cPanel Managed VPS vs Cloud Server Hosting

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As your business expands, the need to scale your web hosting becomes increasingly evident. Two prominent options may stand out to you: cPanel Managed VPS and Cloud Server Hosting. Each offers unique features and benefits tailored to different needs and preferences. Understanding the differences between these two solutions is important for anyone looking to start their online journey or upgrade their current hosting.

Managed cPanel VPS hosting provides users with a pre-configured server environment, including the cPanel control panel for easier management and support services from the hosting provider, whereas unmanaged VPS hosting requires users to set up and manage the server independently, offering greater flexibility and control but requiring technical expertise for server administration.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walkthrough the nuances of Managed VPS with cPanel and Cloud Server Hosting, examining their advantages, use cases, and key considerations to help you make an informed decision that aligns with your website’s requirements. Whether you’re a seasoned webmaster or new to web hosting, we hope this guide will provide you with valuable insights to steer you towards the best hosting solution for your online endeavors.

Differences between Managed VPS with cPanel and Cloud Servers

Managed VPS Hosting with cPanel

The inclusion of cPanel and WHM makes managed VPS hosting the next logical step for shared hosting customers who need more server disk space and database resources.

Managed cPanel VPS hosting provides a pre-configured environment with cPanel. cPanel is a graphical user interface (GUI) for server management. Unlike unmanaged hosting, where you start with a bare Linux cloud server, a managed cPanel VPS comes equipped with cPanel installed. With managed cPanel VPS hosting, you can conveniently manage your server settings, domains, emails, and more through the intuitive cPanel interface. This streamlines your hosting experience.

The most notable added feature when upgrading from Shared Hosting to managed VPS hosting is root access (administrator rights). With this great power, comes great responsibility for your server performance, cPanel customization, and cybersecurity posture. That includes server backups.

What’s Included with A Managed cPanel VPS?

  • Pre-installed cPanel – Enjoy the convenience of having cPanel, a powerful graphical user interface (GUI), pre-installed on your VPS for effortless server management.
  • Expert Technical Support – Benefit from round-the-clock support from experienced technicians who can assist with any server-related issues or questions.
  • Automated Updates – Ensure your server stays up-to-date with automatic software updates, including security patches and feature enhancements, provided by cPanel.
  • Enhanced Security – Take advantage of cPanel’s built-in security features, such as firewall configurations, SSL certificate management, and malware detection, to safeguard your VPS and data.
  • Resource Management – Utilize cPanel’s intuitive interface to easily monitor and allocate server resources, including CPU, memory, and disk space, to optimize performance and scalability.
  • Application Installation – Simplify the deployment of web applications, databases, and content management systems (CMS) with cPanel’s one-click installation tools, enabling quick setup and configuration.

Managed VPS with cPanel Pricing

  • Managed VPS Hosting starts at ~$14.99/monthly

Who Should Use Managed VPS with cPanel

  • Businesses experiencing consistent growth and requiring a reliable hosting solution to accommodate increasing website traffic.
  • Website owners seeking greater control over their hosting environment, including the ability to easily install and manage software via cPanel.
  • Organizations prioritizing security and performance, as managed VPS with cPanel offers dedicated resources and robust security measures to safeguard their online presence.

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VPS Hosting Plans

Cloud Server Hosting

Also known as unmanaged, or self-managed server hosting, a Linux cloud server has no cPanel or other GUI pre-installed for managing the server. Starting off, everything has to be done through the command-line interface (CLI) with SSH access or file transfer protocol (FTP). This allows you to craft your own solution so you can develop and administer the environment exactly how you want.

What’s Included With Cloud Server Hosting?

  • SSH Key Management Interface – Helps you gain and manage access to your server.
  • DNS Management – Helps you set up and manage your domains.
  • Flush Firewall Rules – Resets your firewall (in case you accidentally lose access to your VPS).
  • Re-OS Tool – Re-image your VPS to its freshly provisioned state.
  • Increased Snapshot Functionality – Captures full server images of your VPS (including running processes) to allow you to fall back to a stable working state.
  • Scheduled Snapshots – Captures a snapshot on a regular basis so you always have a version to which you can roll back.

