Self-Hosting Vs. Cloud-Based Hosting: Which Is The Better Option?

Moving from the old infrastructure you are used to can be difficult, especially for businesses that have been doing things the same way for decades. With how fast technology evolves, businesses must do everything they can to stay ahead of the curve, even if that means changing the way they set up their IT infrastructure. In this regard, businesses have to choose between self-hosted and cloud-based solutions. So, which of the two is the better option and which one should you choose?

Self-hosting

Self-hosting is where a business uses its own server for its software needs. Businesses have to set up the hardware as well as the software to make sure everything works as expected. Success means that those with the right credentials as well as the correct link to access the server can use it whenever they wish.

Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting, on the other hand, is where a business pays another to use its infrastructure. The cloud is a great alternative for small teams and businesses that do not have the budget or the staff to manage their server as well as the software installed. Using cloud hosting has several benefits such as lower cost. On the other hand, it is not great for companies that value privacy because they would have to rely on the privacy policy provided by their hosting provider.

Choosing Between Self-hosting and Cloud Hosting: Security

There are several criteria that businesses should consider before choosing between the two and the first one is data security. Cloud-based hosting often comes with a very high level of security. Companies that provide these services understand the power of a good or bad reputation, and so they do not want to lose business because of a bad reputation caused by a data breach. Because of this, they often have security experts standing by to proactively watch for any issues and to rectify them as soon as they come up.

For self-hosted solutions, the business is responsible for its servers and data security. Because of this, businesses can set up robust data protection measures to protect themselves as well as their customers. Companies that have very strict data policies are also severely limited in the types of hosting they can use, so this is a great option for them.

Infrastructure

When you opt for cloud hosting, you do not have to think about setting up the infrastructure yourself, The hosting service will do this for you and the only thing you have to do is to choose a service tier that aligns best with what you want to use the hosting for. Additionally, it is possible to choose a cloud-based infrastructure that has different focuses. For example, you can choose cloud-based file hosting that allows you to store files on the cloud, share those files, and set up some form of collaboration between everyone with access to the server. Another example is where you go for full cloud computing that essentially gives you a computer, usually a virtual machine, that you can use any way you like.

If you opt for a self-hosted option, you need to think about the infrastructure as well as the way you set it up to get the most out of it. Apart from the server hardware, you also need to start thinking about the actual software architecture your setup will use. The main choice to be made is deciding between containers and virtual machines.

Containers are lightweight and are usually better suited for lightweight applications and software. They usually rely on underlying hardware although they can have specific hardware, software, and networking stack depending on what you need. Virtual machines, on the other hand, are full operating systems that run directly on your hardware. When choosing between containers and virtual machines, note that both can be destroyed and recreated without affecting the underlying operating system or the server configuration.

Because setting up a self-hosted cloud solution can be challenging for people without the technical know-how, it is better for businesses that do not want the hassle to leave the setup to companies like Virtasant. Virtasant has a useful resource on containers vs virtual machines. It provides cloud-based services for businesses that need them and these services including managed cloud hosting. Businesses can get reliable, scalable, and cost-effective cloud setups without having to think about the detail.

Maintenance

When you choose the cloud, you do not have to think about software or hardware maintenance. You do not have to wonder whether the hardware in the servers you are using is outdated or where the software needs an update or a patch; the company doing the hosting does all of this for you.

Having someone take care of the maintenance for you is a huge advantage for businesses that do not have the personnel or the budget to hire people with the skills to keep their servers running.

Also, a cloud-based solution means that a business owner has a lot more time to focus on running the business.
With a self-hosted application, you are responsible for maintenance. This means that you have to replace any hardware that becomes outdated or breaks down, and you have to patch or update the software in use. Although some people do not like the software side of self-hosting, the hardware side can benefit them hugely.

In some cases, a business can be forced to buy a higher-tier plan of cloud hosting that they do not necessarily need. This means they will be paying for something they will not benefit from and this is wasteful. With a self-hosted business, the business owner can choose to install only the software their business needs and install the best hardware configuration for their business. For example, if you run a video editing business, you can choose to have servers that have more storage and graphical processing power while businesses that do not need a lot of storage can install only the capacity they need,

Scaling Your Storage

Scaling is very different depending on your setup as well as the cloud hosting provider you choose. Many hosting providers have very limited storage sizes and customers have to pay for more when they need it. Some people also go for tiers and plans that have larger storage than they need because they figure they will need it down the line. Most of these people continue paying for this storage without actually using it.

For self-hosted solutions, there is no storage limit. The business owner can add as many hard drives or SSDs as they like when they like. This means they can tailor their storage solution to exactly what they need and upgrade or downgrade as they see fit. Because of this, it is not uncommon to find businesses that opt for the self-hosted solution having tens of gigabytes or even petabytes of storage space and data.

Lastly, some cloud storage companies require that their customers give them a few hours or even a day to increase their storage limits. This means that if a business needs additional storage immediately because they think they will receive a lot of data at once, they have to wait.

On the other hand, a business can just add more hard drives or SSDs anytime they wish and all it would take them is a trip to their local computer store.
Self and cloud hosting are both fantastic options for businesses. However, they both have their upsides and downsides that businesses have to consider before going for one or the other.

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