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Dedicated Servers vs. Cloud Hosting: Which is Best for Your Business?

Published on 12 February 13
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While businesses were relatively limited in their ability to pick between hosting solutions in the past, the emergence of unbridled network connectivity has made it easy for high-end services to be hosted remotely by third-party providers.

This means that your company may be looking to migrate away from an on-site server solution to one which is managed externally. As such you will need to give consideration to the wide selection of set-ups that can be configured in order to pick the most appropriate service for your requirements and budget.

A problem arises when a company has to work out whether a dedicated server or a cloud hosting platform is the best fit. To help you overcome confusion, here is a brief explanation of what the two solutions can offer.

Hardware Attributes

With a dedicated server, your business will be given remote access to hardware that is hosted within a provider's facility. You will be able to invest in a dedicated solution based on the specific components and bandwidth that are made available to your server.

This is effectively identical to running a server on site, although of course the installation, maintenance and ownership of the hardware will all fall under the provider's remit.

Cloud hosting, on the other hand, is not tied to a single machine in just the one building. Instead, users receive a service that is powered by multiple servers working together to cater for your needs and those of the other business customers.

In short, the cloud provides theoretically unlimited functionality while a dedicated server will be restricted according to its components and the available space in the facility at which it is stored.

Management

It is possible to invest in both managed and unmanaged dedicated servers, the latter being favoured by companies that have the technical staff in house who are able to administer the entire set-up and carry out important tasks such as software upgrades and security monitoring.

A dedicated server that is managed by the provider will be a little more convenient and intuitive for firms that require external technical support and in both cases you will find that the provider will take care of ensuring that the hardware is operational and the network infrastructure is fast and secure.

When it comes to cloud hosting, you can take a very hands-off approach to using whatever services your business requires. This is because the intangible nature of the cloud requires that the provider is in control of every aspect.

Economies of scale come into play, offering security benefits as well as infrastructural boosts because a cloud platform can outperform just about any configuration that is based on a fixed set of hardware.

Scalability

Dedicated servers offer a decent level of scalability because you can of course specify the inclusion of more components and storage, at least within the physical limits of the facility in which the server is based.

However, you will need to consider that you are generally going to be required to pay for a fixed amount of bandwidth and storage space whether or not your business ever actually uses all available capacity.

The pay-as-you-go, on-demand nature of cloud hosting, on the other hand, means that you can scale the service to suit your minute-to-minute capacity requirements and only pay for what you use.

Both cloud hosting and dedicated servers have a place in the modern market, but some businesses will find that one is a more valid or appropriate choice than the other. Making the right decision requires careful analysis of both your company and the service on offer.
This article is published in association with Daisy Group, an independent provider of business telecoms and hosting solutions.




While businesses were relatively limited in their ability to pick between hosting solutions in the past, the emergence of unbridled network connectivity has made it easy for high-end services to be hosted remotely by third-party providers.

This means that your company may be looking to migrate away from an on-site server solution to one which is managed externally. As such you will need to give consideration to the wide selection of set-ups that can be configured in order to pick the most appropriate service for your requirements and budget.

A problem arises when a company has to work out whether a dedicated server or a cloud hosting platform is the best fit. To help you overcome confusion, here is a brief explanation of what the two solutions can offer.

Hardware Attributes

With a dedicated server, your business will be given remote access to hardware that is hosted within a provider's facility. You will be able to invest in a dedicated solution based on the specific components and bandwidth that are made available to your server.

This is effectively identical to running a server on site, although of course the installation, maintenance and ownership of the hardware will all fall under the provider's remit.

Cloud hosting, on the other hand, is not tied to a single machine in just the one building. Instead, users receive a service that is powered by multiple servers working together to cater for your needs and those of the other business customers.

In short, the cloud provides theoretically unlimited functionality while a dedicated server will be restricted according to its components and the available space in the facility at which it is stored.

Management

It is possible to invest in both managed and unmanaged dedicated servers, the latter being favoured by companies that have the technical staff in house who are able to administer the entire set-up and carry out important tasks such as software upgrades and security monitoring.

A dedicated server that is managed by the provider will be a little more convenient and intuitive for firms that require external technical support and in both cases you will find that the provider will take care of ensuring that the hardware is operational and the network infrastructure is fast and secure.

When it comes to cloud hosting, you can take a very hands-off approach to using whatever services your business requires. This is because the intangible nature of the cloud requires that the provider is in control of every aspect.

Economies of scale come into play, offering security benefits as well as infrastructural boosts because a cloud platform can outperform just about any configuration that is based on a fixed set of hardware.

Scalability

Dedicated servers offer a decent level of scalability because you can of course specify the inclusion of more components and storage, at least within the physical limits of the facility in which the server is based.

However, you will need to consider that you are generally going to be required to pay for a fixed amount of bandwidth and storage space whether or not your business ever actually uses all available capacity.

The pay-as-you-go, on-demand nature of cloud hosting, on the other hand, means that you can scale the service to suit your minute-to-minute capacity requirements and only pay for what you use.

Both cloud hosting and dedicated servers have a place in the modern market, but some businesses will find that one is a more valid or appropriate choice than the other. Making the right decision requires careful analysis of both your company and the service on offer.

This article is published in association with Daisy Group, an independent provider of business telecoms and hosting solutions.

This review is listed under Cloud Computing and Server & Storage Management Community

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