Every business has a unique set of goals and priorities when it comes to their IT infrastructure. These unique goals often depend on the specific characteristics that a business has such as its customers, the volume of data requests, and what level of security is needed for its operations.
No matter what the specific characteristics of a business are, each business will have to determine which type of IT storage infrastructure is best suited for their needs. Companies must choose between physical servers and cloud servers depending on their specific priorities.
It’s not always easy for companies to decide which storage environment will be the best fit for reaching their goals. In this article we take a look at what each type of server brings to the table and why physical servers are often the best choice for many businesses.
When it comes to cloud servers, we don’t typically think of them as a hosting environment made up of physical machines or computers. The concept behind cloud servers is one that goes beyond the physical limitations of a traditional server workstation. With the cloud, customer data and other accessible information are spread across multiple pieces of equipment in multiple locations.
Cloud equipment is usually hidden from users by an application layer that operates on those devices. Users typically have access to a folder for their files or an interface that appears as a single machine that users engage with. Cloud servers are accessed through a management interface or portal for using services in the cloud, or via a file transfer program such as FTP.
Physical servers are dedicated computers designed for private use. These servers are configured to meet specific goals for a business. Physical servers are very powerful and highly customizable, which gives businesses a high degree of control over their servers. With physical servers, businesses have direct access over the entire storage system and can install any software on their servers that they want.
A cloud server may seem like an obvious choice for many business owners in this ever-growing online world. Instead of switching from a shared hosting account to a dedicated server requiring hardware costs, business owners can choose cloud hosting plans that automatically scale to provide more CPU cores, RAM, and databases as their businesses grow.
There’s no denying that the cloud can be more efficient than having to manually estimate required server availability to support peak loads. Cloud computing is increasingly becoming a desirable option for small businesses focused on convenience.
While cloud storage is gaining in popularity for business owners because of its convenience, there are still several key benefits that physical servers have over cloud storage including stability, customization, and security.
With physical servers the physical resources are dedicated to just your business, which means there is no "noisy neighbor" effect like you have on a cloud server. In other words, you receive the full, undivided use of the hardware, which increases the stability of your servers. Everything from the total throughput of the network interface card, utilizing all the threads in the CPU, and using the entire read/write capabilities of the disks—all aspects of the server hardware are available for use at your discretion.
This configuration flexibility is beneficial for determining how much equipment you really need. It also gives you visibility into how your applications are using the hardware and if your goals are being met. Physical servers can be configured to your exact requirements when it comes to the CPU type and speed, memory, and disk space. This granular control allows you to design a server that’s tailor-made for performing the specific tasks you have in mind. This high degree of customization gives you far more configuration options than what’s available to you in a cloud-based environment and increases the stability of your servers.
As a result of physical servers being dedicated to a customized set of tasks, additional hardware options such as dedicated firewalls, routers, and switches are available to business owners. These additional hardware options may not be available to you in cloud-based storage environments. These options further increase the degree of customization your business can have over its servers.
The single-tenant nature of physical servers provides superior security compared to cloud servers. Since physical servers give you control over the number of admin users and the ability to implement stricter permission settings, the threat of attacks from neighboring accounts that are sharing server hardware in the cloud is avoided. With physical servers, malicious users won’t be attempting to exploit the parent server via the application layer running the cloud-based hypervisor system.
Deciding which type of storage environment is right for your business can be a difficult decision. Examining and determining all the requirements your business needs is usually the best way to approach the question.
Additionally, speaking with our business storage experts here at Micro Center can help guide you through the process and better understand your requirements and capabilities. Doing this will allow you to discuss and evaluate your server needs for your unique infrastructure.
For example, we can ask you questions such as these to help determine which storage solution is the best fit for your business:
· Do you need a server that has high availability with a consistent amount of resources at all times? If so, a physical server is the best option for your business because of its high degree of stability.
· Does your business process patient health information or financial transactions? If so, a physical server is going to be the best choice for your business because of its high level of security.
· Does your IT team need more control over how your server is configured and how it will operate? If so, the customization capabilities offered by a physical server make it the preferred choice.
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Interested in learning more about whether physical servers are the best fit for your business? Visit your local Micro Center and talk to one of our knowledgeable associates, or read more:
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