Web Hosting 101 – Cloud vs. Dedicated Hosting

Cloud vs Dedicated HostingEvery business knows the importance of having a fantastic online presence, and the large majority are held on dedicated servers.

However, you may have heard the word ‘cloud’ being bounced around with relation to website hosting. Cloud hosting is a way of sharing resources with other machines and, therefore, having your information guaranteed by many servers. This is becoming a more and more popular way of hosting websites. In this article, we will compare cloud hosting against dedicated hosting to give you a synopsis of the main pros and cons of both options.

Cost

Firstly, we’ll look at cost. Dedicated servers are not cheap but they provide almost unlimited space that is dedicated to storing your website’s information. The downside of paying for dedicated hosting is that it is very likely that you will never use the amount of space you are paying for to its full potential. The cost of cloud hosting includes only what you use – think of it like a pay as you go contract.

Performance

Dedicated hosts need to take time to establish your business’s requirements with regards to the amount of storage you will need. There will be a considerable setup fee. Because cloud-hosting resources are already in place, though, the setup time is much quicker. Once you are up and running, a dedicated host can be reliable until it suffers any sort of hardware failure. Cloud hosting, on the other hand, is much less likely to let you down because it is reliant on a bank of servers. Cloud hosting has the additional benefit of being able to maintain service throughout a power cut. This can put minds at rest because having relied-upon systems that go down when there is no power is a very unstable way to run a business.

Security

Because dedicated hosts do not share servers with other people, they are set up to be very secure. On the other hand, cloud models are struggling to offer the same level of security as dedicated hosts because of the nature of how the information is stored and shared. With cloud hosting, you are unaware of which servers your information might end up on. And although it may well be password protected to the hilt, this information is still vulnerable to hackers.

Summary

So we see that, when it comes to cost and performance, the cloud model takes the prize, but it falters on the security aspects. This can be solved by creating ‘private clouds.’ This is creating a cloud system in the usual way, but ring-fencing it around trusted machines and servers, thereby limiting the risk of outsiders being able to hack in. This seems to be the future of online hosting. Whilst even private cloud hosts can’t offer the same level of security as a dedicated host would, it is far better. The increased security while maintaining low cost and high performance seems to be enough to convince many customers that this is the future of web hosting.