A few years seem like a long time in the IT industry. It may seem like ages ago when nearly every company owned the computer hardware it used, but the fact is that cloud computing has not been around for such a long time. More companies are adopting cloud computing with passing time.
There are four major methods that companies can use for their IT requirements, namely:
• Having personal dedicated hardware
• Renting dedicated server hardware that a managed-services provider owns
• Virtual server hosting in the cloud
• A hybrid system
Personal Dedicated Hardware
It requires a significant amount of capital to own all the necessary pieces of hardware, whether they are housed within the company or at a data center managed by a partner. Other costs associated with this model include software licensing, personnel, ongoing management, data center fees and environmental support.
In spite of these costs, owning dedicated hardware is an ideal choice for companies that want complete control of their systems.
Dedicated Hardware Owned by a Provider
Using dedicated server hardware that a partner owns significantly reduces operating expenses and overhead because a company will not need the capital required to purchase hardware. The licensing arrangements get simpler, and there is the possibility of benefiting from lower licensing costs.
However, the processes required for quoting and approval take significant time, which affects scalability. Companies also pay for all relevant pieces of hardware, including the ones they do not use. Incomplete utilization of dedicated server equipment results in business inefficiencies.
Hosting Virtual Servers in the Cloud
Since companies only pay for what they use in the cloud environment, this method removes inefficiencies associated with the above method. Service Level Agreement usually guarantees 99.9 percent uptime, and the licensing agreements allow for fast and easy updates.
The use of virtual servers speeds up disaster recovery, and the process gets cheaper. This method also enhances transparency because companies can calculate cost-per-use more accurately.
Cloud computing is a flexible and cost effective solution. However, companies only stand to get its benefits when they select the right service providers. The providers must be professional and reliable because the relationship between them and their clients will either make or break businesses.
Companies should choose virtual server providers with a track record of providing efficient cloud services, including strategic planning, support and any relevant advice. This is what will enable companies to leverage the power of cloud computing.
Some companies prefer the hybrid model because it allows them to take advantage of their own assets and those owned by providers of cloud services. This allows them to enjoy a more flexible and cost-effective IT system. Companies still make full use of the facilities they already own and only use the cloud to handle specific workloads.
No single choice will suit all companies all the time. However, making the choice between cloud-based solutions and using dedicated hardware is not as simple as it may appear. The people making the decision must have an in-depth knowledge of the technical requirements of a company based on its strategic direction and business needs. You will need to take into account the features that each option offers and then perform a comparison based on the pros and cons of each. However, some general principles will help in reaching the right decision.
A dedicated server comparison should take into account the fact that the companies most suited to this option should not expect to have significant hardware and software upgrades and have sufficient IT personnel. They must also be ready to incur significant capital investment from time to time. Companies that are sure of maximizing the use of their hardware and have a stable IT base that rarely changes can use rented gear.
On the other hand, if you are part of a dynamic company that regularly tries new applications and wants scalability, then you will be better off undertaking a virtual server comparison, in order to ascertain which cloud or hybrid systems you are best suited to.
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