Cloud has been the buzzword since last several years in the IT industry. The ability to store something on a cloud and make it available to a lot of people at a fraction of cost makes the concept very budget friendly.
So which is better? a dedicated server or a cloud server?
To host a simple WordPress based website, You can use a simple $5 shared SSD hosting. You will get enough bandwidth, storage space and RAM to run a simple website.
But what if you have a big website with millions of visitors and thousands of pages of content? You will need more hosting power than a shared plan.
This is where a dedicated server would help.
You will get a powerful machine, all the bandwidth you need, storage and processing power. But when you choose a physical system, you also get the disadvantages that come with it. If the system restarts, your website will be offline.
If you go with a Cloud-based server, there is no downtime since your data is stored in multiple nodes. This ensures your website is always up.
Although a dedicated server is powerful and comes with a lot of bandwidth, it still cannot be scaled up in case you have unexpectedly high traffic. It will take time to bring another server online to handle additional volume.
A cloud server can be scaled at a moment’s notice. You can assign more storage, RAM, processing power etc almost instantaneously.
Cost wise, a cloud server is typically billed for hours used. You don’t have to pay for hardware, maintenance, etc. If you choose a dedicated server, you will be responsible for its purchase, maintenance, etc. Typically, SQL storage and disk space are cheaper in a dedicated server than a cloud server.
A dedicated server can be placed in your location. So you can control access to the machine. If you run sensitive programs, a dedicated server would be a better option from a physical security perspective. On the other hand, if something goes wrong, you will be held responsible.
If you are using a cloud server, you have a very little control over the system since a service provider maintains it. You will have to trust your cloud service provider to keep your data safe. They usually have teams of IT professionals dedicated to running the entire system.