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Cloud servers have revolutionised the IT industry, leading to a huge number of businesses choosing them over physical servers. Here we answer the question, what are cloud servers, as well as looking at the benefits they offer. We’ll also explore the best remote servers for business.
What are cloud or remote/hosted servers?
Unlike physical servers which are usually located on-premise, remote hosted servers are virtual servers which can be located anywhere in the world. They are hosted online and accessed on demand.
Just like physical servers, cloud based servers offer the same functions such as file and data storage and application hosting.
What are the main differences between traditional and cloud based servers?
Whilst they both serve the same purpose, the key difference between cloud and on-premise servers lies in how they are accessed.
Cloud based servers are accessed remotely rather than locally. This means that the data and applications that they host are available on demand via any internet connected device. Traditional on-premise servers, on the other hand, can only be accessed onsite.
The other main point of difference is that cloud based servers can have an unlimited capacity, depending on the chosen subscription, whereas physical servers are limited to their computing capacity.
What are the benefits of cloud servers for business?
Businesses are turning to cloud hosted servers for a number of reasons:
It is less expensive to use cloud servers because there is no need for costly hardware. A business can enjoy economies of scale when sharing server resources with others and only pay for the resources they use. All that’s required are ‘thin client’ PCs, or an internet enabled device to access files and run applications.
Using a cloud based server allows employees to access the same data and applications from anywhere they choose to work, supporting remote and hybrid working models, as well as providing a disaster recovery solution in the event of being unable to access the business premises.
Hosted servers give users a fast, reliable connection. As the server is used in a shared environment, the service can continue even if one aspect experiences a failure.
With cloud servers there is no limit to the amount of computing power that you can access. It is easy to upgrade either the amount of memory or space you need to accommodate more users. This is good to know if your business is growing, or likely to grow in the future. You can also scale down as your needs change.
Types of cloud servers
There are three main types of cloud hosted servers:
Third party service providers deliver hosted servers via the internet. The service provider also owns and manages all of the hardware and software required to deliver the service.
This is where a business owns and maintains control of its own cloud, rather than sharing it with other organisations. This provides greater processing power and enhanced security. Employees can still access the server remotely, and will typically do so via a company intranet or virtual private network (VPN).
With hybrid servers hosted in the cloud, data and applications can move between public and private clouds giving businesses more flexibility to maintain control and security, as well as upscaling quickly with public clouds when demand requires.
Choosing cloud servers for small business
Choosing the right server for your business will depend on your unique requirements.
Public cloud servers are popular with businesses. The upsides are that the service provider owns and manages the server and infrastructure, but you will need to balance this with working with possible issues if the public cloud experiences an unexpected high level of demand or an unexpected outage.
Private cloud servers are not shared with other organisations. This is a more secure choice if your business handles sensitive data. However, they can be more costly than public cloud servers.
As well as weighing up the differences between public, private and hybrid cloud types, you will need to consider your budget, your security requirements and your technology configurations.
Cloud servers for business from PC Docs
Cloud servers are growing in popularity because they offer flexibility, reliability and scalability.
If you’re looking to move to a hosted server and would like some tailored advice on your options, you are welcome to get in touch with PC Docs.