Are you struggling to decide what server is best for your business? We get it; with so many options, it can be challenging to decipher what’s best.
Congratulations on doing your research. Making the wrong server decision can be highly expensive (primarily through lost leads and sales).
Don’t worry; I’m a veteran in the cloud hosting industry and wrote this article to clear things up!
After reading, you should be able to decide on what hosting type is best for your startup, small business, or enterprise organization.
However, you might also not be a candidate for either!
Finally, I touch on three things you should stay away from regarding servers and hosting.
Let’s dive in!
What is a Physical Server?
A physical server is a piece of hardware that stores your data and runs applications. It’s often referred to as an “on-premises” hosting type, meaning it exists physically on the premises of your building or office.
Physical servers typically come with all the hardware components you need to power them up and get them running. The hardware includes the processor, RAM, hard drives, and more.
Although, it may be silly to ask what a physical server is, the real question you should be asking is “Should I use a physical server for my business?”
Physical Server Pros and Cons
The pros and cons of physical servers will depend on your business size, budget, data storage needs, and many other factors. But before you make a decision, let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of physical hosting.
Physical Server Pros
Greater Control: Cloud servers are great for offering a lot of control, but physical servers give you even more. You can customize each server exactly as you’d like, and you have greater control over the data security and privacy protocols.
Better System Performance Insights: Physical server hosting allows you to track and analyze performance data, such as latency and other KPIs. Cloud-hosted servers don’t offer the same level of insight.
You’re Not on the Same Server as Another Business: Because physical servers are dedicated to your business, you don’t have to worry about sharing resources with other businesses.
Easy Customization: Equipped with hardware options such as dedicated firewalls, routers and switches that are not available in cloud-based systems, servers give you the ability to customize your environment for specific tasks. This allows for more flexibility and control over your server setup than ever before.
Better Security: When it comes to security, physical servers provide the most secure platform thanks to their single-tenant environment. With lower admin user levels and heightened permission settings, you can rest easy knowing your data is safer than on a cloud server that might share hardware resources with other accounts.
Physical Server Cons
Offline Upgrades: Although specific server case designs can support hot-swappable and hot-pluggable components, some modifications must be made with the system completely shut off. Furthermore, if your framework necessitates a specific machine without any backup or high availability partner machine, this could adversely affect your website or application.
Higher Costs: Cloud servers are generally a cheaper option than physical servers. Cloud-hosted servers often require fewer resources, meaning you don’t have to pay for components that are not necessary for your business.
Limited Scalability: Physical servers typically have limited scalability because they consume more energy and space as they scale up.
More Likelihood of Data Loss: Keeping your data safe in-house can be a disaster waiting to happen. In an emergency, such as a fire or flood, these servers risk permanent destruction and loss of any precious information stored on them. This is why regularly backing up important files at an offsite location is vital – particularly if you operate from within the hustle and bustle of larger cities where blackouts are frequent occurrences.
Physical Server Example
A physical server is like a super-powered desktop PC, with more expansive capabilities than that of a typical workstation. Examples include file servers, print servers, applications servers, and email servers – all much larger than the average home computer.
What is a Cloud Server?
A cloud server (or cloud hosting) is a virtual computer that runs on a cloud computing platform. Rather than physical products sitting on a shelf in a basement, a cloud server is a software-based digital platform.
Cloud servers are usually optimized for performance and scalability, allowing customers to quickly deploy resources as needed.
Finally, Cloud servers can be used to host websites and applications, store data, or run complex analysis operations.
Cloud Server Pros and Cons
The pros and cons of a cloud server will depend on your business’s specific needs and requirements. Cloud servers are generally less expensive and require fewer resources than physical servers, making them attractive for businesses looking to save money on hosting costs.
Cloud Server Pros
Easy Setup: Cloud servers can be quickly deployed and do not require the same level of hardware or software resources as physical servers.
More Efficient: Cloud servers are designed to be highly scalable, meaning they can be quickly adjusted to meet changing demands. This makes them more efficient than physical servers, which often need to be manually upgraded or reconfigured.
Cost-Effective: Cloud servers are often the more affordable option when compared to physical servers. Cloud providers typically charge per usage and don’t require costly hardware or software investments on your end.
Easy Backups: Cloud servers make it easy to backup and store data offsite, ensuring your vital information is protected in the event of an emergency.
Improved recovery Time: Cloud servers have the benefit of automated system recovery, meaning if there’s a problem with one server, affected services can be quickly moved over to another instance. Cloud Server Cons
Data Security: When configured properly, cloud servers can be more secure than physical servers.
Cloud Server Cons
Security Risks: Cloud servers can be vulnerable to security breaches and malicious attacks, making it essential to ensure your provider is taking proactive steps to protect your data.
Limited Customization: Cloud servers can be challenging to customize and may not meet the exact needs of your application or website.
Data Recovery Costs: Cloud servers may require additional costs for data recovery in the event of an emergency or hardware failure. It can be costly to get your data back, but probably more costly for your business not to have the data while it’s being recovered.