What Are You Responsible For?

Server OS updates, backups, and other server management tasks are entirely your responsibility. You’re creating your web hosting solution from scratch on a bare server OS. You have complete control over applications installed. But make sure it doesn’t exceed the resource allotment for your hosting subscription.

Operating System Options

The self-managed VPS product runs on the Centos 8 operating system (OS). This configuration comes complete with a pre-configured firewall. But, you can re-OS your Linux cloud server whenever you want between the three most popular Linux server distros:

  • CentOS – the open-source community version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), the required OS for cPanel.
  • Debian – one of the oldest and most stable Linux distros, known for prioritizing security and code minimalism.
  • Ubuntu – the most popular derivative of Debian, known for its novice-friendly installation process and having dozens of its own spin-off distros.

Cloud Server Pricing

  • Cloud Server plans range from ~$5-$160/monthly

Who Should Use a Cloud Server?

  • Expert Linux command-line interface (CLI) users who want server resources dedicated solely to certain applications instead of sharing with cPanel services.
  • Developers with low resource requirements who are experienced enough to manage their LAMP/LEMP Stack, install cPanel, or other server control panels such as Vesta Control Panel, Webmin, or Control Web Panel (CWP).
  • System administrators who need a command and control (C2) node for programs such as Ansible and Kubernetes.

When moving to a Linux cloud server, you are responsible for any data migration and server configuration. Technical assistance can be purchased via managed hosting.

Understanding VPS Terminology

While reading this article, you probably find yourself struggling to keep track of all of the different terms used to describe VPS hosting services. We will outline the various terms below and briefly describe what each term means. That way, when you’re ready to purchase the right hosting plan you’ll know what to look for. 

  • Managed VPS – This umbrella term is broadly used to describe any VPS hosting service that is managed by one or more system administrators. Managed VPS hosting can include services such as 24/7 monitoring, load balancing, backup management, and more.
  • Fully-Managed VPS – This term is sometimes used to describe more comprehensive managed VPS hosting services, where even more of the back-end resources are managed by the VPS provider. This can include database and file structure management.  Fully-managed VPS hosting plans usually provide an easy-to-use browser-based interface for front-end web development and management. These kinds of hosting plans give you the tools you need to run a website, but handle all of the behind-the-scenes stuff for you. 
  • cPanel Managed VPS – This term is sometimes used to describe a form of managed VPS hosting that uses cPanel. cPanel is a proprietary browser-based control panel application that enables users to interact with their servers. For the most part, cPanel-based VPS hosting platforms function as a kind of middle-ground between managed and unmanaged VPS hosting solutions. While you’ll still need to manage many tasks within WHM, the helpful interface makes it easy to manage your server resources and user accounts.
  • Unmanaged VPS – This term is broadly used to describe any form of VPS hosting that is not actively managed by one or more system administrators. As such, owners of unmanaged VPS hosting plans will be expected to manage their own server and everything that comes with it. 
  • Self-Managed VPS – This term is sometimes used to refer to VPS hosting platforms that are managed entirely by the customer, or end-user. Self-Managed VPS hosting usually involves setting up security and network configurations, installing software, and performing first-time setups. In addition, end-users are responsible for monitoring the server for load imbalances and security concerns.
  • Cloud VPS – This umbrella term is used to describe hosting services that specialize in scalability, remote connectivity, and automation. Broadly speaking, both unmanaged and managed VPS hosting can potentially be considered cloud hosting. Cloud servers are usually managed by the cloud provider and users are given access to those highly-managed resources.

Experience full control over your server environment and deploy the best operating and management systems that fit your needs with our reliable Cloud VPS Hosting!

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VPS vs Cloud Server – A Closer Look

VPS vs Cloud Server Scalability

Both models are scalable. We have multiple tiers of both managed and self-managed server hosting plans, each with different limits on disk space. Either can be configured with load balancing solutions such as Apache Load Balancer or HAProxy. You don’t need to modify any settings when a hosting provider promotes your hosting plan to a higher tier.

