Whether you are a business owner or an IT professional, you are keenly aware of the critical importance of a reliable and cost-effective IT infrastructure. However, in today's fast-paced and competitive market, you may not have the time and resources needed to effectively implement and maintain data hosting solutions that are 100% in-house. If that is the case, what options are available to you? Hosted and Cloud services are two enterprise solutions that can provide significant benefits to your company.
What are the Differences?
Hosted and Cloud services are similar yet distinct outsourced services for your data management needs. They are similar in that they are both off-premise solutions, and both require Internet access to be successfully utilized. However, there are significant separations in their implementation.
- Hosted services, or dedicated hosting, refer to a business solution in which your server is located off-premise in a data center but dedicated solely to your organization. Usually, data servers are not only housed but also managed by a 3rd-party provider. These services include SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS components; in other words, this solution consists of all of the hardware, software, and infrastructure needed for successful data storage and networking. Thus, you are not tied to a bloated in-house IT support staff and do not have to dedicate a vast amount of resources to the infrastructure's management and maintenance.
- Cloud services go one step beyond dedicated hosting. Instead of using one or more dedicated servers, Cloud-based hosting draws from multiple servers across the data center to create a shared virtual environment for all the components of your data infrastructure. Basically, instead of relying on the durability and performance of one piece of hardware, Cloud hosting spreads the workload across multiple pieces of hardware, thereby reducing the chances of total system failure and allowing for faster load times, greater flexibility, and greater scalability.
With these differences in mind, what are the advantages and drawbacks of each solution?
Pros and Cons of Hosted Services
Hosted services provide some advantages, including:
- A high level of security. Using one dedicated server can decrease the network's susceptibility to malicious attacks.
- 3rd party management. Outsourced experts take away the burden of regular maintenance and frequent analysis, allowing your company to focus resources elsewhere.
- Predictable costs. Generally speaking, the costs of dedicated hosting are predictable and therefore easy to budget.
Some drawbacks of hosting services include:
- Less scalability. Because traditional hosting is primarily hardware-based, there is a lot less flexibility to scale usage and performance according to business needs.
- Higher costs. Even though prices may be predictable, with the need to maintain a dedicated server or dedicated servers as opposed to a streamlined virtual environment, costs will most likely be higher than with Cloud-based services.
Pros and Cons of Cloud-based Hosting
Cloud-based hosting can be a highly cost-effective and efficient way to manage your data. For instance:
- Cloud services provide increased scalability and flexibility. Because hardware components are not a limiting factor with the Cloud, your company can adapt storage, usage, and performance requirements as dictated by current operational needs.
- Security in the Cloud has dramatically improved over the years, to the point that according to Business.com, Cloud security "should not be a concern."
- Cloud-based hosting can also reduce costs, and increase profits.
There are a couple of perceived downsides to Cloud services.
- Companies running legacy applications may have some difficulty transitioning to Cloud-based hosting.
- Some business owners are wary of sharing computer resources with other companies.
Making an Informed Decision
If you are considering Hosted or Cloud services, it is vital to make an informed decision. Often a hybrid of the two brings the best results. At Total Computer Solutions, we offer both traditional hosting services, as well as cutting-edge Cloud-based solutions. If moving to the Cloud is a daunting prospect for you, reach out to us today for a no-obligation consultation for Cloud-based hosting. Also, be sure to review our information under "The Complete Roadmap to the Cloud for Your Small Business." We can help you find the data management solution that will perfectly fit your company's needs.