Put simply, a cloud server is a virtual server running in a cloud computing environment, as opposed to a physical server.
On the other hand, a physical server is a piece of equipment where data can be stored and read. Physical servers can be served on your business site or a co-location facility with a trusted vendor. There are indeed some benefits to physical servers. For example, by using a physical server you have the capability to fully customise and configure the server to your business requirements.
Unfortunately, physical servers are expensive to purchase, maintain and replace if there is a failure or malfunction. And by having one, you are responsible for the setup, configuration and continual maintenance of it. The main disadvantage of physical servers is the limit on storage. Unlike cloud servers, the storage cannot be scaled up when the storage limit is reached.
What are the benefits of using a cloud server?
Cloud servers are built, hosted and delivered via a cloud computing platform online. Because of this, cloud servers can be accessed remotely from anywhere. This makes remote working or moving business premises a much more seamless experience. Furthermore, physical servers require physical space, whereas cloud servers do not.
Physical servers require a significant upfront cash injection to purchase the hardware. Furthermore, they tend to have high costs throughout their lifetime because of their need for constant maintenance. Cloud-based servers not only have significantly reduced upfront costs, but have lower lifetime costs too. Due to the scalability of cloud servers, businesses are only required to pay for what they use.
Cloud servers are completely scalable. For many organisations, data assets are rapidly increasing which can present space-related challenges. Physical servers need to be stored in a location with appropriate temperature and humidity levels, which can prove especially tricky. With cloud servers, your storage capabilities can be easily scaled up with ease and minimal cost.
Cloud-based servers are generally more secure than legacy systems. In the past, cyber attacks were a lot less prevalent – however, this is no longer the case. Cloud-based servers have caused paranoia around cybersecurity, with some feeling that the approach and their ease-of-use feels unsafe. Some don’t like the idea that their data is stored on servers or systems that are outside of their control.
Control, however, does not necessarily mean security. The physical location of data matters less than the means of access. Cloud systems have proven to be more secure, with cloud-based users suffering significantly less cyber attacks than those with physical servers.
With physical servers, employees must have sufficient knowledge of how to appropriately manage server acquisition, maintenance, configuration and security. Furthermore, staff also need to be aware of the best practices in terms of increasing server efficiency and cost savings. Employing members of staff with this knowledge and skill can be challenging and expensive. Cloud servers do not require any of this work, with maintenance, configuration and security consistently maintained by your provider.
ICT Solutions can help
If you’re looking for cloud-based services for your business, get in touch with a member of our team today. From cloud-based data backup services to UK hosted servers, we offer a wide range of solutions to help you on your way.