Cloud or Dedicated Server? Making the Right Choice
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Cloud or Dedicated Server? Making the Right Choice

Both the cloud and dedicated servers offer formidable computing resources and neither of them is inherently better than the other. The answer to which is the best one to use depends entirely upon the task an enterprise wants to carry out. To help you make an informed decision, this article will look at the key areas that organisations should consider.

Security

Security is an important factor when deciding between cloud and dedicated servers and companies should consider closely. With regard to the actual servers, both can be configured to the same security standards. At Hyperslice, both can be protected by a next-gen FortiGate firewall that provides advanced security, including intrusion detection, anti-malware, DDoS protection, VPN and DMZ.

Organisations which have to comply with regulations and store personal or sensitive information may have concerns about public cloud multi-tenancy and may prefer a dedicated server for data storage. A dedicated server, however, can be part of a hybrid solution, as can storing data on a single-tenancy private cloud.

High-availability

For critical applications that need to be online all the time, the best solution is the cloud. The hyper-converged architecture of a cloud environment means that if there is an issue with the hardware, another instance of your server can be brought online immediately and no downtime will take place. This enables cloud environments to offer 100% uptime, guaranteed by SLA.

While dedicated servers are highly reliable and can achieve uptime guarantees of up to 99.95%; if there is a hardware failure, a new server will need to be set up and the backup data installed before the application can be brought back online. For critical applications, this can be too long of a delay.

Scalability

For enterprises looking for scalability, the cloud is by far the best option. As a cloud provider will have vast quantities of redundant resources at its disposal, scaling up can be done instantly up to the maximum per VM limit of the vendor, and with no need for downtime. This makes it easier for organisations to cope with unexpected spikes in demand and to plan ahead for busy periods. As a pay as you go service, it is also very cost-effective. 

Dedicated servers, on the other hand, can only scale up by increasing memory and disk space. This will mean taking the server offline while the hardware is upgraded and any upgrade is limited to the limitations of the server chassis and other internal components.  

Cloud also has the advantage when it comes to horizontal scalability. With a dedicated server setup, additional hardware is required which is expensive and can be slow. With the cloud, load balancing and database clustering enables new servers to be deployed on-demand, while templates can be used to deploy new servers and cloning employed to replicate existing ones.

Performance

For organisations wanting to run resource-heavy applications, dedicated servers offer the best performance, though the choice of hardware does have an impact. As companies can build bespoke servers, there is an unparalleled opportunity to build machines that meet their computing needs. For example, companies can choose core or frequency optimised CPUs or both; single, dual or quad processors; and SSD storage and PCIe based drives.

While extremely powerful, the higher the specification, the more a dedicated server will cost. For companies not requiring such powerful machines, both the cloud and VPS can be sufficient alternatives.

The performance of cloud VM depends upon the underlying hardware, though modern datacentres deploy some of the highest spec technology, such as Xeon E5-2600s with 8 to 12 cores. If needed, a VM can even be floated between physical servers to balance out resource usage.

Disaster recovery

Like security, disaster recovery is a major priority for enterprises and this can have an impact on your choice of infrastructure. While dedicated servers are easily backed up, restoring a server with a hardware issue doesn’t offer the swiftest of recovery times. Doing so may require replacement hardware, network configuration and preparing the backup agent to accept the restore. Recovery can be even more drawn out if there are configuration differences between the original and replacement server, something which increases in probability as a server gets older.

Cloud recovery is far less onerous. Virtual machines are easily backed up and can be restored to new hardware either locally or at a remote datacentre with exceptional speed. Unlike dedicated servers, there is also no configuration compatibility issues: as a virtual machine, a cloud server is hardware agnostic. Indeed, the cloud can even speed up recovery from software issues. If there’s an incompatibility problem following an update, for example, snapshot technology enables the system to simply roll back and restore.

Conclusion

Both cloud and dedicated servers offer powerful and reliable computing. However, the right choice depends upon the workloads a company wants to run. When it comes to running demanding applications, the best choice is a high-performance server, built to your required specification. This may also be the best option for companies wanting to store sensitive data away from a multi-tenancy environment. Cloud servers, which are also high performance and extremely secure, are the ideal choice for critical applications that need high availability. They are also the best solution for disaster recovery and scalability.

For more information, visit Hyperslice.com

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