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Cloud Computing vs. Local Virtualization: Which One is For You?


Being connected to your peers, colleagues, and bosses all the while you’re far from each other is all about flexibility and accessibility. There have been numerous services marketed towards companies that are looking to move to businesses onto a much more accessible place, like virtual workstations and cloud servers. There’s no doubt that cloud-based servers are very popular amongst the new crowd- fewer worries and more scalability. What more could you ask for?

Local virtualization has been challenging cloud-computing ever since they have co-existed in the same industry. While cloud-computing means that you get to work outside of the office through proper permissions, local virtualization means that you can only access information and data if you’re physically in the office. As with all things, both cloud-computing and local virtualization have a list of their pros and cons.

Accessible anywhere with proper credentials. Downtimes should be expected.
Cost-efficient. A hosting service would be able to control how you access your data.
Failure to access is minimal since it doesn't depend on a single machine. It is internet-based, meaning if the connection goes bad, you might not be able to access your data properly.
Multiple users can access one application or website.
Very flexible among users.

As per the table above, cloud-computing has several pros and cons, let’s discuss it further. Say you have availed a cloud-based server from a trusted provider, this means that whatever information that you have on their server can be accessed by anyone with proper authentication, like an employee of your business since you will have to provide them official credentials to access your server.

If you are a starting business, going to the cloud may be better than having an expensive physical server since all you need to do is to find an experienced and trustworthy hosting provider and let them know what kind of service you are looking to avail.

With a cloud-computing, you don’t need to worry about having a physical backup of your precious data, automatic backups can be set in intervals and stored in the cloud. Businesses in disaster-prone areas (such as coastal places or near the fault lines) don’t need to worry about losing data over physical calamities since it’s all backed up on their cloud-based server.

Since all your data and information is in the cloud in cloud-computing, users and your official team can access it simultaneously, given that the services offered to you can handle that much traffic. If you think that you might need to avail an upgrade when the traffic gets heavy, don’t hesitate to give them a call. You need to ensure that your hosting provider is transparent with the services they offer to avoid any confusion on both ends if problems arise.

All things considered, cloud-computing can help you run your business smoothly if you prefer accessibility and freedom from your office desk.

On the other hand, local virtualization is all about making multiple working simulated environments in one hardware, such as your personal or work computer. Local virtualization is setting up virtual machines (VMs) running on one dedicated hardware, providing numerous virtual workstations, doing various tasks. Some professionals prefer local virtualization more than cloud-computing, let’s see why on the next table.

Setup cost is inexpensive. Not as accessible as cloud-computing.
Work across multiple OS can be done with one person. Scalability and customization is limited.
Official and authenticated credentials is needed if you want to access your VMs. Virtualization is not that flexible with its services.
A single work space (AKA a computer) can handle varying programs across different platforms. Storage capacity is limited.
Privacy is better than cloud-computing. If your computer experiences a downtime, you might not be able to access your data using another workstation.

Local virtualization can be as easy as a plug and play setup. There are virtual machines out there that are low maintenance enough to run across a personal computer. Yes, local virtualization is not as flexible as cloud-computing since you still need to set up a physical workstation, but local virtualization can help you eliminate the need to buy other hardware just to run an application native to other OS.

Let’s say you have three people working across three different operating systems, with local virtualization, you can eliminate two of the three and assign one person to work with one dedicated machine. Of course, this person should have been authenticated beforehand since they will be handling sensitive information for your business.

Local virtualization is about practicality and optimization of modern workstations, and like all things, it has its own cons.

Functionality wise, local virtualization is a smart little number, but it does not offer much flexibility or scalability for the user since you are technically using programs created by other companies to run your business. Cloud-computing runs as Infrastructure as a Service while local virtualization runs as Software as a Service.

Storage with cloud-computing can be limitless up to a degree, storage capacity will depend on what services you get and if you’re going to need an upgrade soon. Storage with local virtualization depends, just like any other computer, on the capacity of the hardware. Given that both the cloud and the machine can be candidates for storage updates.

Experiencing downtime when you’ve been running multiple operating systems on one dedicated hardware can be problematic. If you had been wise and backed up the system, this might not arise a big problem. But what if you don’t have a back-up available? You will have to wait the downtime out before you can normally proceed with working on your workstation and onto your virtual machine/s again.

That being said, both cloud-computing and local virtualization are great attempts at minimizing unnecessary wasted production hours and for employee accessibility and flexibility. One of them, namely cloud-computing, can be used to optimize an online business or some other category that relies on many people working on different parts of the globe, while the other one, local virtualization, can be utilized for companies with large numbers of people doing tasks in their own version of a backroom.

Both of them can be tailored to suit you and your needs for your business, n software or service comes as one-size-fits-all. This is why many organizations like ServerHub has been offering various services to accommodate your needs. From bare metal dedicated servers to cloud-based ones, ServerHub has at least one service perfect for you. You don’t have to worry about not reaching anyone when you’re having troubles, our expert support team is available around the clock, seven days a week. We value your privacy and we understand your passion to have only the best for your business here at ServerHub.

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