Cloud hosting vs Dedicated Servers

There are several things to consider when selecting the right hosting service for your business. One question that businesses face is whether to choose Cloud Hosting or to move to a traditional Dedicated Server. Each option has its benefits and its drawbacks. Every business has different and unique needs, so the final solution will come down to the specific needs of your business.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is the next big thing in the hosting world. It is relatively new, but has the likely potential of becoming the sole solution of data storage and hosting in the near future. With Cloud Computing, the server is outsourced and is run on virtualized software. There are several data centers that are running on servers in virtualized environments. This means that one server essentially produces several instances of virtual servers. To the user it appears they are running on a dedicated server, when in reality they actually run on a large number of different servers. It basically seems like a dedicated server to the user, but the user isn’t aware of what hardware their server is currently running on.

Additionally, complying with certain security protocols may be an issue. Among these are, PCI (Payment Card Industry), FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) and HIPAA (Health Insurance information privacy), all have strict guidelines that require enhanced security and in some cases limit the use of shared processing and data storage resources. With this being the case, if you business handles credit card payments, medical records or student records a cloud server may not even be an option for you.

Dedicated Server

With traditional dedicated servers you are limited to the amount of resources available on the physical hardware. In order to scale out your applications or services you need more resources available. This requires additional servers, load balancers, network configuration, advanced server configuration, etc. Dedicated servers hosting is the best way to host an application or website that uses massive resources.

Cost differences

Monthly cost for dedicated servers can range from $100 to $1000 depending on the packages. Billing for a standard dedicated server normally starts at around $100. In the case of cloud computing, you pay for what you use.

You only get charged for the amount of storage and the time for which you use that storage. The minimum billing usually starts at around $50, and there’s no upper limit, since you are billed using a “pay-as-you-use” model. The biggest benefit to cloud computing is there isn’t a limit to the resources you can use as in the case of dedicated servers. The sky is the limit in regards to the amount of storage you can easily add on when your needs grow.

Performance comparison

When it comes to performance, cloud servers and dedicated servers are pretty comparable. Dedicated servers are as fast as their cloud counterparts, however, it is normal to see a computer slowing down over a period of time. This is due to too many unwanted program files and temp files running on the server. This can actually be the same even with cloud servers but in this case, you have the ability to switch to a new machine while the original machine is being corrected. When the problem is solved, you can then go back to the machine you were working on and continue where you left off.

Reliability

The biggest difference between the two choices is reliability. Since data is stored and retrieved from several machines on the cloud, even if one of the servers unexpectedly crashes, your website or web app won’t go down as a result. You may just experience some performance issues, and slowdown in the case of execution.

In contrast, when a dedicated server crashes, there is no such possibility of a back-up kicking-in, and as a result, your website or web app continuing on without lost time. There isn’t any other solution at that point until the server is repaired, and running again.

Traditionally cloud computing has been perceived as the great leveller in business. The cloud has allowed small and medium businesses to compete on a more level playing field with their enterprise rivals by removing the need for upfront capital investments that had previously proved prohibitive for smaller businesses. With cloud solutions any business can build their storage needs as they grow themselves. There is no longer the need to purchase resources that you won’t need until your company grows into them, which frees up money for other needs and keeps your business lean and productive.

Increasingly the cloud is proving to be the most cost-effective method of doing IT “heavy lifting”, basically running resource-intensive applications. There are plenty of examples of this process taking place.

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3 thoughts on “Cloud hosting vs Dedicated Servers

  1. Great post Michael! You highlight the benefits of both cloud computing and dedicated servers effectively. It’s all about what is the best solution for your particular business. As you outline above – every organisation is unique so it really depends on the needs of your own business.

    Like

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