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General Purpose
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General Purpose Cloud Servers

An all-round solution for day-to-day computing, the General Purpose cloud server plans are designed with an abundance of configurable vCPUs and memory. The whole host of memory-to-vCPU ratio options gives you the highest level of autonomy to find a configuration most suited to your applications. vCPUs are shared in all General Purpose plans. This maximizes resource utilization and therefore minimizes your cost while delivering reliable performance for its value.
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How to select the right server (Dedicated server vs. Cloud server vs. VPS server) in Hong Kong and around the world?

When it comes to hosting options, understanding each server model is a challenge in and of itself. The wealth of service options and packages from different providers often add confusion and anxiety, considering the sheer number of companies that offer cloud or VPS hosting servers in Hong Kong and globally.

What is a cloud? Is it just a fancier name for a VPS server? How is each type of hosting services differ from one another? Why are cloud and VPS servers so popular right now? Is dedicated server outmoded? Which one is my best fit? What to look out for? How is a cloud or VPS hosting server in Hong Kong different from that in another location?

The answers below will clear up some of the confusion you might have when wading through all the hosting services and solutions.

What are some popular Hosting Services in Hong Kong and around the world?

In other countries and Hong Kong, cloud and VPS hosting are both gaining traction among all available types of hosting services. Businesses are migrating from their own in-house servers to virtual ones – in which case both cloud and VPS servers fall into the category. However, the fact that some enterprises buck the trend and opt for a more traditional dedicated server is an indicator that each of these approaches has its upsides and drawbacks. There may not be one best option, but an option that best fits your needs.

What is Cloud Hosting?

A popular choice among many businesses in Hong Kong and internationally, cloud is an online environment where data are spread and stored across a network of servers.

One clear upside of having multiple servers at work simultaneously is stability. Whenever a server sees traffic surges or goes offline, another server immediately picks up and keeps the hosting service disruption-free round the clock.

There are numerous idle servers in the cloud up for grabs at any given moment. High network redundancy makes scale-ups quick and easy. With all the necessary resources readily available, cloud hosting service can support your changing needs swiftly to cope with traffic spikes, varying project demands and business expansion without extra investment in IT infrastructure.

Although different clients share the same cloud, data from each client are allotted in separate servers. Besides, most virtual platforms come with advanced security measures that deny unauthorised access to sensitive information and prevent malicious intent.

Powerful as it is, cloud hosting does require a great deal of technical know-how to take full advantage of this new technology. The good news is a lot of cloud service providers offer comprehensive packages, most of which include intuitive and easy-to-use control panels to help you mauver around the system.

Pros
  • stable performance despite traffic fluctuation
  • zero downtime in case of accidents, system upgrades, backups and maintenance
  • highly flexible and able to scale up/spin down quickly on demand
  • decent level of control over configuration and customisation
  • cost-effective as all necessary infrastructure and resources are readily available
Cons
  • requires technical know-how or assistance from service provider to get full benefits
  • data security dependent on the security measures from service providers

What is VPS Hosting?

Other than cloud, VPS hosting is another popular type of hosting in Hong Kong. Short for Virtual Private Server, VPS works similarly to cloud in that an online server houses the user’s data. The distinction lies in the fact that VPS operates on only one physical server. Different users share the same mother server but work in separate, private, and dedicated sub-units, hence the name.

Owning the entire sub-unit to yourself effectively means you have more control over the VPS server configurations, and with it comes more power to customise the hosting environment for more complex management. Additionally, VPS server is a more secure option as you work in a partitioned unit entirely isolated from other users.

Unlike cloud hosting, VPS runs on one server, and resources are shared among a number of users. Without an alternative server to insure against heavy workload, any peak traffic day will take a significant toll on the performance. For the same reason, a single point of failure in the VPS server will bring the entire hosting service to a halt until the issue is fixed.

Scale-ups are possible but less extensible than cloud hosting, with a potential risk of your demands outgrowing the capacity of the VPS server.

Pros
  • more autonomy over configurations
  • private, isolated server for higher security
  • moderate scalability
Cons
  • uptime not guaranteed
  • hosting performance heavily impacted by busy traffic
  • less adaptive to spontaneous scale-ups; potential risk of demands outgrowing VPS server capacity
  • requires technical expertise to properly manage and maintain the VPS server

What is Dedicated Server Hosting?

Contrasting to a VPS server where clients only access a fraction of the resources, a dedicated server allows you to make use of the whole physical server.

This means you have full authority over any and all customisation to fit your exact requirements given that you possess the necessary technical expertise. Hosting performance is fast and relatively predictable as you are the sole user.

However, with full autonomy comes full responsibilities. When you reach the server capacity, extra resources need to be invested and installed before the server can serve the additional demand. It becomes a major bottleneck when scaling up. As with VPS servers, any system maintenance and upgrades may lead to a disruption if no backup servers are available. Dedicated manpower is also required in every crash, repair and maintenance scenario.

What’s more, what seemingly an advantage can be a significant loophole. While a dedicated server may be a more secure option in the sense that you own an independent server, it essentially means the protection banks entirely on your expertise, and any flaws in security measures on your part may result in serious breaches.

Pros
  • complete autonomy over configuration and customisation
  • performance unaffected as there is no sharing of resources
Cons
  • most costly option
  • less scalable and possible bottleneck for scale-ups
  • downtime during upgrades and maintenance
  • labour-demanding in terms of maintenance and security; improper measures can cause serious breaches

Which One is your Best Fit?

To choose a model that is best suited to your business, keep in mind that performance, scalability, customizability, price and other aspects all need to be factored in. Below is a summary of comparison across the three hosting options so you can work out the one you need.

Performance
Cloud server VPS server Dedicated server
If you want stable and reliable hosting service with no downtime, or expect traffic fluctuations If traffic is predictable and occasional downtimes are not your main concerns If you are confident in maintaining the server yourself

Scalability
Cloud server VPS server Dedicated server
If you want instant, grow-as-you-go availability and have the flexibility to scale backwards after traffic spikes If scaling is not your immediate priority, or don’t mind upgrading to a new plan as you grow If you are comfortable with planning ahead before scale-ups

Management and maintenance
Cloud server VPS server Dedicated server
If you have IT specialists on hand or are comfortable about relying on technical support that often comes in the service solution If you have IT specialists on hand or are comfortable about relying on technical support that often comes in the service solution If you have the wherewithal for self-maintenance, or do not mind relying on technical support that often comes in the service solution If you have the wherewithal to maintain the server and do backups yourself If you have the wherewithal to maintain the server and do backups yourself

Customisability
Cloud server VPS server Dedicated server
If you only need a decent degree of customisability If you need a higher level of customisability and have the technical know-how to do it If you wish to have complete control of every detail of configurations

Security
Cloud server VPS server Dedicated server
Most cloud server hosting services in Hong Kong offer solutions that include advanced security features Most VPS hosting services in Hong Kong offer solutions that include advanced security features Level of security depends on your expertise

Cost
Cloud server VPS server Dedicated server
Cost-efficient as you only pay for what you need and share basic infrastructure cost with other users Cost-efficient as you only pay for what you need and share basic infrastructure cost with other users Varys drastically depending on your specifications

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