Cloud Hosting Comparison
During the last years I checked many Cloud Hosting companies and tried a view of them. This cloud hosting comparison is based on my own experience and I hope it will help you to decide which company is the right for you.
There are many companies using the term “cloud hosting” for marketing, but there is more. One of the main advantage of cloud hosting is that the server hardware risk is much lower than for common VPS hosting accounts. Hosting in the cloud stands for scalability, redundancy and flexibility.
Cloud hosting companies
In this article I compare those companies I’ve tried in the past or where I’m buying services at the moment:
I used their services a first time late in 2009 and my first experience wasn’t so good. VPS.NET becomes very huge in a short time and their cloud had some trouble several times. They changed a lot recently and since a view weeks I got a new server and anything looks much better now.
Pros – Create servers in real time. If you buy multiple server nodes, the price is lower for each additional node (great if you need to buy more than one server). Several server add-ons like CloudLinux, dotDefender or Hostbill (you need to pay for some of them, others are free). The offer a lot of server images which you install on your VPS. The have multiple data-center locations: United states, Europe and Asia. CDN hosting is also available, you need buy one or more TB of bandwidth in upfront. They have fast and secure server management panel, including the features “Auto Scaling” (use more nodes if your server has more traffic than normal) and “Schedule bursts” (use extra nodes for a specific time frame).
Cons – They offer a lot features, but most of them are not included in the price you’ve paid for your server node(s). Only support via e-mail (ticket system) is available. You need a credit card to open an account (after approval you can pay your invoices using Paypal).
Price for a server with 1128MB of RAM: $54.00 (incl. 3TB of traffic)
I’m a Rackspace customer for almost a year now and I like their Cloud a lot. They offer a great customer service and I’ve never experienced any problems until now.
Pros – Create servers in real time, install the most common Linux server images, free server snapshots (including a clone function), CDN hosting available (you have to pay for the bandwidth and storage), Load balancing available (additional costs). They offer great support via chat, phone and email. Bonus: Get a free Sendgrid SMTP account which is good for 40K of mail messages a month.
Cons – You need two accounts if you need to use their services in UK and USA. They don’t offer custom plans, if you need more RAM for a single server, you need to upgrade to a bigger plan. Traffic costs are not included. Payments only via Credit-card.
Price for a server with 1024MB of RAM: $43.80 (excl. traffic)
XLS is a cloud hosting provider in the Netherlands and I host most of my websites with them. If you’re looking for European based hosting you should try them for sure. They offer many unique features like OpenApp or OpenPanel, both are open source projects and the main developer is XLS too.
Pros – Specialists in virtualization (one of the first cloud hosting providers in Europe), they offer flexible hosting plans (buy only the memory and web space you need), many server images you can choose from , free load balancing between two data-centers connected by redundant fiber power, free server monitoring, free DNS cluster (incl. glue records). Great support desk, contact them by phone or e-mail.
Cons – Current website is only in dutch language (English language version will be available soon) available, there is no management panel for the server creation (and/or upgrades/downgrades), you need to pay for a monthly contract.
Price for a server with 1024MB of RAM: ~$28.00 (incl. 500GB of traffic)
Summary / conclusion
You see that all offers are very different in features and in pricing. You should check the price for resources and features you really need and decide than. XLS seems to be the service with the lowest price, but you can’t change your plan outside their office hours (note, they are located in Europe). VPS.NET has a lot of features the price becomes lower if you buy multiple nodes. If you like to use these great add-ons offered by VPS.NET, you need a bigger budget. Rackspace offers great plans, but these plans are not so flexible.
All listed companies offering (paid) managed services.
XLS Hosting coupon: Enter WEBDEVBLOG-XLS-ACTIE during sign-on and get the first month of hosting for free.