The Importance of Using the Right Dedicated or Cloud Server for your Business
In the information age, businesses almost must be on the internet if they hope to be successful. And going onto the internet, unless you plan to limit your size to a single, non-interactive website, requires the aid of a server that can handle website traffic loads, store data, and be at the foundation of everything you create on the web. Choosing the right server for your business can make the difference between overpaying and underusing, wasting money that could be invested into other things, or not having the power and space to do all that you want your business to accomplish.
As any tech expert, will tell you, there are two basic options in the world of servers. One is the cloud. Other is a dedicated server. We will lay out the differences right here, then discuss which will be the better option depending on your business needs.
Basics of Cloud Hosting
“The Cloud” is a phrase you’ve probably heard a lot of lately. A cloud server is built, hosted, and delivered to you via a cloud service platform. There are quite a few of them out there, such as Blue Host, which offer a scalable range of cloud-based hosting depending on how much bandwidth and storage you expect to need each month at a set monthly rate. The main advantages of a cloud server model is its flexibility and simplicity. There is very little chance of a website going down, as there are many backup nodes in place to handle the loss of one or two.
Essentially, a cloud server is an Infrastructure as a Service or IaaS cloud service model. It can be physical, which means that it is accessed through the internet remotely without being distributed, aka a dedicated cloud server. There is also a “logical” cloud server, where the physical server is distributed into two or more logical servers which have separate OS, user interface, and apps, even if they share physical components from the same underlying server.
What is a Dedicated Server?
A dedicated server is a special type of remote server, which is hosted and managed by one company but exclusively used by another. It has a variety of functions including hosting applications, backing up data, or it can be used internally for hosting and provisioning specialized services within the private network.
Unlike a cloud server, with a dedicated server you pick and choose how much data and bandwidth you want each month and choose a pricing plan that works accordingly. It has been the go-to server method for a very long time, making it more reliable under high traffic conditions and oftentimes faster than a cloud server service. Companies such as iPage have been around for almost two decades and are usually the best option when security, speed, and optimal performance are the main concern.
Direct cost comparisons can be tough to calculate. A lot of it will depend on how much your business needs in terms of power and storage space. If you do not need much of either, then a cloud service with basic coverage should be a good place to start. However, if your business needs a lot of power behind its website, then you would be paying a lot more for the cloud computing speeds than you would pay to have a dedicated server.
Relative Pros and Cons
When it comes to weighing pros and cons, you will have to understand the differences and rank your needs in order to see which is the best fit for your company. Cloud computing servers are ideal for companies that value flexibility, scalability, and a cost-effective pricing mechanism above reliability and security. E-Commerce sites, website testing, and web hosting providers all benefit from this model. On the other hand, dedicated servers are best if you want to have complete control over the program enhancing software, security settings, and other features, and do not mind paying a set price per month regardless of the data used.
Cloud Computing Pros
- Flexible pricing depending on how much data you will need. Ideal for e-commerce sites with varying demand levels every month as you will not pay too much or too little.
- Ideal for web hosting providers and testing websites
- Simple scalability high or low, depending on your business’ growth
- Cloud Company handles all security, software, and programming
- No downtime, will reroute to new node if current node fails
Cloud Computing Cons
- Less or no control over the specific programming and software of the server
- Must trust all security decisions to the cloud computing company
- The cloud space is shared with other companies, which can drag down server speed and impact performance
- Data storage is usually costlier in bulk within the cloud than in a dedicated server
Dedicated Server Pros
- Maintain full control over the security apparatus and firewalls
- You can add any desired applications, programs and performance enhancing systems that you want
- Always know exactly how much server space you will have available and can purchase the appropriate monthly amount that your business needs
- Set Monthly Pricing
Dedicated Server Cons
- Scaling the business up or down can be time consuming and costly
- Unless negotiated with the dedicated server provider, you are responsible for security systems and upgrades
- Risk of hardware failure or malfunction without backup nodes to cover the difference
- Will pay same amount regardless of amount of data stored on servers
While the Cloud has gained a lot of buzz since the phrase was first coined in 2005, a small business may not always have the right leverage to really take advantage of everything that it offers. It is great for web hosting and ecommerce sites with a lot of variation month to month, but if your needs are growing steadily, the added performance and increased security of a dedicated server may be more beneficial to you.