When you have a big application to put online, dedicated resource is necessary to ensure its performance and simplify your management experience. There're two choice available, dedicated server and cloud hosting service. They each have their own advantages based your different needs. This posting provides comparison between dedicated server and cloud hosting service. Our readers will understand their difference and decide which is better choice if there's such needs.
About Dedicated Server
Dedicated server is simplely composed by solid hardwares just like your personal computer. All resources are provided as it is such as hard drive size, CPU and RAM etc. Once the server is setup you can make full use of all available resources and not effected by other users.
About Cloud Server
Cloud server is a bit different than traditional dedicated server. All cloud server resources are generated from a group of hardware configurations and sometimes from different data centers. You just get remote access to your server configurations but don't know which hardware being used exactly. Hard drives, CPU/RAM and all resources can be from different locations.
Performance Comparison – Both Win
It actually depends the kind of application you host on server. Since we get dedicated resource from both platform, there's actually no much difference on performance. If all server resources are good engouh to work with, you won't find any performance issue. But things might change when you need extra support besides your existing server configuration. For example if you're hosting a heavy download site that have extremely high requirements to server/network, cloud should serve you better because your server hardware can be from any location within the company network. So if people download files from multiple locations on your site, cloud server will work better because of its smart configuration.
Ease of Use – Both Win
There's actual no difference in using either service. We manage services via control panel or remote connection directly. We just use it the same as regular server and no matter how it's configured we can still install softwares as normal. Although cloud server hardwares may from different locations, they all connected together to support a server system.
Scalability Comparison – Cloud Wins
Cloud server definitely provides better scalability. Especially when you need to increase its hardware resources, system managers can easily add it on the fly without affecting your running applications. This is crucial feature when your got a business application and suddenly you need extra resource support because you might loose an order if people can not load your site.
Dedicated server is different. We can also add extra hardwares to it but the process is completely different. If we need to add 100GB hard drives or 1GB RAM etc, server admin will have to shut down your server first and most of the time they will have to uninstall from server RACK to operate. Especially when there's no products backup, they will have to purchase separately and you have to wait for it.
Security Comparison – Dedicated server wins
This is decided by the server setup. You keep everything on the same hard drives for dedicated server and everything is protected properly. On the same level security setup, dedicated servers can be fully separated from other devices and ensure your data security.
Things are not the same for cloud server. Because it's created from a group of hardware resources, it's hard to track where your data will be located. After several backup, your data might have delivered to everywhere in the system. In case you're hosting some sensitive or copyrighted materials, it's absolutely not acceptable. Especially when there's hardware failure in cloud environment and your server provider does not have good policies for those retired products, you're in big security problem.
Server setup time – Cloud Wins
Cloud provides almost instant setup as we have reviewed from bluehost dedicated service. Because everything is ready in the environment, we just need to program properly to automate the process. If you need urgent server service, cloud should be your primary consideration.
Because almost every server is customly setup, so server providers will have to confirm your payment first then they will purchase your required hardwares then prepare installtion in data center. The process may take hours to days depends the actual situation.
Based all above comparison, using which service completely based what kind of application you're going to host and the level of security protection you expect. If security is top concern, the traditional server is suggested as everything will be stored on reachable hard drives. If extremely high performance/scalability is expected, cloud server would be perfect based all advantages above.