Dedicated Server Vs. Cloud Server

Julia Raznik

Written by Web Hosting Expert

October 21, 2021
Dedicated Server Vs. Cloud Server

As dedicated servers do battle with cloud hosting solutions for market dominance, we take a deep dive into both to find out which one has the answers for your website or business.

What Is a Dedicated Server?


how does dedicated server work

With a dedicated server, your website will sit on a private server, and won’t be sharing resources with other platforms. It's an expensive route to go down, but might be useful if you have very large bandwidth requirements.

You can read the full details over on our dedicated server page.

What is a Cloud Server?


What is Cloud hosting

Cloud Server might just be the most efficient and cost-effective form of hosting available right now. It utilizes multiple servers, drawing processing power when necessary during spikes in traffic. It's a great option for small and large businesses alike and often comes bundled as a fully managed service.

You can check out more info on our cloud hosting page.

Common Features

Strong performance - Both platforms are geared towards fast and efficient sites

High site traffic volumes - Cloud solutions can scale up quickly to manage traffic spikes, while dedicated platforms are set up with large bandwidth requirements built-in

Good for larger businesses - Both types of hosting can cater to larger websites and successful businesses

Differences

Cost - Dedicated servers are much more expensive than cloud solutions, but come with more processing power

Scalability - Cloud hosting platforms can be very easily scaled up to meet fresh demand, whereas dedicated hosting requires a lot of prep work

Customization - Most cloud solutions are fully managed, taking the stress out of hosting, but dedicated servers offer far more customization options

Dedicated vs. Cloud Server: Point By Point Comparison


Resource Allocation

  • Dedicated Server Being private servers, all resources are automatically assigned to your website. However, you’ll need to plan well in advance for any required increase or decrease in resources.
  • Cloud Server No other type of hosting handles resource allocation better than cloud solutions. Being able to draw on multiple servers at once makes for an incredibly efficient website.

Verdict
Cloud servers
The sheer flexibility offered by cloud servers means it takes our top spot. You’ll almost never have resource issues with so many servers to tap into.

Performance

  • Dedicated Server Dedicated servers are known for strong performance and have hefty processors behind them. Although, if your server fails your whole site could go down.
  • Cloud Server Cloud hosting is equally impressive when it comes to site loading speeds, and has the added benefit of redundant servers if an issue occurs.

Verdict
Cloud servers
Since both solutions have pretty good performance, we have to give the win to cloud servers for the ability to keep going should there be any server failures.

Traffic volume

  • Dedicated Server Dedicated servers are designed for huge volumes of traffic and are often used by large enterprise websites with impressive eCommerce stores.
  • Cloud Server Cloud servers are incredibly flexible when it comes to managing spikes in site visitors, and can handle almost as many as dedicated options

Verdict
Dedicated servers
This is a close one, but dedicated servers just take it for being able to handle higher volumes of traffic.

Security

Security Comparison between Dedicated Vs Cloud Server
  • Dedicated Server Dedicated servers come packed with a range of great security features, and being housed on your own server reduces risks even further.
  • Cloud Server Cloud hosting security can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. However, if you opt for a managed service you can offload your security controls to a team of knowledgeable experts.

Verdict
Cloud Server
While dedicated hosting offers more security options, it requires a lot of skill and experience to get right. Choosing a managed cloud server means you benefit from top-notch security provided by the data host.

Control

  • Dedicated Server Dedicated servers are highly configurable. You can install any software or operating system onto your server that you’d like and can create some highly customizable websites.
  • Cloud Server Control tends to be a little more limited with cloud options, and most users will end up choosing a managed service.

Verdict
Dedicated servers
Dedicated servers win this round for being 100% configurable to your preferences.

Server Administration

  • Dedicated Server You’ll be responsible for all server administration under a dedicated service, meaning you need to know what you’re doing. You’ll have to ensure security patches are made and updates have been covered.
  • Cloud Server Choosing a managed cloud server means all day-to-day maintenance is taken care of for you. The data host will be responsible for all administrative aspects and will fix all technical issues for you.

Verdict
Cloud Servers
Managed cloud hosting is incredibly easy to get to grips with, and having the data host take care of all your admin duties will free you up to work on more important tasks.

Scalability

  • Dedicated Server While most dedicated servers come with huge processing capacity and can handle large traffic volumes, they can be a little clunky when it comes to scaling. You’ll need to plan well in advance if you need more bandwidth.
  • Cloud Server By spreading resources across multiple servers at once, cloud hosting options allow users to very easily scale up processing power when needed.

Verdict
Cloud Servers
With a near-infinite pool of server resources to draw from, websites on cloud hosting platforms can scale up or down incredibly easily.

Price

  • Dedicated Server With so much power behind them, dedicated servers don’t come cheap. Even options at the low end start from between $70 - $100 per month, and complex options will set you back hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
  • Cloud Server Cloud hosting is great for those looking for flexible pricing. You’ll only ever pay for the bandwidth you need, and you can find some incredibly reasonable deals these days.

Verdict
Cloud Servers
An easy win for cloud servers here as they offer a much cheaper service than dedicated hosting options.

Technical knowledge needed

  • Dedicated Server You’re going to need a lot of technical knowledge to operate a dedicated server effectively. Many users have teams of in-house IT experts and are generally used by much larger organizations.
  • Cloud Server Opting for a managed cloud server means you don’t have to worry about the technical side of things at all. The data host provides everything you need and can offer help when building your site.

