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What's the difference between a container server and a Linux cloud server?

Johannesburg, 20 Mar 2024
There are many paths ahead.
There are many paths ahead.

You look up to the pale blue sky. The infinite shapes the clouds may take represent the limitless possibilities of your digital project. Suddenly, a signpost appears: "Cloud server". You are about to order, but then you see another sign: "Container server". Now, you find yourself at a crossroads, wondering which path will lead your project to glory. What exactly is a cloud server? Could a container server carry me across this uncharted domain? Why does every company seem to have a different name for these servers? The many paths ahead seem as endless as the server options themselves! Fear not, intrepid explorer, for we shall be your guiding star on this server-selection odyssey.

The crux of the matter lies in the technology that propels these environments. Understanding that a VPS is, by its very nature, a virtualised environment, we delve into the differentiating factors of how these servers operate.

Let us first consider the ever-so-popular, stereotypical cumulus cloud: the KVM Cloud Linux server. Often simply called a cloud server, KVM server, Linux server or some variation thereof. More likely than not, dear traveller, it's the solution you are looking for. Why, you ask? It provides full virtualisation, booting its own kernel and allowing a more robust experience. Thus, a cloud server (KVM) offers a higher level of isolation. Why should you order a KVM server? For example, cPanel, the darling of hosting environments, dances harmoniously with this product. Windows servers, too, join the party exclusively on KVM servers. Some of the varied flavours of Linux perform best on Cloud Linux. With KVM virtualisation bringing the OS closer to the kernel, you're bestowed with more operating system variety, dedicated resources, heightened security and an overall robust experience.

But what of our container servers? What use does the wispy, faint cirrus cloud reveal? Imagine a lightweight application or multiple, each with independent functions. Here, micro-services architecture and resource efficiency take centre stage. They encapsulate applications along with their dependencies, sharing the same kernel, allowing easy movement between environments. It's the no-nonsense approach to simpler solutions. Often referred to as simply a VPS, container servers, although referred to as light, will not evaporate under heated demands.

It's important to assess whether to gear up for rain with a raincoat or embrace a sunny day with a costume. Whether you're overseeing a Moodle education system, building a web hosting empire, creating a Windows application or developing micro-apps, the analogy holds true. The key, SSH or RDP connection here, is to choose the right tool tailored to the specific conditions of your project. With an understating of the clouds, and weather forecast in mind, you are now better equipped to choose between a Cloud Linux server or a container server as you continue your development journey! 


Editorial contacts

Lindy De Bruyn
Marketing (HOSTAFRICA)