Cloud vs Dedicated

Below are some of the key advantages of Cloud Servers in comparison to traditional Dedicated Servers:

Cloud Servers

Traditional Dedicated Servers

Upgrades Hardware Independent – The underlying server hardware may be upgraded or changed without affecting operating system or applications. Operating system and applications are tied to the physical server. This makes upgrades complex and time consuming.
Console Access Console level access to servers – Ability to repair, upgrade, or reinstall operating systems remotely. Console level access requires special hardware and may still require manual CD, DVD, or floppy insertions for major changes to OS and applications.
Efficiency Efficient use of hardware – runs multiple servers on the cloud and takes advantage of unused resources. Total server capacity is unusable due to segmentation and inability of certain applications to coexist peacefully on the same operating system.
Scalability Instant scalability – additional resources such as RAM, processors, and disk space can be added to servers typically with only a simple reboot. Difficult to scale – components must be installed or swapped in order to expand capacity and there is a risk of extended downtime during upgrades.
Cost Lower cost – A physical host server’s hardware resources can be efficiently shared across multiple workloads. A physical server is required for each workload. The total cost is much higher when deploying multiple physical servers.
Backups Snapshots may be taken allowing you to revert to a previous version of your server. This is useful when making operating system upgrades or other significant changes that may be untested. Once changes are made to the physical server, your only option is to restore from a backup which is time consuming and sometimes unpredictable.
Maintenance Servers are portable and can be easily moved or copied to another host for backup, maintenance, or disaster recovery purposes. Hardware maintenance requires downtime for the duration of the maintenance.
High-availability Hosts can be configured in a cluster to automatically move guest servers (actively or passively) to another host in the event of a failure. A cluster can be configured, but will require complex hardware and network configurations. It can only be used for specific applications running directly on the physical servers.
Cross-platform Multiple operating systems can be run concurrently in the cloud – Windows, Linux, Ubuntu, etc. Each unique operating system would require its own physical server. Required hardware drivers also add a layer of complexity.
Staging Servers can be created on a temporary basis for testing or staging purposes. Servers will use available resources such as RAM and CPU time only while running. The provisioning and de-provisioning of physical servers is not practical because of the manual labor involved.
Performance Servers are faster because of their ability to burst to multiple cores when other servers are idle. Host servers are equipped with RAID 10 giving higher read/write performance. The physical server is limited to the speed of its hardware. This speed is typically much slower than a host’s maximum potential.
Provisioning Servers can be provisioned instantly skipping lengthy OS and software installations by utilizing templates and automated deployment tools. Physical servers require manual labor and will delay time-to-market with tedious provisioning tasks.

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