Verdict
Cloud Servers
If you want to get set up quickly, then we highly recommend cloud servers.

Customer Support

  • Dedicated Server In many respects, you’ll be on your own in relation to customer service. While the data host provides maintenance on physical server equipment, you'll be largely responsible for just about every other aspect of our site yourself.
  • Cloud Server Managed cloud hosting provides 24/7 support from a team of knowledgeable experts. Plus, the teams are bound by service level agreements and must work quickly to resolve any issues.

Verdict
Cloud Servers
Another clear victory for cloud hosting. With an on-call team of experts to draw on at any time of the day or night, you’re well covered.

Managed Vs. Unmanaged Hosting


Managed Vs Unmanaged service of Dedicated Vs Cloud Server
  • Responsibility - Under an unmanaged service you’re responsible for a lot more of the server administration tasks, and will need to pick up the slack if you run into any issues Whereas managed services will cover everything for you, taking away a lot of the stress of running a website
  • Security - On unmanaged platforms, you’ll be required to arrange a lot of your own security measures. This includes choosing the software you’d like to install on the server, or installing various plug-ins. Managed options provide all the security controls for you and will ensure your software is patched and up to date
  • Support services - While you’ll get good customer support under both types of hosting, managed services offer much more in-depth help. In fact, with managed hosting plans the data host will need to work against strict resolution times set out in your contract. In unmanaged packages, the teams are helpful but are a little more hands-off
  • Cost - Understandably you’ll be paying a premium for managed hosting since the data host will be taking care of the majority of the admin and maintenance tasks related to your site. However, it’s often worth the extra money, especially for those users that don’t have the technical expertise to do this themselves

If you would like to learn more about the difference between managed and unmanaged servers, check on our blog.

Cloud Dedicated Hosting - Mixing Cloud and Dedicated Servers


If you’re looking for the flexibility and low cost of a cloud solution combined with the raw processing power of a dedicated server, you might want to check out cloud dedicated hosting.

These hybrid servers provide you with a portion of a dedicated server that houses only a few other users. Each of the tenants is assigned their section of a cloud environment and resources, and your neighbors can’t draw on your processing power at all.

The shared aspects of this type of hosting make it cheaper than dedicated hosting, but allow you the chance to tap into a boost in processing power. This makes it a good option for those medium-sized businesses that are transitioning into larger organizations.

Making the Switch Between Hosting Types


You want flexibility
You want flexibility

If constant traffic spikes are slowing down your site, you would almost certainly benefit from a managed cloud solution and the flexibility it can provide.

You have large traffic requirements
You have large traffic requirements

If you’re getting thousands of daily visitors to your site it might be worth considering a dedicated server to handle the strain on bandwidth

To save money
To save money

Switching to a cloud or shared hosting package will be much cheaper than opting for a hybrid or dedicated solution

You only have a small website
You only have a small website

For those with small sites, or ones that don’t get a lot of traffic, a shared hosting plan could be ideal for you and you don’t need any technical skills to get started

You want flexibility
You want flexibility

If constant traffic spikes are slowing down your site, you would almost certainly benefit from a managed cloud solution and the flexibility it can provide.

You have large traffic requirements
You have large traffic requirements

If you’re getting thousands of daily visitors to your site it might be worth considering a dedicated server to handle the strain on bandwidth

To save money
To save money

Switching to a cloud or shared hosting package will be much cheaper than opting for a hybrid or dedicated solution

You only have a small website
You only have a small website

For those with small sites, or ones that don’t get a lot of traffic, a shared hosting plan could be ideal for you and you don’t need any technical skills to get started

What Other Web Hosting Types Are There


Dedicated Server Vs. VPS

VPS hosting is a good middle ground between dedicated hosting and cloud hosting. It has more processing power than cloud options but isn’t quite as flexible.

Dedicated Server Vs. Shared Hosting

Shared hosting and dedicated hosting cater to very different needs. Shared hosting is aimed at small websites, can be set up quickly, and is very cheap. Dedicated servers are far more powerful and aimed at much larger organizations.

Summary


We can’t sing the praises of managed cloud hosting enough, and it’s easy to see why it’s becoming so popular. It’s the perfect choice for any website that requires a flexible service at a reasonable price.

Plus, cloud hosting packages are improving all of the time and are able to handle larger and larger amounts of traffic every day.

We’d only ever recommend you try dedicated hosting if you have huge bandwidth requirements, and this type of server is reserved for very large corporations on the whole. Plus, you’ll need to have the skills to run it effectively, or at the very least you’ll need to hire an expensive team to operate it for you.

Frequently Asked Questions


How easy is it to switch from dedicated to cloud?

This depends on how complex your site is. As lots of websites on dedicated servers are highly customized, it could take longer to transfer everything over.

How easy is it to increase bandwidth on cloud servers?

Incredibly easy. Since you’re in a pool of other servers you can draw on those resources at any time. If you need to increase your bandwidth or storage limits just give us a call and it can be done instantly.

Why should I try a managed cloud server?

We’d highly recommend using a managed service, especially if you don’t have the technical skills to run a website. It might cost a little extra, but it certainly takes the stress out of site management.

Are backups included?

Yes. Daily backups are included in all Verpex hosting packages.

Julia Raznik
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Julia Raznik
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