Data storage and access is one of the most important aspects of business today. The main choices are dedicated servers, cloud or a mix of both - deciding which direction to go can be difficult as it can be expensive and confusing, though ultimately it must be done. Knowing the differences between dedicated servers and cloud computing can help you to make an informed decision for the future data storage capabilities of your business.
The cloud is a relatively new term for many people – so you could be forgiven if you are not exactly sure what it means. If this is the case, read "What is the cloud and how can it help your business?" for a better understanding. Essentially the cloud is a network of physical servers all around the world on which you can rent space. The cloud has its benefits, but also its drawbacks. The biggest benefit of the cloud is that it can be accessed from anywhere, if you have an Internet connection. This means you could be in the US, and your head office could be in Australia, and you would still be able to instantly access all the files you need. The cloud can also be cheaper than dedicated servers, as you are only renting the amount of space you use, and not paying for expensive hardware – it’s an operating expense rather than a capital expense. The downside to the cloud comes in the form of security. They are secure as most companies encrypt any information that is stored on them, however this can sometimes be hacked. This just means that no top-secret information should be uploaded to it; so most typical small to medium sized businesses are fine.
A Dedicated Server
A dedicated server is a more traditional form of data storage for businesses. This requires hardware and software licences to be purchased and installed, which can cost a lot of money (a capital expense) and takes up office space for installation. It is likely you will also need some form of IT department to look after repairs and maintenance of the server, however there are great options for outsourcing this too. Once installed, dedicated servers are similar to the cloud but can be a lot more secure and are harder to hack into – depending on the other security measures you deploy to protect the server. This doesn’t make them bulletproof though. You are in control of the security and maintenance of these servers and you need to ensure you know what you are doing. Outsourcing this is, of course, a viable and somewhat preferable option.
Deciding on which network to use is a daunting task and should be considered carefully. Before making your decision, you should talk to experts who will help guide you through to the best server option for your business. For more information on the difference between the types of servers, download our "Cloud vs On-Premises vs Hybrid" eBook.
If you would like to talk to an expert on the differences between the cloud and dedicated servers, contact us here.
If you would like to understand more about the differences between the Cloud and On-Premises and Hybrid servers, download our free eBook here.