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  • Writer's pictureRowan J van Vuuren

Cloud Servers vs. Physical servers

How to choose the right solution for your business.

‍The cloud is a transformative technology that has the potential to reshape the entire IT industry. More and more businesses are moving their critical applications to the cloud to take advantage of its cost, scalability, and flexibility advantages. Working with the cloud requires a slightly different mindset than traditional on-premises server deployment, and understanding which architecture is best for your organization requires some new thinking. This short read will help you make an informed decision as to which option is right for you.


What is a cloud server?

A cloud server is a computing resource that is hosted in a remote location. You don’t have to buy or install the hardware; instead, you connect to the server via the Internet and can run your applications from a web browser. A cloud server can run any operating system, and you can install any software that is compatible with that OS. This means you can host any application on a cloud server, including critical business applications. Most cloud providers offer special virtualization technology that allows you to create multiple virtual machines within a single cloud server. This allows you to host multiple applications on a single physical server, which saves on costs.

Cloud is here to stay, but it might not be the right option for your business, accelerateIT can help you choose.

Why you should use cloud servers

  • Cost - Cloud servers are much cheaper than purchasing and managing your servers. This is especially true if you are considering renting dedicated servers.

  • Scalability - The ability to expand your computing resources quickly is essential for businesses that experience seasonal fluctuation in demand. When the demand for computing resources exceeds the capacity of your existing infrastructure, you can simply purchase more cloud servers.

  • Security - Cloud servers are often more secure than physical servers. Cloud providers take steps to secure their servers, and host multiple customers on the same infrastructure. Physical servers, on the other hand, are designed for one customer and one application.

  • Mobility - You can access cloud servers from anywhere with an Internet connection. This makes them ideal for employees who work remotely or travel frequently.

  • Flexibility - Many cloud providers allow you to switch between different server types, such as virtual machines, bare metal servers, or even dedicated hardware. This allows you to choose the right computing architecture for your current needs.

The downsides of cloud servers

Performance - Performance is the biggest concern when it comes to hosting applications in the cloud. Many factors affect performance, such as network latency, data transfer rates, and the number of concurrent users.

  • Control - You lose a certain level of control when you use cloud servers. You don’t have full control over the hardware, the OS, or even the software running on the servers. If you have specific security or compliance requirements, you might not be able to meet them with a cloud hosting provider.

  • Provider downtime - You can avoid this by using multi-tenant architecture and choosing a top-notch provider, but it’s still something to consider.

  • Integration - Connecting your systems to a cloud server can be difficult. There might be latency issues, compatibility issues, or even firewall issues, accelerateIT are experienced expert with integrations.

Why physical servers are still important

Physical servers are still a vital part of any organization’s infrastructure. This is especially true for organizations that have specific security or compliance requirements that can only be met by a dedicated server.

  • Resiliency - While many cloud providers promise 99.99% uptime, server failure is still a concern. If your entire application is hosted on a single cloud server, a hardware failure could take down your entire system. Dedicated servers, on the other hand, are designed to run 24/7, even if individual components fail.

  • Security - Physical servers are designed for single-tenant use. This means that you can control the hardware, the OS, and the software that is installed. It’s much easier to meet specific compliance or security requirements when you have full control over the physical infrastructure.

How to decide: Physical or cloud?

Deciding whether to use physical servers or cloud servers comes down to your specific needs. Think about your organization’s requirements, such as availability, security, and budget.

  • Availability - A single point of failure is one of the biggest issues with cloud architectures. Dedicated servers, on the other hand, are designed for continuous uptime. Security - Cloud servers are often more secure than physical servers, especially if you host them in a public cloud environment. However, you have less control over the hardware, OS, and software if you use a cloud provider.

  • Budget - The initial capital outlay for physical servers is usually higher than the cost of renting cloud servers.

  • Architecture - You might have to redesign your current architecture if you decide to move to cloud servers. If the architecture of your current systems is not suitable for cloud architecture, you will have to replace them. This could be costly, both in terms of money and time.

Make the right call with guidance from accelerateIT

Even though the cloud is here to stay, and its advantages are only increasing, It might not be ideal for your environment. Deciding which hosting option is best for your business can be a daunting task. Your business needs might have changed and you might be overpaying for a solution that's been outgrown by your needs. accelerateIT has 17 years of industry experience with up-to-date knowledge. We will assess your business needs and advise on the right server hosting solution for your business that will increase up-time, improve your business processes and ultimately save on costs.


accelerateIT is a Managed services provider with fixed priced support packages. Our solutions and services include managed services, technical support, cloud services, cyber security solutions, server management and IT infrastructure.

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