For most businesses in the United States and beyond, servers are a necessary expense. These machines enable you to store, analyze, process, send, and receive data, but their upfront and operational costs can be expensive for small- and medium-sized businesses. If you’re looking for a low-cost alternative that offers the same benefits — and more — as a traditional server, then learn how you can save money through virtual hosted servers.
What is a hosted server?
To understand what a hosted server is, we need to look at some of the characteristics of a traditional server first. A conventional server is a physical machine that’s housed within your building, which is why it’s also called an on-premises (or on-prem) server. On-prem servers require an operating system (OS) to function, usually run round the clock, and are managed and maintained by your own employees.
A virtual server is software that functions and behaves like an actual server. It also requires an OS and can do everything that an on-prem server can. However, it is hosted in a physical machine that’s housed outside your premises and is accessible through an internet-connected device, such as a computer or mobile phone. The machine that runs your virtual server is owned, maintained, and managed by a third-party service provider like SimplyClouds.
How does a hosted server help you save money?
Hosted servers offer many advantages over their on-prem counterparts, one of the most obvious of which is that it provides you with plenty of opportunities to save money, such as:
Hosted servers cost less than physical servers There are several factors that drive the cost of on-prem servers:
● Upfront cost – Physical servers for small businesses cost upwards of $800 — the better the machine’s specifications, the more expensive it tends to be. ● Power, cooling, and heating – Physical servers consume a lot of power and require cool, ventilated environments to function optimally. The fact that they usually run 24/7 means they add hundreds of dollars to your utility expenses every month. ● Repairs and maintenance – Like any other machine, servers require maintenance for optimal performance. If you don’t have an in-house IT technician, then you’ll have to pay third-party repair technicians to fix and maintain your on-prem servers for you. ● Replacement – Your servers will inevitably need to be replaced after some time. You may also have to spend money on new apps and an updated OS to run your new servers. ● Specialized personnel – You may have to recruit IT personnel just to manage your on-prem servers.
A hosted server lets you avoid these factors because you don’t own it. The service provider shoulders the costs associated with running the machine where your virtual server is hosted, including power, space, and temperature control. They also handle the cost of repairs, maintenance, and hardware upgrades. The service provider even employs IT personnel who will take care of your hosted servers. You get all of this for a low monthly fee.
They are easier to secure
You can save a lot of money simply by bolstering the security of your data. If you were to suffer a cyberattack, you could lose not only thousands of dollars, but also your customers' trust. The penalties are particularly worse if your business belongs to highly regulated industries like healthcare, education, and finance. Constant monitoring is crucial to your data’s security as it enables you to detect, analyze, and respond to potential threats before they endanger your business.
Trusting your in-house IT team to monitor your servers can minimize cybersecurity risk, but as soon as their shift ends, your protection ceases as well. If you want them to monitor your IT system outside of business hours, you’ll have to pay them more. Even worse, they may not even possess the expertise and tools needed to effectively address potential issues.
With hosted servers, service providers are fully devoted to protecting your data. They implement defensive solutions, constantly monitor for threats, and hire IT professionals with years of experience in cybersecurity to manage your servers.
They help you avoid downtime
On-prem servers are bound to fail some time, as all machines are, and when they do, you will lose access to your apps and data. This disrupts your company's workflow, hinders profitability, and decreases customer satisfaction. If you don’t have a spare machine on standby, you’ll have to buy a replacement server that’s compatible with your apps before you can resume operations.
With hosted servers, downtime isn’t much of an issue. Because virtual servers are software-based, they can just be moved to other functional machines in the service provider’s facility should an issue occur with their original hardware. And because they are virtual machines, hosted servers and the data they contain can also be backed up easily, minimizing the risk of data loss and ensuring constant uptime.
Physical servers fill an important role, but they may be too risky and pricey for many businesses. At SimplyClouds, our virtual hosted server solutions are designed to help your business get all the benefits of on-prem servers while helping you save money. Schedule a consultation with our specialists today.