Choosing a hosting plan can feel overwhelming. A variety of options are available, with solutions catering to every type of user and budget imaginable. This can be advantageous to enterprises with specific hosting needs but may make the selection process feel cumbersome. Even when you have an idea of what you want, it can be tough to make sense of considerations such as power, scalability, and security.
With so many factors to consider, it’s important to think carefully about long-term implications. Significant limitations sometimes accompany server solutions that seem appealing at the outset. Problems such as an insufficient central processing unit (CPU) or poor security may make hosting options that initially appear affordable less of a safe bet over time. As such, it’s best to avoid being lured by immediate savings, and instead, think carefully about the long-term return on investment (ROI). To help, we’ve outlined a few of the top server setups currently available, as well as the unique factors that might impact their true cost.
When choosing a server solution, the upfront price is often a top factor. Eager for a quick hosting solution that can be implemented without a huge investment, many companies find cloud hosting a compelling option. After all, shared resources lead to shared costs.
Scalability also makes cloud plans look favorable – particularly for small businesses with the potential to expand quickly in the near future. With a cloud solution, it’s possible to pay only for the required resources at any given time. From there, however, features can be broadened as necessary.
Added security features may also make cloud hosting an appealing option, although the need for sharing can form a noteworthy security risk in and of itself. Still, many cloud solutions provide extensive oversight, ensuring that users are always aware of potential threats.
While low upfront costs and special features can make cloud hosting a tempting option, the long-term ROI tends to be limited. Yes, cloud servers are scalable to an extent. Still, when a need for high CPU and random access memory (RAM) is evident from the outset, the ability to scale down may not be required – and often, pay-as-you-go setups prove surprisingly expensive.
In select situations, cloud servers may provide a better ROI. Typically, shared solutions are most appealing when minimal computing power is required. Still, it’s important to consider the big picture and whether easy implementation and the immediate ability to scale up will come at a high cost.
At first glance, dedicated servers may seem like the most costly option, especially when compared to budget cloud plans. This style of hosting is, by nature, more expensive simply because it doesn’t involve sharing resources.
Inherent cost increases can sometimes be problematic for enterprises with small budgets. After all, while many dedicated servers are affordable, cloud services can often advertise far lower prices. Still, it would be foolish to be dissuaded by surface-level expenses without considering long-term costs. Over time, dedicated servers may deliver a superior ROI that makes them well worth the investment.
Key benefits that boost dedicated server ROI include:
Built-in DDoS Protection
Often, dedicated servers come with tools designed to limit the potential for distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. These incidents typically involve flooding websites with more requests than they can handle. Damage from DDoS is notoriously costly, so built-in security features are valuable.
Many dedicated server users have specific visions for how they want their hosting to proceed. For example, some may indicate a preference for solid-state drives (SSDs) or hard disk drives (HDDs). Users can also be picky about operating systems. With so many customizable features available, dedicated servers are far more flexible than many people realize. This can impact ROI when users have specific needs that can only be satisfied with personalized server solutions.
Even a few minutes of downtime can prove costly for your business and problematic for your reputation. Unfortunately, downtime can be challenging to avoid when server sharing is involved. With a dedicated server, there’s no need to be worried about other sites monopolizing precious resources. While cloud hosts claim to prevent “bad neighbor” issues, true peace of mind can only be achieved with a dedicated server that provides maximum availability.
The greatest benefit of a dedicated server derives from its sheer computing power. This translates to exceptional ROI when large amounts of CPU and RAM are required. As such, if resources are used efficiently, dedicated servers can prove far more affordable over time. Better power means better speeds – and this results in not only a more efficient website but also happier customers or clients.
Bare Metal Server
Often, when comparing and contrasting dedicated and cloud servers, people forget that a third option exists: bare metal. This term is sometimes used interchangeably with dedicated servers, but given how diverse dedicated hosting is these days, bare metal arguably deserves to become its own unique server category.
While bare metal servers are, technically speaking, a specific subset of dedicated servers, they actually function as a hybrid between dedicated and cloud solutions. These physical, single-tenant servers can gain root access but are often also more customizable than typical dedicated servers.
Other benefits include swift provisioning and hardware selection at all ends of the price spectrum. Hence, the increasing popularity of bare metal among those who want it all. Often, enterprises initially express interest in cloud servers but ultimately switch to bare metal when they realize that this approach may produce short and long-term savings.
Assessing ROI For Your Situation
There is no single server solution that works best for every enterprise. Strategic selection is essential and should proceed based on the specific goals and budget of the business in question. Even when short-term savings seem significant, it’s essential to look at the big picture. A little analysis may reveal that the improved speeds and security of a dedicated or bare metal solution allow for impressive ROI over several years.
No matter which solution you ultimately select, your provider will play a key role in determining whether you’re able to achieve the full potential for server ROI. While dedicated servers generally provide better speed and security than their cloud-based counterparts, a great deal of variation exists between providers and plans. When in doubt, opt for a host with a strong reputation and a clear commitment to customer satisfaction.
Your attention to detail during the server selection process will ultimately lead to a solution that is well-suited to your unique needs. Don’t hesitate to dive in and look at specifics; the better you understand your prospective server setup and how it benefits your enterprise, the more likely you are to make a financially prudent decision.