Cloud server vs. dedicated server hosting
(Last Updated On: October 16, 2019)

What’s best for a small business?

If you have a website, it will naturally have to be hosted somewhere that’s preferably inexpensive and definitely reliable and secure. Two such options are Cloud Server Hosting and Dedicated Server Hosting. Let’s compare Cloud server vs. dedicated server to help you decide on the best service for your website.

What is Cloud Hosting?

Cloud hosting is a relatively new, virtual, public server hosting platform. It’s made up of many physical servers that are housed in a secure data center, which hosts several virtual servers. Cloud hosting relies on cloud computing technologies to operate. These technologies allow an unlimited number of machines to successfully act as a single system.

Dedicated Server Solutions

When it comes to Cloud server vs. Dedicated server service, dedicated server hosting has been around for a while.

It is a traditional hosting option that follows a simple procedure in which, clients lease or buy a server from a provider and pays monthly charges.

Dedicated servers are generally used for hosting many websites or a single high-traffic website or e-Commerce store.

It gives users the control and flexibility to customize their server or to choose the software and adjust the system as they desire.

Similarities and differences of Cloud vs. Dedicate server hosting?

Scalability

Cloud server hosting allows the most freedom and flexibility and is therefore ideal for startups and small to medium-sized businesses looking for to enjoy that sort of independence.

Even when your business grows and starts demanding more resources and capacity, cloud server hosting is still a better option, because it gives you the freedom to quickly and easily scale your infrastructure up or down.

Cloud also makes it easy and convenient to add virtual resources when you need to. Dedicated server hosting on the other hand is not as flexible or scalable, because users are attached to a physical device as opposed to virtual ones.

If there is a need for more storage space or computing power, users will have to either upgrade their server or buy another; in either case, they end up spending more. Here are a few points to consider when looking for a dedicated server host.

Cost of Cloud server vs. Dedicated server

If you need hosting services for one hour, a day or a month, cloud hosting makes it possible. It uses a pay-as-you-go model and so you only get charged for how much you use and the period of time you used it for. Billing starts at $50 and cloud storage is not capped, which is the case with dedicate servers. If its data storage or data transfers cost, users are only charged for what they use on the cloud.

This makes cloud hosting a much cheaper option to dedicated hosting which forces you to pay based on an estimate. Dedicated hosting dictates that you figure when your website is busiest, estimate the resources you’ll need to supply that demand and then pay for a server that can meet that need.

Let’s look at the cost in actual dollars and cents. A dedicated server will cost you anywhere between $100 and $1000 dollars on a monthly basis, depending on the packages being offered. There are actually cheaper packages that start at about $50, but those tend to not work out very well for users.

Resilience

With a dedicated server route, a large amount of your uptime is dependent upon a single server. However, some providers offer “hot spare” hardware that users can go to in the event of failure. Users may also opt to double their costs and share the risk between two servers.

Cloud hosting on the other hand significantly reduces this idea of a single point failure, because your virtual environment gives access to a wider pool of underlying resources that you can draw upon.

Performance of Cloud server vs. Dedicated server

When it comes to performance, Cloud server vs. Dedicated server plans are comparable. On one hand, they are both fast, but both options experience what is referred to as, ‘dirty’’ instance, which is basically when you see a computer slowing down over a period of time.

This is usually the result of too many unwanted program and temp files running on the server. The difference between the two though is that cloud servers, you are able to change to a new instance and clean up the machine without interrupting anything. You are then able to go back to the same computer, without any hassle. The same is not true for dedicated hosting.

On the other hand though, companies looking for fast processing and retrieval data, tend to opt for dedicated servers, because they process data locally. This means they don’t generally experience a lot of delay when performing these functions.

The process tends to be a little slower with cloud servers as they must go through the SAN to access data, which takes the process through the back end of the infrastructure.

The process continues with the request being routed through the hypervisor, and this extra step adds a standstill that cannot be bypassed or reduced.

Reliability

Cloud servers are the better option when it comes to reliability and here’s why. Cloud servers store and retrieve data from many machines on the cloud, so if one of the server experiences some kind of problem or suddenly crashes, users will not be gravely impacted; their website or web app won’t go down. The most that may happen is that they’ll experience some performance issues and the pace of execution may slowdown.

Dedicated servers do not offer this kind of backup system. In the case of a crash, your website will go down and you’ll have to wait until the server is repaired before you can be up and running again as there is no interim solution available.

Security

A single-tenant environment is touted as ideal, from a security and compliance perspective. This gives dedicated server an edge over cloud server hosting, which is shared hosting and is generally thought of as being less secure. However, it is always good to remember that a server is only as secure as the data center it lives in.

Migration

Migration can be easily achieved with both dedicated and cloud hosting servers.  However, migration on the dedicated platform requires more planning. To perform a seamless migration, a full-scale plan should be created and, in most cases, you’re advised to keep the older servers as a backup until the new solution can be adequately tested.

Which one is best for small businesses?

All small businesses are not created equal, so deciding if Cloud server vs. Dedicated server is right for you, depends on a number of factors. Ask yourself what the objective of your business is and then see which platform best help you to meet them. You will also have to look at the cost, resilience, scalability and of course, the security that each offer.

The right choice all comes down to you and your business’ needs and purpose.