Comparing Dedicated Hosting with Cloud Hosting
Dedicated server hosting has long been seen as the most reliable form of hosting available and the best option for businesses looking for flexibility in their hosting arrangements because of the different hardware and software configurations that are available. However, with dedicated server hosting being fairly expensive, cloud hosting is now being seen as a real alternative to businesses that require high resource hosting services at an affordable price; furthermore, in a majority of cases a cloud hosting service will provide a higher level of uptime than a dedicated server, with 100% guaranteed uptime being the average offering across the industry. For a majority of businesses the only advantage of choosing a dedicated server over a cloud hosted virtual machine is the physical existence of the dedicated server because this allows for a number of different hardware configurations; however, RAID hard drives configurations and extra PCI cards are only usually requirements of larger businesses that run their own data centres. For the most part you will find that a cloud virtual machine can provide you with similar resources to a dedicated server with ease, with the ability to increase the resources of virtual machines with just a few clicks – if you were to do this with a dedicated server then you would have to take the server offline whilst RAM, hard drives or other additional hardware is added to the server. Regardless of the platform that you choose, you will always have the choice between Windows and Linux; businesses make their choice of operating system based on their own needs and so it is important for web hosting services providers to recognize that there is a need to offer both operating systems to customers.
Why should I choose a dedicated server over a cloud hosting plan?
If you have specific requirements then you may find yourself having to choose a dedicated server over a cloud web hosting plan for some of the following reasons:
- Hardware configurations – a dedicated server allows for a number of different physical hardware configurations as per your needs, something that isn’t achievable with a cloud hosting plan because you will be using virtual machines that have no physical manifestation and therefore use virtual resources only – one of the best examples of how hardware configurations can benefit you in a dedicated server is using a hard drives in a RAID configuration to prevent data loss in the event of a hard drive failure – furthermore, you may wish to have a PCI card or other additional component added to your dedicated server to add functionality that isn’t included as standard, a good example of which would be a GSM module that will then allow you to develop web applications that can then send SMS messages out to your users
- Resource availability – the resources available with a dedicated server will often provide better performance than a virtual machine of the same specifications simply because you are using a physical server – for example, even though a virtual machine can be configured in the cloud with multiple CPU cores, a dedicated server that has been configured to use physical CPUs with 4 cores each then this will always outperform a virtual machine of the same number of or more cores – furthermore, access to storage in a cloud environment has the potential to be rather slow whereas with a dedicated server using hard drives or even SSDs, data access is going to be incredibly fast when compared
- Operating system choice – with a dedicated server you will be offered a wider range of operating systems, with some web hosting providers even allowing you to provide the installation disc for any OS that you wish to use but they may not necessarily offer, it’s just down to you to prove that you hold a valid license if it’s a commercial OS – some businesses use their own custom Linux distributions and so this is where the benefit lies as most cloud hosting services usually restrict you to using the pre-defined OS templates that have been put in place by your web hosting provider with your virtual machines.
Why should I choose a cloud hosting plan over a dedicated server?
It is important to note that cloud hosting can offer you benefits over a dedicated server, including:
- Lower costs – a cloud hosting plan will provide you with a cheaper solution when compared to a dedicated server, simply because the cloud can provide you with mass resources in an environment that is shared with other users, therefore allowing the costs to be spread amongst multiple customers – some businesses may choose to migrate to cloud hosting from dedicated server hosting as a way of saving money as dedicated servers (especially high specification ones) can be expensive to run as well as maintain
- Expandability – although additional hardware resources can be added to a dedicated server with ease, with a cloud virtual machine you can add additional resources with just a few clicks as once you have chosen what you want and paid, the resources will be provisioned to your virtual machine(s) almost instantaneously – in the cloud you are able to expand the resources of your virtual machines almost endlessly as the pool of resources is pretty much unlimited because a resources become scarce, web hosting providers simply add additional servers to the cloud to meet the demand for extra capacity
- Ease of use – if you decide not to use a control panel with your dedicated server then the only other way in which you will be able to manage your server will be over Remote Desktop or SSH and in both cases it is going to be important for you to have some previous knowledge of Windows or Linux in order to perform maintenance properly – with a cloud hosting service you will of course have the option for a web hosting control panel, but alongside this you will also be provided with access to a control panel that will allow you to manage the state of your VMs (turn them on or off etc.) and reinstall them if necessary using the virtual machine templates that are on offer.