root server vs. cloud server

The last years was running on a JiffyBox from Domainfactory - until I switched back to a "real" server from Hetzner.

The costs are practically the same: the cloud level 2 with SSD at Domainfactory costs a maximum of 37.20 Euro per month - the Hetzner server from the server auction 39.00 Euro. But what do you get for less than 40 Euro in hosting? A comparison:

Root server vs. cloud server comparison
Root server vs. cloud server comparison
So on paper, there is at the root server - at least if you can get a bargain like at the server auction. Regularly the root servers start at 49,- Euro/month at providers like Hetzner, but then offer a little less performance than the "used model" I use: Hetzner offers servers through the auction that were already in use. This means that extra features like Intel network cards or ECC RAM with error correction are available at a reasonable price.

Via I made a short performance comparison between hosting on the previous Domainfactory cloud server and the Hetzner root server: root server and Cloud server have a similar performance over long distances in this test: 757 milliseconds (root) vs. 794 milliseconds (cloud) average response time with SSL are good values. However, there are differences in the total number of requests that can be answered in 2 minutes: Performance comparison Performance comparison

(Preliminary) Conclusion

As you would expect, the full-fledged root server has significantly more "bangs" and also manages a very large number of requests. In addition, the time-to-first-byte is very low, with much lower values than the cloud solution. The 3 terabytes of storage space are also sufficient for applications with large storage requirements, e.g. a photo blog or videos. But you lose the flexibility and the daily automatic backups - especially if you "play around" a lot this can be very practical. In addition, you can clone the cloud server in an emergency and create new instances.

Ultimately, it depends on the concrete purpose: if you want to experiment, a cloud server is the best choice. If, on the other hand, you want to get as many visitors as possible, there is still no way around a root server. Both are possible for under 40 euros a month.


  1. I find this a very interesting article. Thanks for that. The conclusion (virtualization vs. full-fledged root server) weakens a bit. It would have been interesting to know whether a load collapse would also have occurred with larger Jiffyboxes. 4GB vs. 16GB memory could be an indication. Corresponding load values of Munin for example would be interesting.

    Overall, however, the cloud solution is (currently) always somewhat more expensive than the root server. This does not give you the flexibility to backup/duplicate/change to a stronger machine. By the way, the Jiffyboxes are only connected with 100Mbit.

    1. Yes, I simply took what I had available - and my main concern was to make the comparison at the same price.

      That cloud servers have their right to exist in many situations is clear anyway. If I had the need, I would probably take a root server as a basis and possibly intercept load peaks with cloud servers. But for such a blog and a few smaller projects a "cheap" root server is definitely sufficient.

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