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The Hosting Question: Cloud Server or Dedicated Server?

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Cloud servers are great, but dedicated servers are still hanging on. If you’re considering which would be the best choice for your company’s needs, it’s tough to find information on cloud servers that isn’t glowing, but that’s for good reason. Virtual storage and virtual computing power are a huge step forward. In the last few years, companies of all sizes have been able to realize new efficiencies while saving money, and team members can now collaborate and share data on projects, regardless of where individuals are located.

If you do a comparison of cloud services versus dedicated servers, you could reach the conclusion that taking the cloud route can offer many more options, such as more choices for operating systems and faster provisioning speeds. So is the dedicated server on the way out? Is our future going only “to the cloud!” as the Microsoft commercials shout at us? Not necessarily, or at least not necessarily right now.

Dedicated servers definitely have appropriate uses, especially for newer, smaller companies that may not want everything that public or private clouds have to offer. Also, clouds aren’t perfect, and concerns still exist when it comes to access, security, and the challenges of downtime. Here we’ll examine a couple of snapshots of each option and discuss what works and what concerns exist.

The Hosting Question: Cloud Server or Dedicated Server?

Dedicated Server Breakdown

If you love control and don’t have traffic concerns, then a managed dedicated server will be best for you. All the hardware is right where you need it to be. You don’t have to worry about your system resources slowing because of other people’s traffic. You’re also the only one to access your server, a big plus for security fans. Plus, it’s also easy to upgrade physical hardware, such as memory and disk space, and to customize software to work exactly for your company’s needs, rather than a uniform upgrade through the cloud that needs to be tinkered with later.

Cloud Server Breakdown

Security is definitely a big reason why we can’t conclude that the cloud is the end-all, be-all. No matter how much encryption exists for your data, it may still have some vulnerabilities when it leaves your possession. Hackers also could try to access your system, actively steal or alter your customer’s data as well or just monitor your process.

On the other hand, companies going the cloud route can find it to be a definite cost-effective IT solution. You have a lot of redundancy, and you don’t have to pay for a lot of hardware and maintenance, although you will have to pay for extra bandwidth and hosting costs. For special projects, you may even find ways to access a virtual system and pay by the month.

Overall, do the advantages of the cloud outweigh the concerns, especially if you have active security protocols in place? As long as they match up with your business requirements. Clouds of any kind can connect with physical servers, and there isn’t a single point of failure as there might be with a dedicated server. Yet if your business wants to avoid any security uncertainties and ensure that your server is being monitored around the clock, a dedicated server may be the best choice to make.

The Benefits Of A Dedicated Server: Dependable, Fast and Scalable

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Shared hosting may be fine for a fledgling business at its inception, but after some success has been achieved, the need for a more robust solution will become apparent. Although a larger shared hosting plan can work for a period of time, a growing company will soon need a better solution, and this will likely be in the form of a dedicated server.

Advantages & Points to Consider

The Benefits Of A Dedicated Server: Dependable, Fast & Amp; ScalableHere we’ll outline some of the benefits offered by dedicated servers and some things to keep in mind when choosing a provider:

  • A good dedicated server can handle far more than a shared hosting plan allows. With a shared plan, you’re literally sharing a server with several other businesses. Therefore, the machine’s resources are capped and divided. With a dedicated server, you get the entire thing to yourself.
  • Dedicated servers can provide faster response times. Since you can use all the server’s resources instead of having to share, it may be able to render your Web pages much faster than a shared host could. One caveat: Beware of “cheap” dedicated servers that are so stripped down they aren’t any more powerful than what you’d get with a shared plan. Cheap servers can be great for people who just want to play games, but they’re not enterprise-level solutions.
  • Dedicated servers don’t have as many limitations. Although most dedicated server providers impose some restrictions, this is mainly to ensure basic security and to prevent activities such as email spamming. You’ll be able to run pretty much any kind of software you want.
  • Consider server security when deciding between managed and unmanaged dedicated servers. Maintaining security involves technical activities such as installing update patches on server-side software such as Apache and PHP, setting access permissions, logging activity and more. If you don’t have the qualifications to handle these tasks and don’t want to make errors while figuring it out, go for a managed dedicated server. That way the server company can do all that for you.
  • The original provider doesn’t always offer the best deal. Sometimes it’s cheaper to go through a reseller because some resellers are so big they get volume discounts. Make sure to check all the options rather than making assumptions.
  • Don’t assume a single server will always do the job. A site like Amazon, for example, has enough servers to fill a data center of its own! Therefore, you should choose a solution that makes it easy for you to add capacity as needed.
  • Keep scalability in mind. The dedicated server provider should be able to upgrade and downgrade your machine to meet your changing needs without any hassle. It should also be easy to add or remove machines from your package. This is good for more than long-term business growth. Many ecommerce sites, for example, experience a traffic spike during the holiday season. You don’t want to have to permanently add capacity just to cover a two-month period of high demand.

Choosing the Best Provider

These are just some of the things you should consider when deciding on a dedicated server. Don’t forget about business basics such as the host’s reputation, the length of time it’s been in business, and the location of its data centers. Once you consider all these factors, it should be easy for you to find the dedicated server hosting solution that will meet your needs now and in the future.