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While running a website may be one of the most popular reasons for using an independent server, there are actually many other things they can be used for too. Pretty much anything you can run on your PC can be done on a Cloud instance (assuming it isn't anything against our Terms Of Service). Here are just some of the things we've seen people do with our Cloud Servers plans.
A server instance provides you with dedicated resources for your site (RAM, CPU, etc.…) that you don't get with any shared or shared business plans. So, of course, you get better performance, and it can handle more traffic and more processes running at once.
You also have much more control, as you have root access. This means you can install whatever software, apps, or scripts you want as needed. With shared hosting, you're limited to what's available.
On top of running your site, you can also run your choice of private analytics for it. Instead of relying on Google Analytics or other 3rd party services, you can install Piwik (Just one example of self-hosted analytics you could choose to install).
Or maybe you need something even more. Maybe you need larger-scale business analytics. There are actually lots of applications that you can choose from to fit your needs. Some you can use for data mining. Some help to draw up data-driven, easy-to-understand reports. And there are some pretty powerful ones that you let you do both… and more. In the quickly growing age of big data, having a powerful tool like this at your disposal can be tremendously helpful.
Some people use their server for storing remote backups. Even if you already have a place where you keep backups, having multiple backups of your site, databases, and other information is vital for quickly recovering from any mishap.
Do you rely on 3rd party RSS readers like Feedly to keep up with your favorite sources of information? What would you do if they announced tomorrow that they're shutting down? Lots of people were taken by surprise a while back when Google Reader did just did that. They were left scrambling to find a replacement.
Well, with your own server, you don't ever have to worry about it. Instead, you set up your own RSS reader to feed you your daily info. Possibilities, depending on the app/script/software you choose to use, include:
Services like Pocket are awesome, but what happens if the site goes down or closes down? All those articles you saved are gone. Would you be able to remember, let alone find them all again?
You don't have to worry about it if you set up a similar service on your own server. And there are also apps and software you can install to do just that. Just find the one that fits your needs (many are free and open-source), which may offer things like:
Minecraft. Ark Survival Evolved. Miscreated. Terraria. Conan Exiles. 7 Days to Die. The list goes on...
Many games today let you run your own private server. But it's super frustrating jumping from server to server trying to find one you can call home. You finally find one that's run with the kind of settings you enjoy playing on, but you're constantly lagging or getting disconnected. Or you might find one that runs super smooth for you, but find out it's PVP and full of higher-level players who are bored and have nothing better to do than kill you over and over before you ever have a chance.
Why not run your own server where you're in control?
Sure, you can set many game servers up to run right from your PC (if you have a decent computer). But unless you're going to leave it running 24/7, players are going to get frustrated when you're ready to leave and need to shut the server down.
Using a server means you can leave it running 24/7 with no worries. Yes, some of them would be best run on a dedicated server. But if it's only going to be you and a few other people, and it isn't a super resource-intensive game, then a cloud server instance might be just perfect.
Note: Hostwinds offers Minecraft Servers and also an extensive Minecraft Server Knowledge-base as well.
Why risk installing something on your main server or adding something to your live website? Using a cloud server instance as your testing grounds can save you from a lot of headaches and very possibly from spending unnecessary money. Test everything out, make sure it works and ensure it isn't going to screw anything up. Then add it to your main server or site with peace of mind knowing nothing wonky will happen.
Are you into Forex trading? If so, a cloud server could be very beneficial. Here are just a few reasons you might want to consider using a cloud server instance for trading:
No Power? No Problem: Many traders rely at least somewhat on automation. If you do so and you're running it on your PC when you lose power, what happens? If running on a cloud server and a storm takes out your power for the night, your trading keeps ongoing.
Trade Anytime, Anywhere: Your trading time isn't limited to when you're at your PC or when you can access a broker's interface. It's available to you anytime, anywhere, as long as you can connect to your server.
Say No to Slippage: Unless you run a monster of a computer, your server will be able to transmit orders quicker. That means reducing the delay and, ultimately, reducing costly slippage. This holds even if you're the type to place all your orders manually.
This is definitely not a complete list of what's possible with a cloud server, but hopefully, it opens your eyes a bit to what can be done other than running a website. If you have any questions about if a cloud server can do what you need, use our live chat to talk to a friendly team member who'd be happy to answer your questions.
Written by Hostwinds Team / June 5, 2021