Physical vs Virtual Servers: Pros & Cons

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It’s true that the rise of server virtualization has brought a range of benefits to small businesses, but it’s very important to consider your specific situation. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of both physical and virtual servers to help you decide which may be right for you.

Contact Corporate Shields in Orlando, FL today for all your IT needs. Our experts can discuss your needs, make technology recommendations, help to implement and provide ongoing support.

Physical Servers

 Pros of Physical Servers

  •  IT staff has 24/7/265 direct access to physical resources. When server issues arise, it’s useful for the IT professionals that manage your business to have direct physical access to your server. Your IT staff can respond quickly to issues and be able to troubleshoot to resolve problems as soon as possible.
  •  Reduced bottlenecks and other variables. When your physical server is onsite, your IT staff is in direct control of user access. When connection issues occur, troubleshooting network issues is streamlined, with every step of your connection in your control.

 Cons of Physical Servers

  •  High costs. Physical servers can be expensive. These costs aren’t just incurred at the initial purchase, either. Physical servers need to be maintained and upgraded over time, meaning these costs can come up over and over again. You need to be prepared to pay for your businesses needs upfront when hosting physical servers on-site.
  • Larger servers take up space. Physical space comes at a premium in today’s office environments. Physical servers take up space and require a larger server room for implementation. Depending on the size of your business, this may be space that you are unable to afford.
  • Hardware failures take a while to respond to. While one of the benefits of physical servers is easy access to troubleshoot issues, when hardware fails, it’s a different story entirely. Often, replacement parts are not on-site and have to be special ordered, which can lead to downtime.
  • Energy costs. It should be no surprise that large servers use quite a bit of power. Having your physical servers on-site will increase your energy costs. Additionally, it makes your footprint on the environment that much larger.

Virtual Servers

 Pros of Virtual Servers

  •  All of your servers, consolidated. While physical servers take up space, consolidation by virtualization cleans your server room up quickly. On top of that, shared resources help you maximize your infrastructure investment.
  • Upgrades are quick and come easily. As your business grows, your server needs to grow as well. In a virtualized environment, infrastructure upgrades can be handled quickly with minimal to no downtime.
  • Next-generation backup solutions and data security. Your business is only as safe as your last backup. Snapshots of your virtual servers can be created as often as needed, offering backup solutions that you could never match with your physical server. Additionally, you can ensure your data is protected through cybersecurity services.

 Cons of Virtual Servers

  •  Recurring costs. While the upfront costs are higher for physical servers, recurring costs can be greater in a virtual environment. Specifically, in a cloud environment, resources are billed by use, as opposed to paying a set price in the beginning. The overall costs for virtualization are generally lower, but some businesses dislike the headache of monthly billing.
  • Dependent on a working internet connection. With cloud-based virtualization, your access to your data is tied to your internet connection. If your internet goes down, you’re out of luck and out of control.

 Which is Best For Your Business?

 So, physical server or virtual servers? What works best for you? The benefits of virtual servers are undeniable. Server consolidation, easy infrastructure upgrades, and next-generation backup technology are things that most businesses can and should take advantage of. However, if you like the peace of mind of having your server located on site at your business, and if you are concerned about a slow, unreliable internet connection, a physical server may be the right move for you.

Consider A Hybrid Solution

Many businesses today are adopting a hybrid on-site and cloud server setup. This can allow you to find a middle ground, enjoying the benefits of both solutions.

Call The Experts

The experienced IT professionals at Corporate Shields in Orlando, FL are here to support your business. We specialize in server and workspace virtualization, as well as localized on-site server management. We can help you decide which setup may be best for your specific needs and can assist with hybrid implementations as well. Get in touch today to request a free quote!

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