VPS vs Cloud Server Performance

Performance is where your specific needs come into play. Here’s a short list of factors that affect your website and server performance:

  • What web apps and sites you use
    • One WordPress site with a few plugins
    • A Drupal site integrated with Matomo analytics for a startup crew
    • A Dolibarr website, customer relationship manager (CRM), project management, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software suite for a small business
  • Average internet speed of your target geographic market
  • How much traffic you receive and expected activity
    • Visitors reading your blog
    • Potential customers for online shopping
    • Students using games or an interactive learning management system (LMS)
  • Your industry and how enticing a target your data is for cyber attackers
    • eCommerce sites are seen as goldmines for personal identifiable information (PII)
    • Sites built to offer software downloads are prime targets for man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks, rerouting download requests to malicious sites 
  • Your web hosting provider’s IT infrastructure
  • Your physical server location and hardware (e.g. drive types)

Deciding on a Server Package

The best way to decide which server package is best for you is to upload your entire server environment to a cPanel server and a bare-bones cloud server, then compare the performance metrics. But that requires a lot of time — and that is simplifying the process.

Managed VPS Hosting is already optimized to run that server management application along with everything already installed before you login for the first time. To keep up with current network speed standards, caching software such as NGINX and PHP-FPM are either installed or available for quick installation with optimal settings for that provider’s infrastructure. For example, we offer our proprietary UltraStack caching system.

This equates to a lot of time saved unless you don’t need any of it in the first place. Databases and PHP processes eat a lot of server resources. But if you’re not using them, you have to hope you can disable those services. Sometimes, you can’t because they’re part of core processes.

With cloud server hosting you have to install any software manually or from that distro’s package manager. Again, this is great for someone who knows what they need and how to tweak it to their advantage.

VPS vs Cloud Server Security

Similar to performance, tightening your cyber attack surface consists of things you can’t control and your specific use case. Neither is very secure by default but a managed server will have security functions readily available.

Managed VPS hosting is easier to secure for beginners because you can secure cPanel well from the web browser. And remember, a managed VPS usually includes free technical support. We do VPS security scans and quarantining upon request.

Cloud Server Hosting requires you to configure your own solutions for:

  • Firewall
  • Antivirus (AV) scanning
  • Denial-of-service (DDoS) protection
  • Security information and event management (SIEM) 

You have to figure out the best cybersecurity practices for securing the Linux OS. Single-file snapshots and backups are reactive, not proactive, and might be useless if created after a cyber intrusion was realized. So, skimping on server hardening is not a good idea.

For further information, we recommend our full VPS Security guide to help protect your server environment.

VPS vs Cloud Server Pricing

Our cPanel VPSs start at around $20 a month and we have a money-back guarantee on cPanel-Managed VPS hosting. If your hosting plan doesn’t suit your needs, simply request a refund. We’d appreciate a “why” to help us improve our services, though.

Our Linux Cloud Servers start at around $5 when charged monthly, no contract required. Not sure if you’re ready for a base Linux OS? Maybe install Linux in Virtualbox on your PC and see how that works out for you upgrading to a cloud server. It is virtually the same experience. 

If you’re still not sure which option between a cPanel VPS vs Cloud VPS will best meet your needs, be sure to contact our expert Sales team. What are your requirements? What kind of web application(s) are you building? We can help you get a hosting package that fits your budget and gives you all the technology you’ll need.

How to Choose Between Managed VPS with cPanel and Cloud Server Hosting?

One helpful way to decide between managed and unmanaged VPS hosting is by determining your own level of web hosting experience. 

Are you familiar with first-time server setups? Do you know your way around a command-line? If so, you may find that unmanaged hosting is an affordable way to host your websites. With an unmanaged VPS, you can build your own custom-tailored server environment and manage it with your preferred toolsets. 

Alternatively, you may prefer a more hands-off approach to VPS hosting, where all of the server setup and maintenance is handled by the hosting provider. With managed VPS hosting, you can leave the complex system administration to the experts and focus on building your online presence.

Generally speaking, a managed VPS is likely a better solution for beginners and smaller organizations, while an unmanaged VPS is better suited for an experienced team of system administrators and website developers. 

Browser-Based Control PanelsChoice of Operating SystemRequires Self-Setup24/7 Professional Monitoring
cPanel ManagedYesYes
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