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Cloud Servers vs. Dedicated Servers: Which is right for my business?

Are you unsure what your business needs are when it comes to hosting your data? When trying to make a decision between a cloud server or an in-house dedicated server, there are several items you need to consider.


Time

With cloud servers, you can have your resources online within minutes, however, with dedicated servers this can take more time—sometimes it can take weeks.

If you are constantly on the go or travel often for business, you can manage your cloud server from your mobile device. For example, if you are out of town and have a presentation to give but realize you are missing a file, if you utilize the cloud, you can access the cloud from your mobile device such as a tablet and retrieve that file. You cannot do this with a dedicated server


Resource Utilization

How much of the total memory, bandwidth, CPU or disk space will be used? If you have multiple servers that are being under-utilized, a cloud based solution can save you money. You can upgrade the RAM, disk space and CPU in both a cloud server and a dedicated server. The difference is that with a cloud server this can be an easy automated process, but with a dedicated server the process is manual requiring a scheduled maintenance window.


Performance

Cloud servers will perform better than low end and average dedicated servers. If you have higher end dedicated servers, they can outperform most cloud servers. Another important performance consideration is server and power redundancy.

With cloud servers, if a physical server fails, high availability enabled cloud servers will be automatically switched to other live physical servers. If a dedicated server fails, your IT team will have to build a new server, reinstall OS, and restore data from backups unless your company has failover in place. A failover is the switching to a redundant or standby server upon the failure or abnormal termination of the previously active server. If your business did not have backups or a failover in place, this can be a timely and costly process.

Cloud servers often run on a computing resource pool which is served by redundant power PDUs, power UPSes, power generators, and redundant power grids. This allows for the cloud servers to remain operational in the event of a single power grid or single power supply failure. While some dedicated servers are now sold with dual power supplies, many still run on a single power supply. For those servers running on a single power supply, in the event of a power loss normal system operations will be affected.


Data Security

If security is an issue for your business, both a dedicated server and a private cloud will provide you with the options you need. If you are using a public cloud provider you will not have the multi-layered security needed to meet proper requirements. One of the major advantages of having a dedicated server though is that it is protected from third-party attacks. “Your network is less susceptible to cyber attacks, assuming your firewall is properly configured and monitored….The only threats would come from internal users and physicals hazards such as flooding, fire, or burglary” (Intellithought.com).


Control

With dedicated servers, you have complete customization for your company’s unique IT needs. Dedicated servers also provide the deeper levels of control to implement powerful solutions for companies with expanded IT needs.

Selecting the right server is one of the most important business decisions you will make. While cloud servers (sometimes referred to as virtual servers) can often save a business time, money and space— dedicated servers(sometimes referred to as physical servers) are still preferred by many businesses worldwide(Bobcares).

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