The range of hosting options available to today’s businesses is bewildering — not to mention the ever-multiplying terminology conjured up by marketing departments. In this article, I’m going to dispense with the hype and offer a clear explanation of two of the most popular types of infrastructure hosting: dedicated servers and cloud hosting.
Why does it matter that you understand the difference between cloud hosting and dedicated servers? Each provides specific benefits. It’s important that businesses match the needs of their applications and services to the strengths of their hosting platform.
In reality, both cloud hosting and dedicated servers can support any application or service, but each is best suited to particular scenarios. Choosing the right platform can help a business reduce costs, increase flexibility, and make the most of its infrastructure.
Cloud Hosting vs Dedicated Servers
Let’s start by discussing qualities that dedicated servers and cloud hosting have in common.
Both offer a complete server environment. In fact, from the perspective of a server admin, dedicated servers and cloud servers are more-or-less equivalent. They are managed using the same tools, run the same software, and anyone familiar with managing one will be at home with the other.
We provide cloud servers and dedicated servers with both Microsoft Windows Server and a variety of Linux distributions. You’re free to choose the operating system and software ecosystem that integrates best with your company’s existing systems and knowledge.
Cloud hosting is a virtualized server hosting platform. Each cloud server is a virtual machine that runs on a powerful enterprise-grade bare metal server. The bare metal server — essentially a dedicated server — supports a number of cloud servers.
A public cloud platform comprises many physical servers housed in a secure data center, each of which hosts a number of virtual servers.
What are the benefits of a cloud server platform? Because each virtual server is a software construct, we can control it like any other software. A virtual server can be created in seconds. It can be given more resources as required. It can be destroyed immediately when no longer needed.
Cloud hosting is the ultimate on-demand, self-service infrastructure platform. For some companies, the sheer flexibility of the cloud can be overwhelming, which is why we built a managed cloud that includes basic management with updates for supported software, on-demand security assessments, and an hour of system administration each month.
For comprehensive cloud management, we provide fully managed cloud servers with unlimited access to our system administrators and on-demand security and sysadmin services.
The unbeatable flexibility of cloud servers changes the way businesses think about hosting infrastructure. Cloud hosting provides an inexhaustible, on-demand supply of infrastructure. If a developer needs a test server to try out an idea, they log into their cloud control panel and in a few seconds, their server is ready. If demand for a business’s application spikes, deploying more servers is a snap.
In short, cloud hosting is responsive to the needs of your business.
Dedicated Server Hosting
Each dedicated server is an enterprise-grade bare metal machine. Unlike cloud hosting, all the resources of a dedicated server are available to the client.
A dedicated server can be configured to the exact specifications of the client, who can choose the processor, RAM, and storage that best fits their needs. They range from moderately powerful machines to the most powerful machines on the market with multiple processors and huge amounts of memory.
Dedicated servers are the most powerful single-server hosting option. The only hosting option more powerful than a dedicated server is a cluster of dedicated servers.
Colohouse provides managed dedicated server hosting. The servers are built by our hardware experts, who choose the most reliable cutting-edge components available.
When should you choose a dedicated server? The simple answer is that dedicated servers are the best choice for optimal compute and IO performance and long-term reliability.
Typical uses of a dedicated server include as database servers, for hosting many websites or a single high-traffic website or eCommerce store, to provide the backend for a mobile or web application, and to host virtual servers.
A private cloud combines some of the benefits of cloud platforms and dedicated servers. Just like the cloud hosting we’ve already discussed, a private cloud platform provides a flexible virtual server platform. But unlike public cloud platforms, the underlying physical hardware of a private cloud is at the disposal of one organization.
Private cloud is the ideal hosting solution for companies that prefer not to use a multi-tenant hosting environment, but don’t want to give up the benefits of virtual infrastructure.
Throughout this article, I’ve compared dedicated servers and cloud hosting, but many companies don’t choose one or the other: they choose the optimal mix of infrastructure, which might include dedicated servers and public or private cloud servers.
A hybrid cloud integrates a comprehensive range of hosting modalities into a cohesive whole, including dedicated servers, colocated servers, and cloud servers.
A popular configuration is to use high-availability dedicated servers as database and back-end application servers, and cloud servers to host the front-end component of a SaaS application.
Colohouse’s experts can help your company build, design, and integrate a hybrid cloud with the perfect mix of infrastructure for your applications and services.
Colohouse has been matching businesses with their ideal infrastructure for almost two decades. We offer a comprehensive range of hosting options, including; public, private, and hybrid cloud platforms; colocation; and management and consulting services. If you need help choosing the best hosting infrastructure for your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our infrastructure experts.