Physical VS Virtual: Can virtual be as good as the real thing?

Virtualization and cloud hosting have become trendy ways to form business networks. As cloud and virtual servers are gaining popularity some businesses may overlook the benefits of physical systems.

We don’t believe important decisions should be overlooked, and choosing a method for hosting your business and the valuable data it holds, is an important decision. No one would be able to give you a right or wrong answer without looking at your business or your goals. We can, however, give you some considerations to help you with your decision making:



Price can often be the deciding factor when making a decision. Cloud and virtual servers are cheaper than physical servers, which already gives them an attractive head start. Businesses still need proper management of their platform in order to maximise savings and prevent costs from rising.

The cost for dedicated servers can remain fairly static, it all depends on how many servers you need to store all your data and handle the expected traffic. The cost effective model of PAYG for virtual servers can backfire if your server receives a large spike in traffic. Network and data costs tend to be at a premium in cloud environments. If you have set up your physical server correctly you will not be charged extra if the traffic spikes.



Performance is another driving factor in the toss up between virtual and physical. If you had two identical servers but one is physical and the other is virtual, the physical server will always outperform the virtual server. There is a performance penalty when you virtualise a device.

If you removed the like for like comparison then you will see that virtual servers perform much more efficiently than physical servers. Virtual servers can utilize almost 100% of it resources whereas a physical server may only utilize 30% – 50% of its capacity, allowing for a buffer zone if traffic spikes.

Performance levels can be dependant on the business needs. Meaning a business that needs to be constantly online and will suffer from any downtime will need different requirements to a company that doesn’t require e-commerce through their site.



Security is another necessity that businesses need to consider, especially if any data is being handled. Physical servers will win in this battle as well. Cloud servers will share network and resources with other businesses which can reduce security.


We have given you some key factors to consider when choosing between physical servers and virtual servers. However, regardless of virtual or physical, every business should be backing up whichever setup they choose. Hardware failures and other disasters can cause damage that only a backup can repair.

It is best to review all your business needs and goals and then compare how each setup can help or hinder achieving the needs and goals your business set. On this has been analysed the option should become more clear.

Should you need further advice please don’t hold off contacting us. Our team of experienced engineers can assist you with choosing a solution that aligns with your business needs.

More from Datacentreplus

Referral Partner
Enquiry Form

send us your details and we will contact you with all the details about our referral partnership

You can also contact us directly:
Tel: 0161 464 6101