Cloud VS Server
The concept of cloud computing goes back to the late 1960’s, but it was not until late 1990’s that it became a reality as we know it today. This was mainly due to bandwidth issues. Therefore, for businesses and organisations large and small, had only one choice when it came to storing data. And that was, of course, the good old server. But as bandwidth grew and the internet went to 2.0, cloud service not only became available, it became affordable. However, there are still a lot of people on the fence as far as deciding which service to use. Like anything to do with technology, they both have their pros and cons. Deciding between the two comes down to needs. The pros of cloud-based service are basically the opposite of a dedicated server. The following is a brief comparison between the two.
Pros of Cloud Computing
The first and most obvious benefit of cloud service is that there is no on-site hardware to worry about. Just keep in mind that access to your information is controlled by your internet connection. If there is no internet connection, then no access.
Scalability is a great thing, especially if you are running a business that is growing fast. Cloud services allow you to expand storage at your pace. Think of it as paying for only what you need. This is also why small and medium-size businesses prefer cloud service. However, remember that the cloud hosting company has access to your data.
Availability is an important thing nowadays. There are two aspects to this. First, the cloud never goes down because of power outages or for any other reasons. Second, as long as you have a device, such as a PC or a smartphone, and have an internet connection, you will always have access to your data.
Backing things up is just as important as availability. After all, if data gets lost, there is no use in getting access to it. With cloud computers, data gets backed up within seconds. That means even if there were a catastrophe, you will be able to access it.
The whole business model of cloud computing is based on third party hosting. This means that you will not pay for dedicated IT staff to take care of all the data. In most cases, it is difficult to beat the cost efficiency that cloud services can offer.
Pros of a Dedicated Server
Dedicated servers have increasingly become more of a large enterprise solution. In most cases, this has to do with security. With a dedicated server, you have complete control over who has access to it and who gets to see data. With cloud hosting, this is not the case. This is why hospitals, banks, and news organisations will mostly use dedicated servers. If security trumps everything else, then its dedicated servers all the way.
Earlier accessibility was mentioned. As long as the server is up and running, you will have access to information, regardless of what the internet is doing. Of course, this means someone has to make sure the server is running 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. Servers just don’t have the guaranteed up-time that cloud hosting does. But servers can be cheaper.
Which Way to Go?
If you are going to do a comparison and analysis of cloud versus dedicated server, you could talk about it until you go blue in the face. There is yet a third option and that would be the hybrid setup, which is gaining more and more popularity. As the name suggests, this is a combination of the two. In fact, many cloud companies even rent out dedicated servers for clients. It will be a dedicated piece of hardware set up just for you.
After all, it's not only large companies that need great security. So if you have a small or medium size enterprise, that needs the best security in certain situations, then you could use a dedicated server to take care of that information. The rest can be put in the cloud. The hybrid solution even has its own nickname and it is the “fog”. More and more companies are moving towards the fog. What some companies do is, use a dedicated server for important matters. The cloud will be used to test new software and test-host a new website. Basically, the cloud will be used as sort of a playground or test bed.
If all this information seems confusing and difficult, then there is nothing wrong with that. Just remember that there is no one size fits all, for these types of decisions. When deciding between cloud or dedicated server, it is always best to talk to an expert and discuss your needs. Remember that a dedicated server will perform better than cloud service. This is because by nature cloud computing comes with a performance penalty because it is a slave to the internet and all its hassles. However, when setting up a server, be sure it is optimised correctly. If it is not, there will be performance issues. It is possible to get technicians who will set up and maintain servers, without having to hire them permanently. Outsourcing servers to a third party is also an option.
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