One of the bigger discussions in web hosting over the past three years has been cloud vs. dedicated hosting platforms. Each has its own pros and cons, so the jury is still out on which is the better avenue to take.
Regardless of which direction you go, the main points to consider when shopping around for a web hosting company are:
1. Hardware: What is the vCPU, block storage, and memory performance like?
3. Pricing: what is the price-performance value like? How much will you use of what you are paying for?
4. What is the performance and value for internal networking?
5. Is the performance of the VM components, like virtual cores, stable?
6. How is the maintenance and customer service?
A Closer Look at The Cloud
When it comes down to deciding on a web hosting company, most people will immediately go to price, and price is in fact one dominant drawing factor of switching to cloud technology, as you only have to pay for what you use. In this way you can actually adjust your services depending on the ebb and flow of your business, because as businesses grow or decrease, so do your computing needs.
Some other pros of cloud web hosting are that there is no hardware to purchase or to be maintained and there are essentially unlimited abilities to scale, which means extensive room for growth. Cloud hosting is also ready-to-go when ordered, so it avoids any set-backs with set-up time.
Some of the cons, on the other hand, are that scaling up bandwidth, disk space and SQL storage is often expensive. Also, and perhaps the biggest con is that cloud servers have had a reputation in the past for randomly going offline. However, cloud hosting is still relatively new and continuously improving. As for cloud hosting companies, Cloud Spectator broke down the costs of provider 1&1, highlighting their particular cloud server option which gained generally positive reviews.
A Closer Look at The Dedicated Server
As far as the dedicated server goes, its top drawing factor is its high performance, which is often said to be far superior to a cloud platform. Dedicated networks also offer full control and in some cases you can access your files without an internet connection, and the disk space, bandwidth and SQL storage all tend to be cheaper on this platform as well.
That being said, there is only so much space and scaling ability on a dedicated server and therefore only so much room for growth, which is a large factor to consider when thinking of your future business plans. There are also hardware failures to contemplate and there are higher costs involved with paying people to handle configuration, management, and of course IT. Moreover, you are always going to pay for top performance and best power, even if you aren’t using it to the maximum potential.
Dedicated servers are location-based, so if you are interested in checking out some dedicated options, check in the local business listings and be sure to read customer reviews online. User experience reviews are the best way to evaluate if a hosting service is able to meet your business needs.
Ultimately you just need to consider what option is best for your site and your company, and of course you can always change hosting companies later on down the line if you are not satisfied. For more information on cloud computing in general, be sure to read this Forbes article by Joe McKendrick.