Dedicated Servers versus Cloud Hosting
A Dedicated Server, or Managed Hosting service, is a type of Internet hosting in which a client leases an entire server not to be shared by other users/clients. The client would “rent” a provider’s server machine as part of the web hosting services it is paying the provider for.
Cloud Hosting is similar to a dedicated server but the difference is that all computing is distributed over a network, served by virtual simulated hardware, in a dynamically allocated shared environment. Physical servers and networks are configured to support a Cloud Hosting environment, which hosts a large number of virtual machines that can serve a large number of different clients. A virtual machine is made of software which can be deployed at very low cost for a client, as opposed to the single physical “dedicated” server being rented by a customer exclusively.
To oversimplify, instead of using a thousand physical “boxes”, with each “box” rented by only one client, to support a thousand different clients, there could be a thousand software-based simulated boxes, all supported on one actual physical machine, which serves all those clients. As you can imagine, the costs for a virtual machine via cloud hosting can be considerably less than leasing an actual dedicated server. There are however trade-offs. In return for potentially much lower costs and set up and shut-down time requirements, clients will surrender being hosted in an environment configured exclusively for them. Just as with all products and services, the choice to rely upon Cloud Hosting, versus dedicated hosting, all depends the customers’ needs.