I’ve never really thought about it, but I suppose I have some slightly old school tendencies when it comes to my web development practices. I consciously try not to become stale by immersing myself in new technologies and trying out the latest trends when I can, but somethings just seem to slip through.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting was one of those things. At the beginning of my career a Dedicated server or a VPS was usually the most favourable and flexible hosting option in many situations. You would have to do some management yourself, but once that’s in order you are left with a great asset whose every resource is geared toward hosting websites.
My server if offline, help!
My trusty VPS, running fast and free, developed a hardware issue. This unknown issue caused the entire server to freeze and to stop serving the hosted websites. I hit the restart server button to hopefully get things running again, but matters only got worse. The restart failed and the server was effectively “off at the switch” for the better part of 2 hours and unable to boot back up.
In addition to this, my server company reacted super slowly. I would have cut a deal with the devil to get my client’s websites back online, but no solution came forth quickly.
The true cause of the issue never came to light, but the architecture of VPS hosting meant that this type of problem was always a future possibility, because of the direct dependency to hardware. With this thought in mind, let’s get back to the alternatives mentioned above for a solution.
Cloud hosting subtracts the hardware dependency
Cloud Hosting offers a hosting solution that is based on resource rather than fixed hardware. In this case your environment is normally a “virtual machine” that relies on a network of physical servers, rather than just a slice of a single server. Further more, this usually means that all your websites are effectively independent of each other and won’t all go down together in the event of an issue.
Managed Cloud Hosting is the next step up. We still get the same dedicated resources, but this time the hosting company is fully responsible for the operating system setup too. Now both hardware and software have been abstracted from our risk.
This does normally mean you’ll be managing your websites through a control panel type software like Plesk or maybe something bespoke. So, in this sense some might feel restricted. But, if it can work with your process then you’re effectively de-stressing your hosting service and that ain’t no bad thing!
With services like this available, it does make you wonder why VPS is even still a thing?