Cloud Server Management vs Shared – What’s the right way to follow?

You may think shared hosting’s the most popular hosting plan out there – maybe because it’s been around for a while. But Cloud Hosting / Cloud VPS has also been here since 1996. Both have three main things in common: the web hosting provider, websites, and servers. However, that’s where the similarity ends. Because when looking at speed, performance, security, pricing, uptime, support and bonuses, it’s obvious there’s plenty setting them apart. With cloud server management gaining more and more traction, let’s explore how it differs from shared server management.

What is shared server management?

Shared Hosting - Plesk

In a shared situation, a service provider will handle hosting for a number of websites on one server. This means that all their associated resources like databases, disk space and bandwidth are handled by a single box. This machine covers all the management tasks, which is where the term shared server management comes from. This type of arrangement is typical of the vast majority of web hosting service providers.

Fans of shared server management are usually attracted to its low price and decent list of features. But it may not be the best solution for websites with a lot of traffic.

What is cloud server management?

Cloud server management - Hyperscale option - Plesk

This is no longer a ‘one box solution.’ Using cloud server management, a single website can be spread across a number of synchronized servers, thanks to the flexibility of cloud computing technology. The obvious advantage here is that if there’s a problem with one, one of the other iterations can easily take its place.

Cloud server management is fast and flexible, thus making it perfectly suited to dealing with high volume traffic.

Hosting platforms used for shared and cloud hosting management

Hosting websites means a lot of routine infrastructure management and maintenance. So it certainly helps to have a user-friendly web interface to manage and monitor shared and cloud servers. Hosting platforms such as Plesk Onyx, DirectAdmin, Webmin, VirtualMin and others all promise a great deal of control. But as with any service, real-world experience and results can vary.

Plesk Onyx cloud managent platform - explaining cloud web hosting

Plesk Onyx is the most popular hosting platform among shared and cloud hosting providers, trusted by system administrators for more than 10 years. With the Plesk hosting platform, cloud server management and shared server management tasks can be completely automated. Making running a web hosting business or server-based business easier. The latest Plesk Onyx runs on Windows and Linux, managing performance and gatekeeping. And so seemlessly that you won’t even know it’s there. Plesk takes dedicated server management in its stride and offers advanced functionality to shared hosting users.

Features of cloud vs shared web hosting

Uptime     Uptime - Plesk

A lot of shared hosting providers are proud to guarantee 99.00-99.99% uptime. But this is very challenging figure to live up to. Particularly since your site could be sharing space on a server with another that experiences a big spike in traffic.

In that situation, the server slows to a crawl, shared server management becomes impossible and their downtime effectively becomes your downtime. With cloud hosting, some resources are shared, but each website has its own dedicated server. If a problem occurs with that server, its website can easily be moved to another one. Cloud server management is easy with such an arrangement.

Support     Support - Plesk

Cloud hosting wins here, thanks to its features and near limitless scalability that makes cloud server management a breeze. Expansion is always just a matter of adding more resources. On the other hand, shared hosting often comes with more limits to services than the provider will tell you. Exceed these limits and your account may be suspended, creating a nightmare for your shared server management efforts

Bonuses     Bonuses - Plesk

Shared hosting wins this one, as competition drives web hosting companies to offer all sorts of bonuses. Including domain names, free web transfers, and website builders. Unfortunately, fans of cloud server management have fewer options in this regard.

Benefits of shared web hosting vs cloud hosting

Security     Security - Plesk

With shared hosting, security is based in databases and applications, making them hard to protect from hackers. Gaining access to one shared hosting server makes every website on it vulnerable. After hacking one website, intruders usually leave a back door so they can get in again later.

With security threats and constant danger on shared hosts, you need to be proactive with shared server management. We advise you to secure their computers with well-established antivirus software like Kaspersky Internet Security or Norton Internet Security. Plus, to use strong passwords and keep your control panel password separately from files on your account. Disabling any unnecessary options on your PHP settings is also advised.

Cloud hosting architecture features four major security controls:

  • ​Deterrent controls
  • Preventative controls
  • Detective controls
  • Corrective controls.

Cloud hosting services deal with the security aspect of cloud server management very well.  Security problems such as network eavesdropping, illegal invasion, abuse of cloud services and side channel attacks all benefit from the dispersed nature of the service. Data confidentiality, data access control, and data integrity are further protected by encryption algorithms. The ability to move your website to another server in the event of difficulties is a constant lifeline.

Performance     Performance - Plesk

Shared hosting – Even with custom-built servers and SSD servers, the resources available under shared server management are limiting and impede speed. Although some companies have done well, most web hosts struggle to offer adequate resources for this popular client segment. In addition, you may have to contend with issues of constant downtimes and outages.

Cloud Hosting – Expect an ultra-fast, auto-scalable and customizable platform that makes cloud server management reassuringly effective. In instances of high traffic, the site won’t experience overload and slow down. In fact, cloud hosting is recommended for sites that experience a lot of traffic, thanks to its extra resources available on tap.

Speed     Speed - Plesk

Shared hosting – Servers are almost always full to capacity. So if one website gets a sudden surge of traffic, all the other websites experience slow speeds and terrible load times. When speeds are slow, users have to wait until the issue is resolved to resume their normal online presence.

Cloud hosting – Distributed resources offer speed that cloud hosting services once again benefit from. Cloud server management is much more effective if anything goes wrong. If a hardware issue’s detected, the ability to migrate to turns your website into a moving target. Much harder to hit!

Pricing     Pricing - Plesk

Shared hosting is always cheaper, because resources are shared, spreading the costs even more. Shared server management and hosting are available monthly, but the best prices come when you lock it in for a year or more.

Cloud hosting users will tell you that they don’t pay for services on cloud hosting when they’re not using them. Having said that, the cost will come down to how you build your infrastructure. If you have numerous apps in your cloud and don’t keep track of them, you end up paying a lot. However, if you have pre-planned and clearly mapped out objectives for your cloud server management experience, you’ll have a smaller bill.

Cloud server management vs shared server management – which makes more sense?

It should be fairly clear by now that your choice between cloud server management vs shared server management tips on the cloud server management side. Occasionally, better pricing and a few freebie bonuses aren’t enough to dislodge cloud-based services as your web host of choice.

The speed, reliability, security, support and uptime all point towards a service that you won’t lose sleep over. Your website will be easier to maintain and harder for hackers to infiltrate. Catastrophic failures are much less likely to occur and dispersed resources give you almost infinite opportunities for expansion.


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