At one time, it was almost expected that a business would have a “server room” that held both their application server and web server. They also had on-site or regional technicians who managed those servers locally, visiting or even residing in the server room during work hours. As businesses have increasingly become globalized and servers have increasingly become specifically used for the web, the need to have on-premise servers has decreased.
The question over which is better, however, still remains. For a dedicated server used for a business’ website, is it better to have physical access to it or have it housed in a remote data center?
Advantages of Local Servers
- When something goes seriously wrong, you have direct and immediate access to the physical machine.
- You can be assured that your data remains private and secured.
- As the owner of the server, you can save money on upgrades, maintenance, and repairs.
Advantages of Remote Servers
- Considerably less expensive initial costs
- You do not need an on-site technician. You’ll have expert technicians at the data center (at least, in theory)
- You can choose a data center with heightened security, redundancy, and better power management
- No need to pay for a high-speed T1 or greater line
Ultimately, having a local server is about control. If you have the money to setup a proper local data center or purchase a prepackaged boxed data center and have the necessary high-speed connection to the Internet, a local server may be what you want. If, however, cost, setup, and maintenance are things you do not want to be concerned with, remotely hosted dedicated servers offer many benefits you may find appealing.