Dedicated Hosting vs. Cloud Computing Infrastructure: Which should you choose when and why

By Partho, Gaea News Network
Monday, May 10, 2010

There are various choices for web hosting plan for businesses. We had already discussed the top shared hosting and dedicated hosting providers. The best choice for web hosting entirely depends on how the business is set up. For the established businesses dedicated hosting seems to be the ideal choice. However, for the startups, cloud hosting is a better choice. We made a comprehensive list of the differences between dedicated hosting and cloud computing infrastructure and the reasons for choosing a particular hosting for your  online business.

Who should use Cloud Computing Infrastructure?

Cloud hosting infrastructure relies on its web-based technology, and is ideal for those lacking resources to invest heavily into your hosting. It is anticipated that cloud computing must experience several significant growth spurts during the next few years. It’s probably cloud hosting what your business needs.

Who should use Dedicated Hosting?

Dedicated server is meant for established businesses that doesn’t wanna invest in any hardware or infrastructure or the additional space that comes with having your servers on-site.

A dedicated hosting is dedicated to the business’s websites, applications and platforms. The business will enjoy the full and complete power and bandwidth of your dedicated servers, and nothing should affect server performance, unless you choose to let it.

Key Differences

Hardware requirements

One of the major drawbacks with cloud hosting is the lack of access to the operating system and/or hardware. In case you need to fine tune the software/hardware stack then dedicated server is the best solution.


This is one of the most considerable advantages cloud hosting, scaling up beyond a single server is notoriously difficult on a dedicated server setup -load balancing, maintenance session across different machines and such other issues make scaling quite difficult.

Comparatively, Cloud hosting allows easier scaling by spinning up more instances as required. The instance can be programatically spun up and destroyed as required meaning the application can handle all the scaling without the need for intervention. Further, to write custom code, third party products such as RightScale can sit on top of a cloud hosting instances and implementing all the scaling automatically.

Requirement for OS/Hardware

One of the major shortcoming with cloud hosting is the lack of access to the operating system and/or hardware. In case you wanna upgrade or fine-tune a software/hardware stack then dedicated hosting is the only way to go.


Dedicated hosting  offers price advantage for small installations. The single low-spec (2GB RAM, 160 GB Storage, 2Ghz single-core CPU) dedicated server will cost about $130 per month for dedicated hosting. This actually comes with a huge amount of bandwidth (2TB per month on Server Beach for example). Contrastingly, the cloud hosts charge a little less for the hardware. However, the charges for bandwidth with cloud hosts are much more expensive approximately $0.11 – $0.14 per GB. In case the visitors to your site require lot of bandwidth that means extra charge.


A cloud server is less secure than the dedicated host. In case, your instance is a part of a cluster of machines normally that will be less secure than an isolated machine, which has fewer connections. It needs to be considered that cloud hosts will have a dedicated security team to patch the OS when necessary and implement security best practices which will often not be fully adhered to if you have to manage the security of a dedicated host. The greatest vulnerabilities are usually at the application level that is independent of the platform.

Ease of use

Cloud servers are easier to handle and use than the dedicated servers. Further, servers can be added via control panel and all OS patching can be easily managed.


Cloud servers have a built in failover, which ensure that you don’t have a hardware/server failure. It must be remembered that a cloud host is a cluster of servers that you can share with other users, severe slowdowns can occur from the other users running long running queries on the cluster.

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