There are different levels of cloud hosting. Not all are created equal, and if you want to preserve your company’s IT department while benefiting from the cloud, there are some solutions that won’t work for you while others are more suited to that arrangement. Here are 5 levels of cloud hosting that you should be aware of.

  1. Dedicated Server – A dedicated server is just what is sounds like. You have a single dedicated server that is yours. You don’t share it. You own it.
  2. Managed Server – A managed server is a server that you own, but that is managed by someone else. That typically means the server is at a remote location whereas a dedicated server can be on-site. This may also be called co-hosting.
  3. Virtual Server – A virtual server is a partial server that acts as a server on its own. The cloud host partitions the server and loads each independent part with its own software. You can have a part of a server that acts as a full server.
  4. Datacenter – You can have your own fleet of servers, called a datacenter. This can be on-site or remote.
  5. As-A-Service Models – These exist in a fee-based model that allow you to contract for specific needs. The most common service models are Software-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, and Infrastructure-as-a-Service. You lease or purchase only those features you want and need as you want and need them.

Which level of cloud hosting is right for you depends on your computing needs. I recommend undertaking a feasibility study within your company to first determine your needs, then the costs to meet them.