Cloud Servers vs. Dedicated Servers

Cloud servers are the newest alternative to dedicated servers, and come with many advantages and few disadvantages.

In the past, cloud servers were seen as unreliable because files would sometimes disappear and then reappear with no reasonable or track-able cause. Today, those issues have been worked out – cloud servers are now very reliable and in many cases a better solution than a dedicated server or cluster of dedicated servers.

When you really look at a cloud server, it is very similar to a cluster of dedicated servers.  The nature of a cloud server has many built in redundancies which you would typically get with a cluster of dedicated servers.  The main benefit is that you don’t have to actually pay for a cluster of dedicated servers, which would cost at minimum $1000 per month.

Due to the reliability and scalability, cloud servers are becoming a popular alternative to dedicated server leasing. They are essentially starting to evolve and grow into their skin. There are many different benefits to each different type of computing, but here are some definite things worth noting:

Cloud Servers:

  • Are more cost-effective when you look at price alone
  • Allow you to pay for the resources that you use in a specific instance
  • Provide you with extra storage space, cpu processing and bandwidth immediately when you need it
  • Can be fully managed or un-managed – just like a dedicated server
  • Allow for high volume applications as needed
  • Allow for scalability – you won’t have to “move” your site if you suddenly start getting more visitors

Dedicated Servers:

  • Provide a committed space where your applications will operate
  • Can by fully customized from hardware to software
  • Can sometimes be cheaper if you have a site which requires a ton of storage space
  • Can be fully managed or un-managed
  • Are a better choice for a hands-on administrator
  • Give specific bandwidth requirements and require planned growth.

Ultimately, the experiences with each service will be completely circumstantial to your situation. There is no limit to the different advantages and disadvantages that you might find with each type of server hosting.

Before choosing one or the other, consider what your needs are. A simple blog or website that requires a steady amount of space from one period to the next would do well on a virtual private server (VPS) or dedicated server. A website that requires a lot of volume, including global distribution, hosting of social network applications, or unpredictable applications is best suited for a cloud server in most cases.

By taking the time to review the options that you have, it will be easy for you to find the server that is right for your needs. Think about what your application requires, and then make your decision. If it’s predictable and able to be planned well, you might as well stick with your dedicated server. If your application is ever-changing and unpredictable, cloud computing might be worth looking into.

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