Different types of businesses need different hosting services that should be compatible to host all the data generated every day. For websites, it depends on the number of users. The number of users determines the load on the server and the server specifications decides that how many users can be accommodated. Safety, security, accessibility and cost efficiency are the key considerations. Let’s review Cloud and Dedicated servers in detail.
A cloud server is a virtual server that operates in a cloud environment. It suits small and mid-sized businesses, as these businesses have variable demands and workloads. These servers are in a virtualized environment and are shared by a variety of customers which is managed by a cloud service provider. It has a number of advantages:
- Lower costs as one have to pay only for the exact amount of server space being used. Sometimes it is paid on an hourly basis.
- The flexibility is infinite as the customer can scale up or down resources and server specification as the changes in demand occurs. Thus no payment is made for idle infrastructure costs, when the demand is low.
- IT performance is optimized as cloud is run on multiple servers. In case if one of the connected servers goes down; the other servers will maintain hosting.
- One can access on data from anywhere in the world.
A dedicated server is a server bought or leased to manage all the data. It is like a grand scale computer of oner own but is used remotely. These servers are suitable for large businesses that have predictable demand and require exceptionally high levels of data security.
Dedicated servers have a number of advantages:
- In case if the server goes down, the professional fix can bring back things to normal. They are more secure and offer better performance as their connections are direct.
- They are fairly suitable for heavy applications i.e. databases and Big Data platforms. When one runs of out of storage space, additional server can be added to handle the new load.
- Dedicated servers also offer full control of data management.
- Businesses would typically need the IT capacity and expertise to manage the ongoing maintenance.
Comparison of Dedicated and Cloud Servers:
- At the set up time, one can have resources online within minutes with cloud servers; but with dedicated servers this can take considerably longer, sometimes even weeks.
- With cloud servers upgrade of RAM, disk space and CPU can be achieved with only few clicks or can also be automated. However, with dedicated servers, there is a manual process that requires a scheduled maintenance window.
- High Availability (HA) environment building costs are up to 60% less is case of cloud servers and can be achieved very quickly. One can configure a HA environment quickly with multiple cloud servers and a load balancer within minutes. Whereas using multiple dedicated servers and a dedicated load balancer will take hours if not days to build.
- Segmentation of resources by function is very cost effective in the cloud but expensive with dedicated hardware.
- In case of dedicated servers, complete compliance with most regulations can be achieved but is not available in case of cloud servers.
- Both iOS and Android operating systems are compatible with cloud servers. Therefore cloud servers can be easily managed on mobile devices. Though, dedicated server management is not possible on mobiles.
How to make a right choice?
Enterprise decision makers should be clear of the choice between security and cost.
If a company manages highly sensitive data i.e. financial data or dealing with personal identity information, then dedicated servers are better choice. They may cost higher as compared to the cloud but minimize security risks. If data is not sensitive, cloud hosting should be acquired. The security level of cloud hosting although is not very high, but businesses run smoothly as data is always accessible anywhere across the world.
Hybrid cloud is a more persuasive solution to the problem of making a choice between dedicated servers and cloud servers. One must use the cloud for non sensitive operations and dedicated hardware for sensitive business operations. Businesses even uses both of the hosting services at a time in their operations. Use of cloud where it suits in the operations and also running of the dedicated hardware where needed. This reduces price and boosts performance. The hybrid cloud combines public cloud with a private cloud or a dedicated hosting, and reap the benefits from both of them.