Dedicated, Hybrid, or Cloud – Which Is Best?

In addition to programming, I am also very interested in data science, the art of manipulating “big data” to extract useful information from it. But what does this mean for hosting? Should I have a dedicated server, cloud hosting, or a hybrid solution?

What Is A Dedicated Server?

A lot of people have traditional shared hosting, which is well and good if you have just one simple site and you’re not concerned about sharing resources. If you have several sites, a need for more security, or don’t want to share resources, that’s where a dedicated server comes in. In my case, all three reasons apply, so I have a dedicated server. You’re reading this article from it. In fact, I’ve had my dedicated server from Codero for years and it would take a lot to convince me to go back to shared hosting.

Codero provides me with an unmanaged dedicated server. This just means that I prefer to do my own updates, install what I like, and customize it. For those who are less comfortable with this kind of thing, managed services can be had at an additional cost every month. Managed hosting provides a hands-off solution with all the benefits of dedicated hosting.

What Is Cloud Hosting?

You really can’t be online these days without hearing about “the cloud”. Apple and Google want to store your music in the cloud, some services want you to back up your files to the cloud, and others want your software to run in the cloud. So what, exactly, is this cloud people are talking about? The could is not some big computer in the sky, but rather a concept for storage and processing.

In terms of storage, the cloud can be thought of like a mass of storage space that you connect to over the internet to store (usually securely) and retrieve your images, documents, and other files. In terms of computing, the cloud is a way to use the power of multiple computers at the same time. Remember when you could suddenly get a “dual-core” processor in your home computer? That meant it could do two things at once. It’s like that only to a much larger degree. Cloud solutions are also highly scalable. This means that the more you use, the more becomes available to you.

What Is A Hybrid Solution?

We know about dedicated servers and cloud computing, so I bet you can guess what a hybrid solution is. To steal the words right from Codero’s blog, a hybrid solution is “…a very specialized and custom proposition that requires an architecture that combines the best of cloud computing and traditional hosting.” Some applications will be well suited to traditional cloud environments while others may need this hybrid solution. Take data processing for example. Dedicated servers allow you to have bare-metal systems for optimal processing. Combine that with the scalability and speed of cloud computing and you have a perhaps ideal hybrid solution.

Final Thoughts

So, what does this mean for you and your needs? This is the part you’ll have to decide for yourself. Figure out your requirements in terms of speed, scalability, cost, and any regulatory concerns. Is your focus just on scalability or maybe just customization? Consider all of your needs both today and in the near future and one of these solutions should fit the bill.

Author: Joe Colburn

Joe Colburn is a software engineer specializing in PHP and a technology enthusiast. Always eager to dive into new and exciting things, Joe writes about anything technology related news and products that he thinks you will also be excited about. Find Joe Colburn on Google+ or by any of the links below.

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