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Which Hosting is Better for My Business- Cloud or Dedicated Server?

The world has gone online. From social networking to social media influencing everything is done through the internet nowadays. Be it a TV series or a song, everything is online. The same is true for many business ventures too. However, for a business to thrive online, a dedicated website is needed; and a dedicated website needs a server for efficient functioning. In this regard, the fight between cloud server vs dedicated server is something that one never avoid and has to come to terms with at some point.

Now, there are two kinds of servers available that help facilitate a business endeavor. Previously, about a decade ago, interested persons would start with a shared hosting server, and once they have grown and established themselves, they would shift to a dedicated hosting. The game has changed nowadays. Best Dedicated servers remain the same, but the shared server has changed. It is crucial to understand what a Cloud Server and a Dedicated Server is to choose among the two when you are thinking of starting a business online.

What is Cloud Hosting and How Does It Work?

A cloud hosting server is very similar to a dedicated server as far as its functionality is concerned. However, a cloud server does not need the existence of dedicated, physical hardware setup, unlike a dedicated server. The cloud server works through a virtual environment that is controlled by the cloud hosting provider you are using. You do not need to purchase any hardware but pay only for space you are using in the server. 

In some ways, a cloud hosting server is very much similar to an elaborate restaurant setup. There are many tables in the restaurant and each table is assigned the waiter or a waitress. The tables, in this case, are the Cloud VPS that you can use, and the waiters or waitresses are the resources that are assigned to you. In a restaurant, it is also possible to add another table to the existing design when the total number of guests is greater than it can hold. With the increased number of tables, the number of waiters and waitresses tending to that table also increases. A Cloud Server works similarly. When the traffic on your website is high, then more resources are added to maintain your page such that the efficiency is not reduced. Once the traffic starts decreasing and goes back to usual, the resources are also reduced.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Cloud Servers:

The Cloud Server comes with its share of advantages that lacks a dedicated server.

  • The first and foremost advantage of going for a cloud server is that you can go any plan offered by any company as per your convenience. You will be able to run any CMS website that runs on LAMP because all these platforms run on dedicated custom stack software. The cloud server cost is not going to burn a major hole in your pocket.
  • Several combinations are based on the best quality of hardware configurations available such as options for SSD storage, a database with multiple layers and the balance of load on network traffic, different services for web file caching, and different kinds of PHP services such as CDN integration, and so on. The combination of all these factors makes way for a swift, smooth, and fast server hosting capability for CMS site owners.
  • Between shared hosting vs cloud hosting, the cloud server is a clear winner in the idea that it can allocate higher RAM, I/O processes, and CPU cores to any CMS website. This means that the website will always remain on irrespective of the traffic it is attracting because. The cloud server is so designed such that it directs the proper resources for the smooth functioning of a website at all times. When it needs more resources it will get that and conversely, it will use minimum resources when needed.

All these features contribute to better user experience with cloud servers. There are, however, some disadvantages that will come up when one is using cloud server hosting.

  • It is not always possible to ensure the fullest modification capabilities by the web developers when you go for simple cloud hosting. This hinders the use of custom solutions at all times. This means that if you are looking forward to changing the OS or if you want to install a secondary webserver platform- you cannot do so.
  • Not being able to upgrade or change the OS also affects the security of your server and hinders it. A fluid software application that can be easily upgraded heightens the security as it is difficult to attack. However, when a system is rigid, it becomes easier to attack because of the pattern that its working follows at all times.

Thus it can be summarised that a cloud server hosting platform is a tool that is most helpful for someone who is starting their business. It becomes difficult to conduct proper functions once the business is running smoothly and is on the path to becoming something grand.

What is Dedicated Hosting and How Does It Work?

A dedicated server hoisting on the other hand requires the existence of physical hardware setup. You have to purchase this setup of your own and also need a dedicated workforce to keep it running. All its functions need to be monitored and updated from time to time for its proper functioning.

