicated Cloud some hosting providers like to put a fancier name on VPS. After giving their sales the run down of what the other hosting provider told me they said they are really trying to sell me a lot of fluff. However they will not really give me any good details on how their VPS runs and its either VPS or Dedicated server which is about ~$500 depending.

My application is fairly simple, runs on php been on a shared server for years, privately used. The reason for the move is I made some big updates to the application and have noticed some sluggishness also there are some custom changes to PHP and MySQL I want to make that shared hosting will not allow.

Sorry for the wall of text just looking for a straight forward answer.

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    I believe this language and the actual answer will be vendor specific. On AWS you can pay $55/month for a t2.small with these specs with 20% of a CPU ( calculator.s3.amazonaws.com/…) or $100/month for dedicated CPU ( calculator.s3.amazonaws.com/… )
    – Tim
    Jan 5, 2017 at 20:03
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    I looked into AWS, Google, and AZURE, all were good prices however I liked the idea on little maintenance with both providers, they do all the patching, monitoring, backups, recovery, etc. The big 3 offer the same thing but you had to pay extra and that made the cost triple. Jan 5, 2017 at 20:13
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    True with AWS you have to do more. Tends to be simple enough.
    – Tim
    Jan 5, 2017 at 20:31
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    If you have been on shared hosting for so long, means your application is not really intensive. Even a $5/month digital ocean VPS may already serve your needs. They even have all the tutorials you need just to set up a wamp server and all the basic firewalls. Spin up a server, give it a try then you know, do you really need to pay $50 for all those things you don't need, every month? You will see a lot of performance improvement vs your current $10-20 shared hosting. Jan 7, 2017 at 13:06

3 Answers 3


If we are talking about hosting companies selling only Linux VPS, then in most cases they use OpenVZ/Virtuozzo for virtualization, which is not providing virtual machines but virtual containers, inside your VPS you won't have access to kernel options, as it shares kernel with host, and is more vulnerable to disruptions from other containers.

VPS can also be a standalone Xen/VMware/Hyper-V/KVM host if they are also selling Windows and not just Linux VPS, and depending on host company they can be using just one virtualization software, and they could be using multiple different ones.

Cloud VPS, or Dedicated Cloud, will usually be VMware or Xen hypervisors joined in a cluster, and connected to a shared storage, sharing connections to same SAN.

Difference between VPS, and Cloud machine is usually that VPS is a container/VM running on a single host, where host is both a hypervisor, and storage. Cloud machine will run on several hypervisors, which are all connected to a same storage, and VM can be moved between hypervisors for better load balancing, and less downtime in case or hardware issue, and maintenance.

Both VPS, and Cloud machines can have issues with running on hypervisors that are overselled, and where total number of resources assigned to all VMs is bigger then the actual resource pool.

Each hosting company can have its own definition of what they call VPS, and what they call Cloud machine.

If your current VPS is linux machine, you can check if it is OpenVZ/Virtuozzo or some other virtualization software by installing virt-what package, which is in most stanard repos, and running virt-what command in shell.



The statement that VMware gives you perfect isolation is not true at all. KVM does a better job, however isolation is about resources not about the hypervisor they use.

If you share the same physical disk between two VMs that hosts disk intensive applications you will have performance problems. If you share the same memory bank between two VMs you will have contention. If you share the same network adapter you will have contention.

The difference between good and bad providers is more like that. Not which virtualization software they use.

It is like then difference from a hostel to an apartment building. The first several rooms share the bathroom and the kitchen. The second every room has their own.


What do Virtual Private Server vs Dedicated Cloud run on?

How long is a piece of string?


Honestly, though, both of those terms are marketing terms that are not easily definable. To get a true understanding of what a provider means when they use either of those terms, one needs to dig into the technical details. The view you're getting from your hosting provider is their own view into things, which does not in any meaningful way translate to other providers.

In a very broad swath, here's how I'd define them, based off of my experience with many different providers:

VPS: a virtual machine, (usually) running on shared hardware, that you have full administrative access to.

Dedicated Cloud: a set of physical hosts, dedicated for a single customer's use, installed and configured with some type of virtualization platform, be it Hyper-V, ESXi, KVM, Xen, Openstack, etc.

Beyond the above (admittedly broad) definitions, do not make any assumptions about what functionality any solution provides or does not provided based on the marketing name of the product alone. You must dig into the actual technical details in order to gain an understanding, and for some things even that isn't enough - you may need to actually gain real hands-on experience with a product to be able to truly evaluate it.

I must emphasize this - do not place any weight on what your hosting provider recommends. They have their own agenda, which doesn't necessarily align with your best interests. If you are not confident digging into this on your own, I'd very much suggest that you hire someone for a short contract. This person can help you identify your requirements and then in a truly vendor-agnostic way, converge on a vendor and solution that best satisfies your requirements.

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    One other point of interest, the Dedicated Cloud provider is also making me sign a 1 year contract, which kind of makes me a little skeptical. My current provider will only charge me for the hours used if I decide to go with their VPS. The Dedicated Cloud for the money seems like a good deal but IDK, thanks for your answer, if nothing better comes in i mark it. Jan 5, 2017 at 19:48
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    I'd be very careful about signing any type of contract before actually getting your hands on the service to see how it works for your use case. You're currently using a shared hosting service, which basically means zero maintenance for you. Moving to a VPS alone would be a significant increase in required maintenance tasks, let alone a fleet of "dedicated cloud" instances, which will be much more complicated for you. Don't let your provider's marketing and sales droids win you over before doing your due diligence on this. You may very well be signing up for a lot more work than you want.
    – EEAA
    Jan 5, 2017 at 19:51

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