Efficiency is critical to business growth, and as you start to enter the online market, running your applications and storing essential business data becomes more challenging. That’s where an online cloud service comes in, but not every cloud service is created equal, and, as always, you should focus on the bottom line.
Whether you’re in the market for a bare metal server, a gaming server, or a private server for your business, we’ll help you explore cloud services, discover their benefits, and provide detailed criteria to empower your decision-making as you elevate and scale your business.
Server Types to Consider
Before diving into the nitty gritty of price points, it’s worth reviewing the different types of servers you should consider. Depending on your business type, a different server layout might be preferable for long-term success.
Public servers are the most accessible type of server. You can access your data and applications anytime you need, and you only pay for the amount of service you want. In essence, a third-party service houses the infrastructure for you to run applications and store data.
One common concern raised regarding public servers is security. Don’t be mistaken; public servers have very staunch security measures and an on-site team of IT professionals to mitigate damage from an attack. Public servers can be more susceptible to large-scale attacks simply due to the amount of sensitive business data stored.
There’s nothing ‘public’ about public servers except that anyone paying for the service can utilize infrastructure as needed. One common analogy is that a public server is like an apartment complex. The landlord owns the entire building, aka the infrastructure, while the tenants have their own private rooms. No one tenant can access the space reserved for another, yet each tenant lives under the same proverbial roof.
Where this analogy fails is in terms of scalability, the most appreciable aspect of public servers. While an apartment has finite space, a public server would allow you to spontaneously upgrade your small square footage into a mansion for a party if you so choose.
Downtime is the enemy of productivity, and an infinitely scalable public server is a perfect solution. The more employees and applications you need to manage, the more laggy applications and limited hardware capability will hold you back. The scalability in a public server is ideal for growing businesses that cannot easily estimate their storage or application usage needs, particularly to reduce downtime and improve worker efficiency.
Private servers are another type of server to consider, transferring the responsibility of infrastructure, maintenance, and upgrades to you. Instead of having a third-party service manage your data and applications, the business houses all of the hardware, either on or off-site. There are, of course, advantages and disadvantages to such a practice.
First, most major corporations have their own private servers simply because their size and scope demand it. An established business can more easily estimate the infrastructure and computational power they need to run their applications. In the long run, a private server can be more cost-effective than a public server.
Businesses that have government contracts or are under strict privacy guidelines must operate on private servers if only to take personal responsibility for the data they store, access, and transfer. Still, there are major expenses to a private server that can make it unfeasible for smaller businesses. The upfront cost of installing the infrastructure, both in terms of hardware and space, is staggering. And while private servers are already excellent in maintaining security measures, you may need to supplement them with external practices. While the business may recuperate these costs later, it’s still a substantial investment in a lump sum.
Moreover, the responsibility of maintaining and upgrading the servers falls squarely upon the shoulders of the business. If the hardware isn’t up to the task, the business cannot scale; either the company must accept subpar performance or upgrade the entire hardware system.
A hybrid cloud combines an on-premises data center with computational cloud services, allowing sharing of resources between the two. Some companies also rely on multi-cloud infrastructure, using more than one public cloud and personal data center.
These servers offer a blend of security and practicality. Not only do they offer the benefit of on-premises event management, but they also provide excellent third-party availability and recovery services offered by the public cloud provider. In fact, they may even be more secure than highly regulated private servers in some cases.
For the most part, businesses that utilize a hybrid server have highly sensitive data that they cannot (or are not permitted) store on a public cloud. Less sensitive data can be stored on the cloud, allowing the flexibility of public cloud infrastructure for computational tasks while preserving the security demanded by industry requirements.
The Right Server for You
The best way to determine your right price point is to assess your long-term business goals. Here are some helpful questions to guide your thinking:
What’s in the budget? – A public cloud is the least expensive option, if only because there’s no major upfront cost. You only pay for what you use; however, if your business is established and financially secure, protecting your long-term interests via a private server infrastructure might be better.
What type of business do I have? – If your business stores sensitive client information or has governmental, regulated, or international contracts, you may need a private server. If you’re growing and anticipate receiving these contracts, a hybrid server may offer the best balance of compliance and price.
How quickly is my business growing? – Rapidly growing businesses may benefit most from a public cloud, which offers the most scalability of the three. Having a computational powerhouse with around-the-clock monitoring and IT services can be a boon for your business, especially if the business is good and projected to get even better.
The Bottom Line
The final decision between longevity and scalability is yours to make, and only you can forecast what your business will look like in 5, 10, or even 20 years. Still, with some top-notch information to guide your decision-making process and ascertain which type of server meets your needs, long-term goals, and price point, you will be able to make the best choice.