What is Cloud Server?
A cloud server is a very clever mix between a shared server and a dedicated server. It is not hosted on physical hardware, unlike a dedicated server. The entirety of a cloud server lies in a virtualized platform that is managed by the hosting provider. In a cloud server, the hardware resources are segmented and allocated to multiple users much like in a shared server system. This also implies that the cost of maintaining this hardware setup is divided among the individual users and hence cloud servers cost much less. In essence, a cloud server is very much like a dedicated server featuring enhanced scalability options. You can upgrade and even downgrade the resources allocated to you depending upon the need of the hour and hence need not pay extra for extra resources when you are not using them.
What is a Dedicated Server?
A dedicated server is a hardware and software system entirely dedicated to suit your requirements and needs. As the name suggests, in a dedicated server in usa you have a dedicated set of hardware units. You are not renting any space but you own the entire hardware setup required to set up, maintain, and keep your website running.
A dedicated server is one of the best and also one of the costliest options for a server. Since you have to own the hardware setup you have to bear the entire brunt of its payment and maintenance. However, since you are owning the hardware setup, you can modify it in any way you want, whenever you want. The software applications are also under your total control and can tweak them as you like. The dedicated servers are also the most secure of all servers since you alone control all the hardware and software components required to maintain your website.
4 Major Differences Between Cloud and Dedicated Server
● Security Options
Security is one of the most important aspects that you need to look into when you are choosing a server. Between dedicated servers and cloud servers, a dedicated server is much more secure. Since you own all aspects of hardware setup as well as software applications in a dedicated server, you have all the control over it and can do as you like with it. Hence it is the most secure option that you can ever have.
With a cloud server, security is not that weak either. Compared to a shared network, cloud servers provide quite a high degree of security. The cloud servers are a virtual environment that is customized to suit your needs. In simpler words, you are the owner of this virtual space and can do as you like. The cloud server, however, has a hardware setup somewhere and many users are tapping into the resources of this hardware setup. Thus, you are not alone in using the resources and that is the only clause that may bring you at risk from attacks from viruses or hackers.
● Configuration of Server
A server needs to be configured from time to time to match the growing needs of your website. Limited resources can only support limited traffic on the website and with increasing traffic, you need to up your resources. You also need to upgrade and modify the software applications from time to time to match the varying needs of your server. This step is also very crucial to enhance the security of your site from time to time, look into potential points of attacks and sealing them off, and so on. All this is very easy to deal with when you are dealing with a dedicated server since you have all kinds of access required to upgrade or modify the server. The level of configurability is limited with a cloud server as you get access only to the virtual platform and neither the hardware setup nor the software applications. This brings in limits to the degree to which you can configure your server.
● Scalability of Server
A cloud server is easier to scale without having to take down the site since everything lies on a virtual platform. In simpler terms, if you are thinking of upgrading from 16GB of ram to 32GB RAM on a cloud server it is very easy to do so without affecting runtime. With a dedicated server, the addition of hardware is very easy and you can go as high as you want. However, you would need to shut down the entire system when you are adding hardware and this can lead to potential downtime.
● Cost of Server
The cost of a server is an important factor to consider whenever you are trying to go online with your business venture. Dedicated servers are not at all cost-effective and costs a lot. This is because you have to own the hardware elements that run the server and have to have a workforce that can maintain these hardware resources and software applications.
In the case of a cloud server, the hardware resources are shared among many and so is the cost of maintaining these resources. Thus the cost of maintaining a cloud server is considerably reduced.
Which is Better- Dedicated Server or Cloud server?
There is no direct comparison between cloud VPS and dedicated servers because each of these servers caters to different kinds of needs and demands. On a larger scale, a dedicated server is the best option that one can ever go for. It gives complete control over the functioning of the server to the user and hence is the most configurable, most secure option ever. On the other hand, a dedicated server costs a lot and it may not be possible for small businesses to be able to bear the cost.
A cloud server also has certain advantages. It is low cost and very easy to obtain and maintain. The main hardware units are maintained by trained persons and you get to run a virtual emulation of this hardware. This also makes backing up of data and scaling up or down of hardware very easy. However, security in a cloud VPS is not as great compared to a dedicated server. These plans are more accessible to small businesses and even entrepreneurs because of their cost-effectiveness.
There are numerous kinds and tiers of servers available out there. Only looking at the cost-effectiveness of these options is not the best way of choosing a server to suit your needs. One needs to consider all the pros and cons of choosing a particular kind of server and needs to make a well-informed choice to succeed with their choice. However, the best option for a large scale and established business organization would be to go for a dedicated server plan while smaller businesses should stick to cloud VPS plans.