Similar to the restaurant analogy for a cloud server hosting, a dedicated server can also be compared to the restaurant. Many customers can get in and out of the restaurant depending upon their needs in case of a cloud server. For a dedicated servers, you are the owner of the restaurant. There aren’t smaller tables for smaller groups in this restaurant. The whole space of the restaurant is occupied by one giant table that can be used by you. All the waiters and waitresses available in that restaurant are tending to that one table at all times whether you need their services or not.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Dedicated Servers:

When talking about cloud vs dedicated servers, the dedicated servers fare better over cloud servers for the simple fact that you are paying more for it. Some of the chief advantages of going for a dedicated server are as follows:

  • The most crucial advantage of a dedicated server is that any web developer or administrator will be able to configure it to handle any degree of traffic the site is expected to receive.
  • The dedicated servers are so designed such that even if the website is not working at peak traffic activity, it will have no problem functioning and can go on without any problem.
  • Between cloud vs dedicated server performance, the problem of flexibility does not exist with a dedicated server. Custom solutions to any problem can be crafted by web developers. Whether you need to install a second OS for a webserver or you want to include utilities that enhance the performance such as a page caching system, you can easily do so with the help of a dedicated server. If your website deals in such things as eCommerce, publications, media, and so on, it is likely to face a high volume of traffic and a dedicated server is designed to tackle that.

A best dedicated server hosting is always a better option compared to a cloud server hosting option but it comes with its share of disadvantages.

  • The first line of disadvantage with a dedicated server is that it is not at all cost-effective. If you are comparing cloud vs dedicated server cost, the latter is going to cost you a lot more. If you want to use a dedicated hosting, you have to buy Best dedicated server hosting. A small enterprise or business may not be able to handle the cost of maintaining a dedicated server.
  • A dedicated hosting requires a dedicated workforce who will take care of everything from running it on a daily basis to updating it from time to time.
  • If you are using an unmanaged dedicated server, the system administrators have to look after all the requirements to enhance and maintain the security of the server. There are chances when an issue may be overlooked and this can lead to dire consequences.
  • You have to lay your trust in a third-party organization if you are going for a managed dedicated server. This in turn again becomes complicated because you have to trust the third-party organization with crucial details about your business and your clients. It is their responsibility to maintain the secrets, but this does increase the chances of attack. 

Managed and Unmanaged Servers

Both Cloud and Dedicated Server Hosting facilities can either be managed or unmanaged. The managed servers are those which are managed by a dedicated workforce and they take care of all the requirements to keep your website running smoothly at all times. Be it the addition of hardware, different kinds of upgradations, maintenance of the systems, and so on- all the needs of the servers are catered to by this group of individuals and experts.

 For an unmanaged server, this group of individuals and experts do not exist. The service provider will initially give you all the hardware items (Dedicated) or create a private server (Cloud) for you and their work ends there. Setting up the server to run your webpage and the subsequent running of your webpage is to be dealt with by you. This means that you have to spend considerable time, energy, and resources of your business into the proper maintenance of the servers to keep your webpage smoothly running at all times. You need to hire a group of dedicated IT professionals who know how to handle these for the smooth running of your website when you go for an unmanaged server. In short, whatever happens to an unmanaged server is entirely your responsibility and the service provider will not play any part in this.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Difference Between Cloud and Server

Cloud refers to Cloud Server Hosting while Server refers to Best Dedicated Server Hosting. In Cloud, a single set of dedicated resources is divided among different enterprises, and resources are distributed depending on the need of the hour while in Server, a single dedicated set of hardware and hence software setup is given to an individual organization. In short, Cloud and Server have the same sets of differences available between Cloud Server Hosting and Dedicated Server Hosting.

Difference Between Host and Server

A host is a computer or any other such hardware device that has the capability to connect to the network. On the other hand, a server can either be a software program or a hardware device. The function of a server is to provide different kinds of services to different programs as well as devices that are available in or connected to the network. These may be internet services, hosting services, and a plethora of other service options.

From its share of advantages and disadvantages, it can be summarised that there is no clear winner in the fight between cloud hosting vs dedicated hosting. However, if you are a big name and your site is likely to face a huge traffic load and is sure to have regular updates, going for a dedicated server is the best option for you. Security is always better for a managed Dedicated server than any other setup unless you are efficient in the languages of computers and can manage a Dedicated Server yourself. The last case is the best and most secure solution to server hosting problems.

Get in Touch

Arpit Saini

He is the Director of Cloud Operations at Serverwala Cloud Data Centers Pvt Ltd and also follows a passion to break complex tech topics into practical and easy-to-understand articles. He loves to write about Web Hosting, Software, Virtualization, Cloud Computing, and much more.

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