Cloud, VPS or Shared Hosting – What`s Best for Your Business?

 Vadym Fedorov is a Solutions Architect at SoftServe Inc., a leading global software application development and consulting company, and has 12 years experience in enterprise application development, as well as 2 years’ experience in Cloud and operations optimization.

Cloud computing and the ways Cloud technology can address business needs and provide the leading edge in competition remains a hot topic in the industry.

The first question many decision makers ask is “Why do we need to go Cloud if there are well-established and reliable VPS and Shared Hosting offerings in abundance?” They might even be less expensive. The question is quite practicable, as Cloud, VPS, and Shared Hosting offer very similar approaches to applications deployment and hosting. However, not all of the three options are equally good for different businesses:

  • Shared Hosting is the cheapest solution and the most popular for web site deployment. The deployed web sites share server CPU, RAM, bandwidth, and other resources. The customer has no control over server performance and resource utilization. The hosting provider manages the servers.
  • Virtual Private Server (VPS) uses virtualization technology. The customer controls the virtual server and the applications, but not the server hardware. The customer cannot easily provision more virtual servers (scale out).
  • With Cloud Hosting, the customer gets virtual server instances with full control on server software configuration, capability to start and terminate the virtual instances, performing scale-up and scale-outs to accommodate the needs in performance, resource allocation, and application availability.

In comparison with shared hosting and VPS hosting (in some cases), Cloud hosting can be more expensive. However, Cloud provides the ability to manage resources based on customers` needs and optimize their total costs in the longer run.

Here are a couple of typical business scenarios where Cloud is the right tool to use:

  1. An unpredictable load on your servers is expected. This often is the case for internet advertising companies implementing marketing campaign web sites, social network companies, and so on. The scalability provided by Cloud and “pay as you go” billing model can help scale the site at the peak load time with the minimal cost.
  2. A new startup business needs to set up an IT infrastructure to operate. The upfront investment in hardware, software and data center can be a burden for a company working almost without funding. In this case, going with the Cloud technology can be a better option, as capital expenditure (CapEx) can be significantly reduced and expenses can be moved to operational expenditure (OpEx). Software licenses are often included in the service price. From the technical point of view, Cloud technologies offer a quick access to unlimited compute and storage resources. Cloud solutions in this case play the role of business accelerators to speed up your service delivery with predictable costing.
  3. A company wants to optimize the existing IT infrastructure costs. The cost of the IT infrastructure in a traditional data center includes server hardware, network hardware, hardware maintenance, power and cooling, data center space and personnel. Upon switching to the Cloud provider, a company pays for the utilized resources only. The virtualization technology that Cloud providers use provides the ability to build elastic environment as well as manage environment capacity and costs based on the business demand.

For businesses that strive for higher agility in operations, want to enjoy full control over their infrastructure capacity, and manage infrastructure and operations costs predictably, based on the current needs Cloud is the platform of choice.

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