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Cloud Server vs Dedicated Server: Which is right for you?

Cloud servers and dedicated servers both play an important role in the IT infrastructure of most modern businesses. As many organizations are considering the move from more traditional hosting platforms like Dedicated servers, it’s important for you to understand what each server type is in order to choose the right one for your application.

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In this article, we cover what is the difference between the cloud and a server so you can make an informed decision.

What is a Cloud Server?

A cloud server is a virtual server created on a platform of dedicated servers. Each server on the platform connects together and is responsible for a specific task such as processing, storage, memory, etc. These functions are all duplicated across multiple servers, and new servers are regularly added to the platform to increase capacity and efficiency. 

The result of this setup is that new Cloud Servers can be instantly created/destroyed, and each virtual server is protected by a redundant and self-healing infrastructure. A Cloud based server can be completely controlled by third-party applications using our robust API as well. 

Cloud servers can be divided into a public cloud or a private cloud. 

See Also: ServerMania Cloud Hosting

Cloud Server Advantages and Disadvantages

Like Dedicated Servers, Cloud Servers also have a variety of advantages and disadvantages. These include:

Advantages

Disadvantages

  • Rapid server deployment as new servers can be instantly created

  • Increase automation using a powerful API, recipes, templates, and more.

  • Increased uptime and performance due to redundant components

  • Instantly scale up resources as demand spikes

  • Only pay for what you use

  • More expensive for the same amount of resources

  • Decreased access to large amounts of CPU, memory, and disk space (although custom plans available)

Depending on the application, the advantages of Cloud servers can make their increased cost pay for itself relatively quickly. For example, with a dedicated server you would need to pay for the resources whether or not you are using them, and pick a server that can meet your needs for at least a year typically. 

What applications are best suited for Cloud servers?

Any application that requires rapid server deployment, optimal uptime, and instant scalability is a good fit for a Cloud Server. These applications tend to be evolving on a regular basis and designed to be setup across multiple Cloud Servers rather than a single server. 

Some popular Cloud applications include:

  • E-Commerce Sites
  • Small Business applications
  • Personal game servers
  • Email servers
  • SaaS applications

What is a Dedicated server?

Although it may seem obvious what a dedicated server is, many hosting companies have rebranded dedicated servers as “cloud dedicated servers” or “dedicated cloud server hosting”. But a dedicated server is completely distinct from a Cloud Server and a cloud dedicated server is the same thing as a dedicated server.

A dedicated server is a physical server hosted in a remote data center that is only utilized and accessed by a single client. Unlike shared hosting or Cloud computing, which segments up a dedicated server using virtualization, a dedicated server is completely dedicated to you with dedicated hardware and no other users sharing the physical server. 

Every dedicated server is a 1U rack-mounted server that is located in our enterprise-grade data centers. These facilities are staffed and monitored 24x7, protected from fire and theft, and connected to network routes which deliver optimal connectivity. Unlike a server hosted in an office, Dedicated Servers are rented for an affordable monthly or yearly price with no up-front hardware costs required. 

“ServerMania has enabled us to achieve 100% network and power uptime this past year ensuring we provide our clients with the best possible Uptime Monitoring services available.”

CEO -Uptime Doctor

See Also: ServerMania Dedicated Servers

Dedicated Server Advantages and Disadvantages

Dedicated servers deliver a variety of advantages and disadvantages when compared to Cloud servers. Some of these include:

Advantages

Disadvantages

  • Access to larger amounts of CPU power, RAM, and hard disk space
  • No up-front hardware costs
  • Not sharing the server with any other users 
  • Custom hardware configurations available
  • Cheaper in the long run, if you’re using resources efficiently
  •  

  • Unable to scale resources as demand spikes
  • Server resources may sit unused
  • More difficult to migrate and upgrade
  • Longer deployment times

  • What applications are best suited for Dedicated servers?

    Dedicated Servers are ideal for stable applications which are unlikely to see resource spikes or require hardware upgrades in the near future. They are also ideal for applications which don’t need rapid server deployment as a dedicated server is manually built and typically ready in 8 to 24 hours. 

    Applications which require a high level of CPU processing, RAM, and disk space that follow the above criteria are also generally better served by a Dedicated Server. These may include:

    • VPS / Shared / Reseller Hosting Nodes
    • Game Server Nodes
    • Big Data Analytics
    • Large Database Hosting

    Is cloud cheaper than a dedicated server?

    With a Cloud Server, you can pay for what you need today and upgrade later. It’s more expensive per month for the same resources but would say you money in not paying for resources that are sitting idle. 

    Cloud Servers are also billed based on a post-paid billing platform so businesses only pay for resources after they have been used, whereas Dedicated Servers are pre-paid and billed at the beginning of each month. Depending on your business model, it may be advantageous to pay for servers after the resources have been used.

    Other Available Hosting Solutions

    Dedicated and Cloud Servers are not the only available choices when deploying a new server. Some other options include:

    • Hybrid / VPS Servers: Similar to Cloud Servers in that the servers are hosted in a virtual environment, but VPS servers aren’t connected to redundant storage, compute, and memory so if the VPS node goes offline, so does the server. These servers also cannot scale. 
    • Colocation: If you prefer to invest in your own hardware, but store the server in a data center and pay only for network, power, and storage in a rack, then colocation may be the right option for you. See our article on how much does colocation cost to learn more.

    Need Help Choosing A Server?

    Hopefully this article has helped you understand some of the key differences between Dedicated and Cloud Servers. If you still have questions about which hosting type to choose, consider booking a free consultation with us. Our team has decades of experience helping individuals and businesses find the right server for their needs at the best price. 

    Contact us today to learn more about Dedicated Server Hosting and Cloud Servers from ServerMania and how our hosted servers can help grow your business.

    Want to learn more? Check out our history of cloud computing, the benefits of virtual servers, and more on our blog.

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    Mark Lahn

    Mark is a Content Marketing Manager at ServerMania. He focuses on providing engaging and easy to follow content to help users navigate the hosting industry.