According to wikipedia, (everyones favorite fair and balanced source of information) "a virtual private server (VPS) is a method of partitioning a physical server computer into multiple servers such that each has the appearance and capabilities of running on its own dedicated machine."
Over the last few years the VPS has become one of the defacto methods in the web hosting world. But like all commonly used technology the VPS does have its limitations. The biggest problem is it is still a single tenant environment. Moving, securing, adapting and just plan scaling a VPS remains difficult. Not to worry, I have a solution to propose, complete with its own acronym. I call it the "Virtual Private Cloud" (VPC)
A VPC is a method for partitioning a public computing utility such as EC2 into quarantined virtual infrastructure. A VPC may encapsulate multiple local and remote resources to appear as a single homogeneous computing environment bridging the ability to securely utilize remote resources as part of an seamless global compute infrastructure.
A core component of a VPC is a virtual private network (VPN) and or a virtual LAN (Vlan) in which some of the links between nodes are encrypted and carried by virtual switches. Another reason for the use of a VPN within the context of a VPC includes the ability to virtualize the network giving it particular characteristics & appearance that match the demands as well as requirements of a given application deployed in the cloud.
A VPC enables virtual to cloud (V2C) and physical to cloud (P2C) migrations whereby a operating environment is seamlessly moved from a traditional hosting environment to that of a cloud with little or no interference to the operations of a given server instance and its performance.
As cloud computing becomes more common, I foresee a major opportunity for hosting companies looking to extend their dedicated and VPS hosting services by enabling customers an easy migration path into the cloud.