It’s a debate that’s been raging on for years, but we may finally have the answer. While doing research for our up and coming to eBook “AWS vs Dedicated Servers: A Guide to Choosing the Best Hosting Option”, we stumbled upon the information. Which will likely be the tipping point for those on the fence about which service to choose.
First, what is Cloud Hosting?
The cloud is a hosting solution which involves combining and virtualizing the resources from multiple dedicated servers to create one large pool of resources. Diving into specifics a bit more, you typically have dedicated servers assigned to computing, dedicated servers for storage, and a dedicated server (or multiple dedicated servers) for controlling the whole setup. You can see a cloud hosting setup visualized below:
What is the Public Cloud?
Public Cloud hosting is a cloud which is used by multiple tenants. Examples of this service include Amazon’s EC2 and Microsoft’s Azure.
What is Private Cloud Hosting?
Private cloud hosting is a cloud environment in which only one tenant uses the hardware, storage, and network.
Which is Best?
At this point, you might expect an extensive pro and cons list for public and private cloud hosting. But, to be honest, there aren’t many differences between the two hosting setups.
Is one more reliable?
Arguments have been made both ways when it comes to reliability, and everyone’s experience is a bit different. Ultimately though, they are about the same.
Is one more secure?
Most public and private cloud hosts are equally secure too! An argument could be made that private clouds better support security and privacy compliance, but that depends on your industry.
So, how are they different then?
The biggest difference between the two setups has to do with pricing models and the cost of services.
Public cloud hosting operates on a pay as you go, model. But private cloud hosting is a flat rate for an entire month and a set amount of resources.
What about pricing?
The biggest difference in cloud hosting types is pricing. To illustrate this, let’s take a look at two hosting setups. One of our private cloud offerings and the other a comparable AWS instance. Each cloud features 64GB RAM, 16 Cores, and 2 TB storage. They also each feature 40TB of traffic. With this setup, the pricing for AWS comes out to $2,762.81/mo while ServerPronto’s private cloud costs a mere $899/mo. That’s near 3x the cost for what is ultimately a less beneficial solution.
The only time you’ll save by using a public host is when you can spin up and spin down your server usage often enough. (Hint, most can’t)
The stark difference in pricing has accumulated quite a few comments over the years from CEOs, and other industry leaders.
Sarah Bird, CEO of Moz, discussed the impact AWS had on their business saying: “Over the years, we’ve spent many small fortunes at Amazon Web Services. It was killing our margins and adding to product instability. Adding insult to injury, we’ve found the service… lacking.” That’s a pretty negative review!
It doesn’t end there either. Many in the industry are warning of using AWS. Joe Pecht, Blippex, Karl Seguin, Red Hat’s CEO, Zynga, Uber, and many more have switched and/or discussed the drawbacks of public cloud hosting.
For most, it’s a case of something that looks cheap, seems to perform well, and is convenient enough to lure them in. But after a couple of years, many end up moving away from AWS with a similar trend emerging:
Public cloud hosting isn’t effective in the long run and makes a major impact on the bottom line.
If this is true, why has AWS become such a powerhouse when it comes to hosting? Simple. For those just starting out, it’s extremely affordable and sometimes even free! But, it’s a bit o a bait and switch. The affordability is only present during the early phases of a startup when you’re spinning up and shutting down as needed. Once this phase gives way to constant usage, you’ll see a dramatic increase in costs.
The only time cloud hosting makes sense in the long term s if you plan to stay small in the long term. If not, you’ll want to explore different options. Depending on your size this could be private cloud hosting or a dedicated server
Another major difference? Performance
Performance on AWS and other public cloud hosting platforms tend to lag behind that of dedicated servers and private clouds as well! The hardware that public cloud hosting tends to use is a few generations older than what is usually found.
We do a full benchmark of an AWS instance and a dedicated server in our eBook: “AWS vs Dedicated Servers: A Guide to Choosing the Best Hosting Option”. But, depending on the server you use to benchmark, speeds could be 4-5x faster!
The Last Big Difference: Platform Specific Language
This point is best made by the guys over at open mind:
“I also dislike the Platform Specific Language (PSL) that you get with AWS. The deeper you dig and the more serious your operation gets, the less transferable your knowledge becomes. It doesn’t help that the documentation isn’t great. Will devops only know VPC the way frontend developers only know jQuery? “
With this in mind, we can safely say that private clouds are the best option for those looking for a cloud hosting setup. They are both cheaper and more beneficial to those using them. Private cloud hosting is a particularly good fit for enterprises, but even a startup may look into the private cloud after achieving sufficient growth.
Due to drastically more expensive pricing, lower performance, and platform specific language, we can’t recommend public cloud hosting or all but the smallest of startups. Midsize organizations should employ dedicated servers instead, and those with the need for it should opt for a private cloud.
ServerPronto offers the best affordable and secure hosting service in all dedicated server packages.
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