There is plenty of hype over cloud computing. There is a distinct feeling that the only option is to move into a cloud. However, the truth is that managed dedicated servers are still a good bet for hosting your website. Here are some reasons why you must consider managed dedicated servers instead of a cloud.
One of the reasons why IT professionals are weary of a cloud hosting environment is the opaqueness in the services. You have to dig very deep to know the exact configuration of the hardware in which your site is hosted. When you opt for a dedicated server, you not only know what you will get but can also configure and control your hardware environment. This flexibility is advantageous when it comes to extracting better performance and efficiency. In case of a cloud offering, you are forced to choose from preconfigured options which are a constraint.
You can also choose your datacenter as per your convenience. If your customers are located in a particular geography, for example New York, you might as well choose your datacenter in the same place. This would lead to faster download speed for your web pages. Datacenter can also be chosen for reasons like physical security and for better connectivity to internet backbone.
Each website has a specific requirement. Some need faster chipsets with heavy duty RAM while others may need more hard disk capacity. An image centric website requires storage capacity while an online analytics site would need faster computational speed. In case of dedicated server, you can always configure your hardware according to your need. In a cloud service, you have to choose from a set of preconfigured modules. It’s often seen in majority of the cases that some resources are never exploited fully leading to underutilization.
A major concern among IT professionals is the security of cloud based hosting. Many big websites are regularly compromised due to this reason. Dedicated server environment can be monitored more efficiently. Installation of better antivirus software and SSL certificates certainly reduce the probability or likelihood of a website being compromised.
Dedicated servers have a distinct edge over cloud services where software is concerned. It has been observed that often there is a mismatch between some or the other software leading to conflict. This situation cannot be easily resolved when a cloud service is used.
In case of managed dedicated servers, you can have the cake and can eat it too. You have all the benefits of a dedicated server which you can use the way you want without getting tied up with predefined configurations. The day to day and routine server maintenance and upgrade activities are catered by the service provider, enabling you to focus on your core activities. This also means you don’t need a technical hand to look after your online resources, both hardware and software. In case of a cloud service provider, you may still need some kind of expertise to manage resources. There is no doubt that cloud has some distinct advantages like scaling, but not everyone needs to add servers or remove them on a day to day basis. Most online operations are better suited for a dedicated server environment.
What is a mature business model? Typically, most online activities are stable and predictable. For example, if you advertise heavily, there is a possibility that the traffic to your site would increase. This increase can be assessed in advance and the resources can be easily allocated. This is a mature business model. On the other hand, estimating traffic of a new venture, like online gaming, can be quite difficult due to unpredictability inherent in the model. Scaling up to meet demand may be required. This situation can be better handled in a cloud environment.
Everyone seems to be claiming that dedicated servers cost a bomb and cloud services are way more economical. If you look at the numbers closely, you are likely to get a different picture. In case of a dedicated server, you have to bear the initial cost of purchase. The cost of servers has come down quite a bit and a high end server packed with the latest hardware can be purchased for a thousand dollars. You can use the same configuration with minor upgrades for five years. The cost per year therefore comes down to $200. In comparison, you may shell out $100 per month for a cloud service. Back of the envelope calculation is enough to reveal that you will spend almost five times more in case of a cloud instance (server module in the cloud). Essentially, if you plan to have a steady traffic without dramatic peaks, you are better off with a dedicated server.
When negotiating for a managed dedicated server, you must ensure that the provider guarantees specific operational factors. A good service level agreement is a stepping stone for future success. By looking at a SLA, you can come to know about the standards and quality of service offered. You must never agree to go with any service provider without a SLA. Upgrades can be a tricky issue as you go forward. Since your dedicated server has a lifetime of five years, you must cater to all hardware and software upgrades for this period. There can be no doubt that estimating the work involved for upgrades is a difficult task, but a rough estimate must be indicated in the agreement.
A managed dedicated server is much better than cloud offering for certain type of online businesses. For those who have a steady predictable traffic, a dedicated server will be better suited. Managed services can alleviate the pain of daily maintenance. Managed dedicated servers can be more economical than cloud services. With dedicated servers you are not tied down with limitations and restrictions by way of deploying software. Incompatibility issues can be easily resolved with dedicated servers. With a good SLA, businesses are better off with dedicated servers as compared to cloud services.