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Pros And Cons Of Amazon EC2 Vs Dedicated Server Hosting

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud or EC2 is a dedicated server offering EC2 instance capacity. High scalability is definitely one of the biggest advantages of using Amazon EC2 and so is the flexibility it offers. Apart from that, it does not impress much when compared to dedicated servers. If your traffic is predictable, you are better off using a dedicated server which you can get at a more competitive price. Amazon EC2 is ideal for websites with massive traffic and huge surges. Of course, the tools and APIs available with Amazon EC2 are superior but they come for a price.

What is Amazon EC2?

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is at the very heart of everything that goes on in Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS is the cloud-computing platform of Amazon.com and it allows its users to employ virtual computers on rent. These virtual computers can then be used to run their own computer applications. EC2 provides a web service using which a user can boot an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) which is essential to configure a virtual machine. Amazon calls this an "instance" and it contains any software that is desired by the user. Therefore, it encourages scalable deployment of applications in an efficient way.

A user has the authority to create, launch, and terminate server-instances as and when needed. Moreover, the payment mode here is quite "elastic". The user is required to pay for the active servers only and the payment is made by the second. EC2 also provides its users with latency optimization and allows high levels of redundancy which is provided via a greater control over the geographical location of the "instances".

There is no bigger testimony to the success of EC2 than the fact that in the November of 2010, Amazon itself switched its own retail website and started using EC2 and AWS.

What is Dedicated Hosting?

A dedicated hosting service, dedicated server, or managed dedicated hosting service is a type of Internet hosting. In this type of internet hosting the client leases a complete server which is not shared with anyone else. This type of hosting is thus more flexible than shared hosting. The organizations here have a more complete control over the server(s) which extends into their choice of operating systems and hardware, etc. Another level of dedicated or managed hosting is the one which is commonly referred to as complex managed hosting. Complex Managed Hosting can be applied to varied types of servers. Companies can choose from physical dedicated servers and virtual servers, with many companies even opting for a hybrid (combination of physical and virtual) hosting solution.

Standard and complex managed hosting are similar in a lot of aspects throughout, but the key difference is in the level of administrative and engineering support that the customer is required to pay for. Owing to both the increased size and complexity of the infrastructure deployment the customer pays more for opting for a complex managed hosting. The provider then steps in and takes over most of the management, including security, memory, storage services and IT support. The nature of this type of service is primarily proactive. As an add-on service, the hosting company can and usually does provide for the server administration. A larger return on investment and less overhead cost can be offered in some cases by a dedicated server. Data centres host dedicated servers, which often provide redundant power sources and HVAC systems. In contrast to colocation, the server hardware is owned by the provider. And in some cases these providers will even provide the support for operating systems and other applications.

Amazon EC2 Advantages

Elastic Load Balancing is probably the single most important advantage among the many advantages of the EC2. It allows for automatic distribution of incoming application traffic across multiple "instances". This feature allows EC2 to find unhealthy instances. The EC2 can then seamlessly reroute the traffic to healthy instances, until the unhealthy ones are restored.

Another complementary but equally important and useful feature of EC2 is the Auto Scaling. Amazon EC2 capacity is scaled up or down automatically according to the conditions defined by the client. The schedule-based (e.g. time-of-the-day) and rule-based (e.g. CPU utilization thresholds) mechanisms are easy to use and improves the efficiency may times over. 

Auto Scaling can automatically coordinate and compute the number of Amazon EC2 instances in use in times of traffic demand spikes or lulls to provide the best performance at the lowest costs.

Dedicated Hosting Advantages

Flexibility and Control

The biggest benefit of dedicated hosting is that it allows for more control over traditional hosting. It is so because a dedicated server hosting allows you to manage the configuration of the server. This also provides you the flexibility of customizing the server to meet your requirements for RAM, CPU, software and storage space. This means you can upgrade the server as and when appropriate to meet the burgeoning needs of your business.

Administrative Powers

When sharing a hosted server, you won't have as much administrative access as you covet. Investing in dedicating server hosting unlocks not only root access but also the freedom to install programs and customize server configurations. You can also keep an eye on server usage in order to spot issues before that are likely to affect your site and eliminate them before they lead to anything catastrophic.

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