Cloud server or dedicated server: what’s the difference?

Cloud hosting has earned a reputation for being a cheaper alternative to a dedicated server. But in reality, the variances are much more pronounced than that. Before you decide on the best option for your business, here’s a quick overview of their differences and benefits.

Dedicated Server

A dedicated server is a physical server purchased (or rented) exclusively for your business. With a dedicated server, software is installed locally on your organisation’s computers and servers.

Today, dedicated servers tend to be used by larger businesses that have a continual high demand for server capacity and stringent data security requirements.

In the majority of cases, businesses manage dedicated servers in-house. So there are requirements in terms of IT capacity and expertise when it comes to ongoing maintenance, firefighting and upgrades. However, it is possible to deploy a managed option which removes the day-to-day hassle (although this is usually costly)

Cloud Server

The most significant difference between a cloud and dedicated server is where they reside. With a cloud-server, everything is hosted by a vendor in a shared ‘virtualised’ environment and accessed via a web browser.

With no upfront investment in hardware and software, cloud servers offer a dynamic and scalable form of hosting that will develop with your business. And you only ever pay for what you use. As such, this approach has become the obvious choice for many SMEs and growing organisations. Furthermore, because you share the hardware with other customers, you’ll benefit from economies of scale.

Offering high resilience and flexibility, today’s cloud servers have come a long way and can even be configured to provide levels of performance and security similar to a dedicated server.

Crucially, with a cloud server everything is managed by your cloud hosting provider.

Hybrid Server

Combining cloud and dedicated servers creates a custom-built hybrid solution. With this approach, businesses can achieve the best of both worlds; cherry-picking the useful bits from both hosting solutions. Hybrid servers are becoming increasingly common in industries with strict regulations around data protection to ensure requirements are met.

Which option is right for you?

When looking to replace their old server and buy a new one, many businesses are looking to upgrade to the cloud. But, how can you be sure it’s the right option for you?

Cloud Server Dedicated Server
Key Benefits
  • Improved security (despite concerns)
  • Improved productivity
  • High availability*
  • Access anywhere, any time
  • Better collaboration
  • Easy compartmentalisation of resources by function
  • Scalability
  • Reduced set up costs
  • Reduced hardware and software costs
  • Reduced ongoing costs (maintenance, energy, physical space, upgrades etc.)
  • Predictable costs over time (subscription-based)
  • IT maintained by cloud provider
  • Quick deployment
  • Access to community-driven applications
  • Access to monitoring, alerts and support
  • You retain control over data security
  • Can be designed to match your exact needs and incorporate any existing technology
  • You don’t have to rely on internet connectivity
Key Disadvantages
  • Data security reliant on your vendor
  • Lack of control
  • Migrating to a new server can be complicated
  • Can be difficult to establish TCO
  • Might not be able to cope with more complex requirements or regulations
  • Less customisable
  • Involves large upfront investment
  • Involves substantial ongoing investment to maintain and upgrade
  • Security measures can be lacking over time
  • Updates may require reactive and tricky customisations
  • New applications require vendor development
  • Compartmentalisation of resources can be expensive
  • Can be time consuming to implement
  • External technical support can be costly

* At Cloud Geeni we provide 99.9% uptime guaranteed

Want to find out more?

When looking for information on cloud servers, the sheer volume of resources available can be overwhelming. Not to mention overly technical. So, how can you be sure you make the right decision?

Committed to helping you, our experts have created a short guide outlining everything you need to know about upgrading to a cloud server so that you can get the most out of your IT investment.

Removing the jargon and keeping everything simple, we’ll look at the advantages and challenges of clouds servers, and examine how much they really cost to run.

Find out how upgrading to a cloud server will unleash the potential in your business. With 99.9% uptime guaranteed. Contact us today!