Servers vs. the Cloud: Which is Best for Your Business?
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Dawn Altnam is a regular contributor to The HRIS World.
In just about every company, there’s an ongoing IT conversation about whether to adopt a cloud-based or dedicated server environment.
This a hotly debated issue in the IT community with convincing arguments on either side.
On one hand, dedicated servers allow you and your team to have a high level of control over every aspect of data management.
On the other hand, cloud-based servers are much more flexible and less expensive.
The argument really comes down to a discussion about cost vs. computing power.
With various blurry lines on either side of the argument – dedicated server technology is becoming less expensive and cloud server platforms are coming with higher levels of computing power – it can be hard to come to a decision.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of each server environment, and then you can decide where you land on the dedicated vs. cloud server issue.
Dedicated Server Benefits
One of the main arguments for dedicated server platforms is that they are simply faster and more reliable.
While the response time differences between the two server environments can literally be broken down to milliseconds in time differences, the performance of a dedicated server has proven to be significantly fast.
Fully Customizable Configurations
For enterprise-class companies, customizing the infrastructural computing environment may prove to be a top reason for using a dedicated server.
You can purchase a one-box solution and set up a scalable server in less time than it would take to put together a physical machine, further reducing the benefits offered by the cloud.
This is one particular weakness with cloud or shared hosting services.
In many cases, you must submit a formal support request every time you want to make major changes to the server configuration.
More Control Over Apps
Again, apps used in an enterprise environment require a high level of customization.
In most shared server environments, what you’re essentially getting are apps in a can that already have preset parameters.
With a dedicated server, you can fully customize business-essential solutions like e-mail and/or server management applications.
Cloud Server Benefits
High Level Scalability
Second to simply being cheaper than dedicated servers, this is probably the most compelling argument for adopting a cloud server environment.
Cloud servers are highly flexible and scalable, and many hosted servers allow you to scale up, down and out on the fly.
This is especially helpful for small businesses and startup who don’t need dedicated super servers right out of the gate.
Easy to Use
Most small businesses and startups are not in the position to hire expensive consultants and server architecture specialists to get things up and running.
Cloud-based servers require minimal training and can be up and running in a matter of a few hours.
Cloud servers are usually offered as a subscription service.
This means you don’t have to purchase massive amounts of servers, or rack space in an expensive data center.
You can usually pay for cloud servers by the hour, week or month, depending on the service you are using.
The truth is that no two businesses are the same.
What works for one company is not guaranteed to work for another.
When approaching the server conversation, every IT department needs to have an open mind about what is actually realistic in terms of cost and resources, and what is beneficial to the infrastructure as a whole.
More articles by Dawn Altnam...
- Got Cloud for Your Database? DBA Role Shift Is Arriving - 29-April-2013
- How to Lose Your IT Team in 10 days - 17-April-2013
- It's a Hard Life But It Can Be Saved With a Flash - 19-February-2013
- When Technology Becomes Convenient, Is It Really Easier? - 12-February-2013
- Why It's Time for Data Centers to Catch Up - 15-January-2013
- Understanding Challenges in Virtualization - 8-January-2013
- Declining IT Jobs: The How, Why, And What to Do About It - 26-December-2012
- Staffing Your IT Department for Success - 11-December-2012
- BYOD: What Is It? And How Will It Work for Your Business? - 3-December-2012
- Threatened: IT Jobs in the Wild - 18-November-2012
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