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Introduction

The need for businesses to have a strong online presence cannot be over-emphasized. E-commerce is fast becoming the future of commerce and it can be predicted that it would soon completely take the place of traditional buying and selling in the nearest future. For this reason, more and more businesses are beginning to expand their tentacles to cover the online aspect of their businesses. In fact, E-commerce is growing so fast that many startups no longer see the need to have a physical location for doing business. They could easily just set up a thriving business online with as little funds as possible.

What this implies is that the competition in the traditional physical market is now gradually moving online. Businesses would start competing to remain relevant on the internet through digital marketing, content creation, and a whole lot of other strategies for attracting online customers. The businesses that would come top on the cyberspace are not necessarily the businesses with the best products and services to offer. They are the businesses that understand the peculiar nature of the internet and have exploited it for their benefit.

For businesses to function online and have an online presence, they have to create websites for the purpose. It is through these websites that online businesses (inter-communication, payment for goods, exchange of data, etc) occur. For these websites to run, there automatically have to be servers for that purpose. This means that these servers are ultimately, and to a large extent responsible for the growth and development of online business in the long term.

Servers manage network resources. It helps to store, retrieve, and transfer data from one computer to another device. Without the Server, the exchange of data between the business and the buyer would be virtually impossible, the website would malfunction leading to loss of customers and the e-commerce platform would collapse eventually.

There are basically three (3) types of web servers used by businesses to run their websites. They are the Cloud server, the dedicated server, and the virtual private server. We would be discussing them briefly.

The Dedicated Server:

Dedicated servers are so-called because they are private servers designed specifically to suit a particular purpose and to ensure speed, durability, reliability, security, etc. Dedicated servers are private as they cater to the needs of a single host and do not share hardware resources with other users. Dedicated servers are usually more expensive than other types of web servers and are usually used by large companies that experience a high influx on their page, require high-security servers, and value website functionality and performance. Typically, if you run an online business with 1,000 online customers or more, you should consider having a dedicated server for the purpose.

Dedicated servers are usually provided to website owners by web hosting services providers who offer them along with accompanying equipment and hardware resources for rent. The hardware resources delivered to each client is dependent on their preferences.

The dedicated server can either be managed or unmanaged. We say a dedicated server is managed when the web hosting service provider is saddled with an extra duty of managing the server after its purchase, and it is unmanaged when the responsibility of management, hardware, and software lies with the user.

The Cloud Server:

Unlike the dedicated server, the cloud server is a virtual hosting platform with no physical attributes, even if they can be hosted by many physical servers. Cloud servers run in a cloud computing environment where there are a series of connected servers that can be accessed from different locations. These virtual servers rented out to website owners who would be needing them to run their sites.

The cloud server is a series of different machines that are all connected together in the cloud computing environment. When a client subscribes to a cloud server service, they are simply buying a space on the cloud computing environment. Among the benefits of using cloud servers, the most prominent ones include its flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and scalability. Cloud servers are very easy to create.

The virtual private server

The virtual private server incorporates features from both the cloud server and the dedicated server. The virtual private server shares the functional, and hardware characteristics of the dedicated server but has the virtualization characteristic of the cloud server.

Comparison between the Dedicated Server and the Cloud Server

We would be discussing in subsequent paragraphs, the differences, and similarities between the dedicated server and the cloud server to help in your discussion making process as to which if the servers would be better for your website.

The following are the similarities between the dedicated server and the cloud server:

  • Information Storage and Processing. Both the dedicated servers and the cloud servers perform the function of storing data, processing data, and making them accessible for use on demand.

  • Web servers. Servers are basically computers that are made to serve unique purposes. The cloud server and the dedicated server both belong to a hardware group of servers called the ‘web servers ‘ because they are created to ensure website functionality.

  • Security. Though on varied levels, the dedicated server and the cloud server provide data security and privacy functions.

  • Seamless Migration. Both dedicated servers and cloud servers offer seamless migration functions that make it possible for users to migrate from one server plan to another without hitches regardless of hardware specifications.

The following are some of the major differences between Dedicated Servers and Cloud Servers:

  • Performance. Server performance refers to how well the servers are able to perform the functions they were made for. In comparing the performance of dedicated servers with that of cloud servers, it is safe to say that dedicated servers generally perform better than cloud servers. First of all, dedicated servers do not experience the downtimes and lags cloud servers regularly experience when processing data. Secondly, because dedicated servers are private servers that are used by one client to the exclusion of any other, and because they do not have to queue requests but have direct access to the network, dedicated server hardware resources are not stretched thin and data processing is done with way more speed than that of cloud servers.

  • Number of Users. Another major difference between the dedicated servers and the cloud servers is the number of users allocated to the server. Dedicated server users have the advantage of being the only tenant allocated to their server. This gives them full control over their server usage and also means that dedicated servers would be naturally more secure and provide better privacy than that cloud servers. The cloud server users, on the other hand, have to share their servers with other tenants.

  • Server Management. You would also notice a difference between dedicated server management/administration and that of the cloud servers. Managing a dedicated server is a much more complex task than managing cloud servers. It requires a lot of technical knowledge to manage and as a result, dedicated servers clients need to either have the technical expertise or pay significant costs for server maintenance. Dedicated servers hardware needs to be specially monitored along with the installation and other programs. With cloud servers, maintenance is much simpler and faster.

  • Cost. When it comes to cost comparison, there is something tricky about maintaining a definite stance. This is because either the dedicated server or the cloud server can end up being more expensive or cheaper than the other, all depending on a couple of factors. Even though dedicated servers are definitely more expensive than cloud servers at the initial stage, cloud servers may end up being more expensive in the long run.

  • Customization. Dedicated servers have the ability to provide customization features to suit the particular needs of their clients. This is hardly possible for most cloud servers.

  • Scalability. This is one advantage cloud servers have over dedicated servers. You can scale your computing hardware resources way easier than that of dedicated servers.

Factors to consider when choosing servers for your businesses.

Haven compared the dedicated servers with the cloud servers, one would easily be tempted to say that dedicated servers are better than cloud servers for all intents and purposes. This conclusion would be erroneous if some factors are not taken into consideration. The following are some of the factors to consider when choosing the right type of server for your business:

  • Your current business needs. Every choice you make in business should be well – considered to ensure that they are in line with what your business needs at the moment. It’s no different from web servers. Depending on your priorities at the moment of choosing, cloud or dedicated servers can serve your needs perfectly. For example, if your business is a large one that deals with lots of sensitive data and your immediate priority is enhanced security functions for your business, dedicated servers would serve you best.

On the other hand, if you run a small business with no reason to overly worry about your data security and you need computing hardware resources scalability, the cloud server would be best for you.

  • Your future business needs. What are your future plans and needs? What server would be best suited to achieving those plans and solving those needs?

  • The pros and cons of each server. You should study the advantages and disadvantages of each type of server to know how they affect your business.

Conclusion

Cloud servers, dedicated servers, and virtual private servers are all amazing web server options to choose from depending on your business needs. To choose the best servers for your business, it’s wise to look at the pros and cons of each server and how they directly affect your business, then pick the one that offers you the most advantage.

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