Pros and Cons of Dedicated servers vs VPS servers vs Cloud Hosting vs Shared Hosting
Selecting between Dedicated Servers, VPS Servers, Cloud Hosting, or Shared Hosting for your business
If you've ever shopped around for web hosting for your business or a Dedicated Server, you'll notice there are literally thousands of companies that offer many different online hosting products. However which one is right for you?
Once you've identified your organizational needs selecting the best product is crucial to accommodate your project. Web hosting companies have been around for a long time now. Since before I started dabbling around in websites back in 2001, working with open source content management systems and web hosting. The industry has expanded, offering a wider range of products. Each tailored to offer more functionality and flexibility within your web hosting service.
This day in age, it's very rare one does not hear the term " Cloud " or " Cloud hosting " within the web hosting world. With products such as Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and other cloud-related hosting companies it's becoming more and more popular. However to determine if it fits your organizational needs. Lets first discuss what cloud hosting is.
Cloud hosting allows for usage over a cluster of servers. Unlike dedicated servers or VPS Servers which are typically one 1 dedicated server or the server itself. Cloud hosting utilizes the resources across a network of servers.
This ensures if one system malfunctions, another is there to replace it at once without any downtime or loss of data. Compared to traditional web hosting cloud hosting is more expensive and does require a bit more in-depth knowledge of server administration and management. Also many web hosts such as Zosting.com. We offer easy to use dashboards for our cloud hosting. It does require more in-depth knowledge of administration.
Cloud hosting also knows as Cloud Server allows for the utilization of resources hourly. Say, you have a sudden spike for a few hours and need extra resources. You are able to upgrade your service to accommodate for just those few hours. However keep in mind, you will be charged hourly for cloud hosting. It is very easy to go over budget if you do not maintain your usage.
Some Pros and Cons of Cloud Hosting:
- Cloud hosting is flexible when adding resources
- It's across a cluster of servers, allows for light resource usage
- They are optimized speed
- Cloud Servers are cost-effective
- Can have with our without Cpanel
- Hourly billing allows for more control of resources and services used
- It's very easy to go over budget when using cloud hosting
- Requires more technical knowledge
- Cloud Computing offers limited control and functions
Shared Web Hosting:
Shared web hosting is a piece of a dedicated server. You share that space with many other people. The best way to think of a shared hosting account is to relate it to an apartment building. Each Apartment has its own key, lease, bills etc. that are related to space you lease from the management company. In this case, the web hosting company.
The more people that lease an apartment in that building, the building becomes crowded. Much like shared hosting, if many people are on one dedicated server, the server becomes crowded. It begins to use much more space and slows down. The technical gears and hardware begin to get old and sometimes can malfunction. Hence regular maintenance and monitoring are necessary.
Shared hosting will accommodate about 90% of the web projects out there. If you're looking to make a website that doesn't receive much traffic or visitors then you should be ok with Shared Hosting. I realize many offer unlimited space packages, however with shared hosting accounts, they typically never peak while others have a limit to the number of files one can upload.
Typically the customers' websites or CMS utilize a very tiny portion of the total # of files allowed. Since many are also on the same server, we monitor the server optimal performance and to ensure there is no bandwidth or extra CPU usage, slowing down your website or others.
Some of the other Pros and cons of Shared Hosting include:
- Accommodate most projects
- Cheap and cost effective
- Most shared hosting provide a free domain name
- Unlimited space
- Good amount of email address
- Pre-installed software
- Easy to use
- Hosting Company manages server
- Typically 24 x 7 Hosting support
- Not much flexibility in operating system
- You get what the Hosting provider provides
- Depending on requirements, server can or will not be upgraded
- Excessive bandwidth usage will be limited
- Server upgrades may require website updates
- Database memory can be limited
- PHP Versions may become obsolete or become an add-on feature from hosting provider increasing cost
- Upgrades and migrations can be costly if resource requirements increase
The best way to look at VPS Servers is, that VPS Servers are a cross breed between Dedicated Servers and Shared Hosting. The web host provides a VPS server to the customer using a virtualizer software. Through the virtualizer, once a new customer signs up for a VPS, a new virtual environment is created. Which resembles a dedicated server. Customers can then utilize tools such as Putty or access the server and install the necessary software of their choosing per their company needs.
However much like shared hosting, a web hosting provider typically has multiple VPS Servers on one dedicated server. However, the total number is much less a compared to shared hosting. Hence allowing for better performance.
The customer can choose how much space they wish to lease as well as bandwidth, giving them flexibility. For example for seasonal organizations, this feature comes in handy.
VPS Servers also require a much deeper understanding of web servers. Our VPS servers come in two different forms. Our customers have the option to choose a VPS Server without Cpanel or with Cpanel. If you choose our VPS Server without Cpanel for example, you will receive a bare metal VPS Server and can install any operating system of your choice or we can proceed and provision the VPS for you. For example with, Ubuntu or CentOS. The latter, should you choose, have the option to purchase a VPS Server with Cpanel. Hence this option allows for the utilization of the necessary resources of the VPS Server, however, allows for the ease of use as with shared web hosting.
The price for most VPS Servers range from 3.00 USD - 20.00 USD per month, in some instances they can go much higher, depending on the resources leased. Most web hosting providers typically provide an easy to use slide bar, which indicates the resources.
IMPORTANT: Beware of Hosting providers that oversell their VPS Server.
Some of the Pros and Cons of VPS Servers:
- Options for resource allocation and can be tailored to your needs
- Fewer individuals on one dedicated server
- More flexibility in the server to make changes
- Choice of operating system installation
- Can choose with Cpanel or without Cpanel licensing
- Typically get the same 24x7 dedicated support for VPS servers as you do for Shared Hosting on " Most " issues
- Are granted root access to your server
- VPS Servers are easy to upgrade
- Cheaper than a dedicated server
- Requires more in-depth knowledge of Server administration
- More cost for Cpanel licensing
- Require more maintenance
- More expensive than Shared Hosting
If you've read this entire blog article. Then you have a rather good idea of what a dedicated server is. What some of the pros and cons are.
Dedicated servers are much more expensive than any of the previous. Our dedicated servers here at Zosting.com run from approx. 80.00 USD - 220.00 USD. As well as most other Dedicated server providers. The size of the server, space, Ram and other resources on the server determine what the price is.
Unlike shared or VPS, a dedicated server is a whole unit. Many larger organizations, as well as security centric companies, tend to get dedicated servers for their company. These do require much extensive technical knowledge to operate. Typically dedicated servers along with VPS Servers are not managed. Dedicated servers are simply bare metal computers located in a different location. You as the customer have the option to load whichever operating system you choose on your new dedicated server. Which makes it great if your technical implementations require customization.
Some Pros and Cons of Dedicated Servers:
- The entire server is yours
- Flexibility in installing operating system
- Ability to customize your server per your needs
- Can maximize usage
- There are multiple dedicated server selections to choose from
- Can get expensive
- Require extensive technical knowledge to operate
- No flexibility in resources. Once maxed out, the only option is to get a bigger server.
- Tools and software can get expensive
- Not easy to use