Latency Issues: Cloud servers may experience latency issues, leading to slower loading times or a lag in performance because cloud servers are dependent on your internet connection to access them.
You Share the Server Space: Cloud servers provide a shared hosting environment, so it’s important to know who else is using the same server space and trust that they won’t be accessing or storing any data that could compromise your security.
Cloud Server Example
Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure are examples of cloud service providers that offer cloud servers to customers. Cloud servers are an increasingly popular option due to their cost-effectiveness and scalability.
Cloud Servers Vs. Physical Servers
Cloud Server Cost: Cloud servers usually charge a per-usage fee, with no upfront capital investment.
Physical Server Cost: Physical servers require a large upfront hardware and setup cost, plus additional licensing fees for the OS and software used on the server.
Ease of Use
Ease of Use: Cloud servers are often easier to use than physical servers, as they require minimal configuration and setup.
Physical Server Ease of Use: Physical servers require more manual work regarding initial installation, configuration, and ongoing maintenance.
Cloud Server Security: Cloud servers are less secure than physical servers because of the shared nature of cloud computing.
Physical Server Security: Physical servers are more secure than cloud servers because of the dedicated nature of the server environment.
Cloud Server Performance: Cloud servers can be highly scalable and offer superior performance.
Physical Server Performance: Physical servers typically offer steady, reliable performance but can struggle to meet sudden spikes in demand.
Cloud Server Scalability: Cloud servers are highly scalable, meaning they can easily be expanded to accommodate new users or traffic.
Physical Server Scalability: Physical servers require additional hardware investments in order to scale up to meet increasing demand.
Is a Cloud Server or Physical Server Better?
If you have a small startup that is scaling quickly: Cloud Server
If you have a large enterprise company with sensitive data: Physical Server
If you have a small business that needs the best performance: Cloud Server
If you need to scale up and down quickly: Cloud Server
If you’re processing sensitive information (credit card data): Physical Server
Best Cloud Hosting Companies
The best cloud hosting companies are those that provide reliable, secure, and scalable services at reasonable prices. Some of the most popular Cloud Hosting companies include:
Liquid Web: Offers Cloud VPS and Cloud Dedicated servers for increased performance.
Digital Ocean: Offers simple cloud hosting solutions with low prices and straightforward scalability.
Cloudways: Offers Cloud VPS and Cloud Dedicated servers with enhanced security features.
A2 Hosting: Offers Cloud VPS and Cloud Dedicated servers with blazing-fast speeds.
Best Physical Hosting Companies
The best physical hosting companies offer reliable, secure, and high-performance services. Some of the most popular Physical Hosting companies include:
NameCheap: Offers dedicated servers with enterprise-level hardware.
HostGator: Offers Cloud VPS and Cloud Dedicated servers with flexible scalability options.
InMotion Hosting: Offers Cloud VPS and Cloud Dedicated servers with
Interested in Learning More?
If you enjoyed this article, we’ve got several other great reads on cloud hosting.
Cloud Hosting Vs. Shared Hosting
Cloud Hosting Vs. Dedicated Hosting
Whether you choose Cloud Server or Physical Server hosting depends on your specific needs.
Cloud servers are more cost-effective and easier to use but can be less secure than physical servers.
Physical servers are more expensive and require manual setup but offer superior security for sensitive data.
Ultimately, in the end, it comes down to security. If you need extra security in your server environment, choose physical servers.
Cloud servers are hosted on a virtualized platform and offer increased scalability and performance. Physical servers are housed onsite or in an offsite data center, and provide dedicated resources, but require manual setup and maintenance.
It depends on your specific needs. Cloud servers are more cost-effective and easier to use but can be less secure than physical servers. Physical servers are more expensive and require manual setup but offer superior security for sensitive data.
The main disadvantage of using Cloud servers over Physical servers is security. Cloud servers can be vulnerable to cyber attacks because they are hosted on a shared platform. Physical servers offer dedicated resources and better security due to their physical location.
The main advantages of Cloud servers over Physical servers are cost-to-performance ratio, scalability, and ease of use. Cloud servers are typically cheaper than physical servers and offer improved performance for the price. Cloud servers are also highly scalable, which can easily be expanded to accommodate new users or traffic. Cloud servers require less setup than physical servers and can be more user-friendly.
No, Cloud servers are not replacing traditional physical servers. Cloud servers and physical servers both have their own unique advantages and disadvantages, and so each is suited for different needs. Cloud servers are better for businesses that need to scale quickly or don’t require extra security measures. Physical servers offer more security and control but require manual setup.
Moving your server to the Cloud depends on your business needs. Cloud servers are better suited for businesses that want more scalability and don’t need extra security measures. Physical servers offer a variety of benefits, such as dedicated resources and additional security for sensitive data. Consider your options before deciding which hosting solution is best for you.
The biggest Cloud server is Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS has over 175 services and offers a variety of Cloud computing solutions. Other Cloud hosting providers, such as Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform, also offer large-scale Cloud services.