Hosting versus the cloud - What is best for my business?

06 August 2013 | Ilissa Miller

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Ilissa Miller

Blog Author | iMPR; CEO


Both hosting and cloud solutions require the same underlying infrastructure – a reliable internet connection, hardware that can house the company’s applications and software, and managed capabilities to ensure the ability to add, move, and change users on demand. The key differentiators are the pricing model, the type of security required, the amount of management and visibility into the system a company requires, and the type of applications it supports.

The cloud is a platform where users from a given organisation can share, store and access information from virtually any location – but so is a hosted solution. In order to set up a infrastructure, a company must have solid connectivity (internet access), access to servers that host the company’s software and applications, and ample storage located in a third party location. Furthermore, the cloud resources must be either shared, dedicated or a hybrid of both offerings, and provide companies the ability to add, move and change utilisation on demand – providing a flexible platform that can assure organisations they are paying for only what they use at any given time.

Hosting, on the other hand, is similar, but it provides companies with a dedicated infrastructure that they can access, control and manage from anywhere. Companies pay for the right to access and utilise a certain amount of capacity within their own or assigned hardware and server devices. They own or lease the actual ability to utilise 100% of the capabilities of the service they pay for in any given month – not just parts of it that they use at any given time.

Both hosting and cloud solutions require the same underlying infrastructure – a reliable internet connection, hardware that can house the company’s applications and software, and managed capabilities to ensure the ability to add, move, and change users on demand. The key differentiators are the pricing model, the type of security required, the amount of management and visibility into the system a company requires, and the type of applications it supports.

Not all cloud solutions can support or manage infrastructure the way a traditional hosting solution could – nor could traditional hosting provide the usage flexibility and on-demand accounting that cloud solutions promise. In today’s world, the lines are certainly blurry and any interest in securing either solution should be discussed with any provider you seek to engage.

Most importantly, make sure the provider you speak with knows what your company’s needs may be. It’s important to keep an open mind when seeking the right solution, since the marketing communications of complex infrastructure management solutions are not fully defined. For instance, there are multiple different types of Cloud solutions that companies may consider, just in the same way there are multiple different type of hosting solutions companies may require. Hosting provides companies flexibility with options as well.

While the lines are blurry, it’s important not to get caught up in the nomenclature of how companies market their services. Most public cloud solutions are delivered through dedicated or private hosting companies that can assure service levels, guarantee accessibility and provide security that public cloud solutions have not yet proven.