When talking about high-quality web hosting solutions, for a long time the top-dog position belonged to dedicated hosting. There was simply no better alternative that offered the level of quality this solution offered. These days, though, a new star is rising rapidly and its name is cloud hosting. For all the people that don’t have a grasp on these two terms, I am going to explain each of them, before I go into explaining the differences between them.
With dedicated hosting you get your own private server located at a safe location designed especially for server maintenance, called a data center. This type of hosting is especially good for web sites that increase traffic constantly because they are easily upgradable.You have complete control over your server in terms of software and security. The administration is done by the host as agreed in the contract.
Cloud hosting is a relatively new form of hosting which uses a group of machines (a cloud, if you will) instead of a single machine. A virtual server is set up and a “team” of machines are responsible for keeping it up. This setup provides more flexibility and reliability, but we will discuss this further when we discuss the differences between the two.
Now that we have all the basics down, let’s see what makes them different and which one is better.
- Cost Regulation
This is the first and foremost thing that interests every potential customer. Well, in terms of cost, dedicated hosting functions on the basis of a prepaid package. You decide on the amount of resources that you need and choose a package and then pay monthly fees depending on the type of package you have chosen. Cloud hosting pricing, on the other hand, functions somewhat like your electricity bill. You pay only for the resources you have used, and that’s it. If, by chance, you need more resources, you don’t have to change your package. This offers you a flexibility that you don’t get with dedicate hosting.
- Resources Scaling
With dedicated hosting, you get one server that has its own limited capabilities. This practically means that a CPU that has its limits and, also, a limited disk space. If you wish to expand its capabilities, you would have shut down the machine and change the CPU or add a new hard drive. With cloud hosting, you can add resources on the fly, without ever having to shut down. Adding resources when needed is essential for running a quality online marketing and it can make the difference when it comes to its success.
- Remote Control
While you do have administrative access to a dedicated server, there are many things that this setup doesn’t allow you to do. For example, you remotely reboot a frozen server, install or reinstall your operative system or gain access to the console when using cloud hosting. Dedicated hosting does not have this option and somebody in the data center needs to do this for you.
- In Case of Physical Failure
If a physical crash occurs on a dedicated server, you will be forced to take your back-up (assuming you have one) and restore it on a newly built machine with a newly installed dedicated server. With cloud hosting, since there are many servers working as a group, another machine will take the burden and the catastrophe is averted. This is especially good for professional web sites that cannot afford being down even for a minute.
- Snapshot Feature
Let’s say you want to make some changes to the server setup. Now, let’s say you made a mistake and now your server isn’t working. The snapshot feature on cloud servers will reverse all the changes you have made in just one click. Dedicated servers don’t have this option and if you make a mistake, you are on your own.
- Operating System Support
Many times people don’t want to change from old to new operating systems, since they have gotten used to the old one and can’t be bothered to learn everything again. If you want to change from an older physical server to a newer one, there is a pretty good chance it will not be compatible with your old OS. The virtual servers used in cloud hosting don’t have this compatibility issue and can use any OS you prefer.
As you can see, cloud hosting is far more versatile and adaptable than dedicated hosting and that’s what makes it the future of hosting. Google is one of the prime examples of cloud hosting at its best. Have you ever seen Google have downtime due to maintenance or update? I think not.