I'm not saying this is for everyone. If you just need to spin up a quick server or two for testing and experimentation, there's absolutely no way you need to go to the trouble and up-front cost of building and then racking colocated mini-pcs. There's no denying that spinning servers up in the cloud offers unparalleled flexibility and redundancy. But if you do have need for dedicated computing resources over a period of years, then building your own small personal cloud, with machines you actually own, is not only one third the cost but also … kinda cool?
I'm gonna be honest here. I just always assumed using a virtual private server (like DigitalOcean or Linode) was not just easier than building your own server but cheaper too. What is mind boggling to me is that not only is it a lot cheaper ($2,044 vs $5,760 for three years of hosting) but your own hardware is over twice as fast in single-core performance and seven times faster in multi-core.
I have been mulling over starting another side project that is going to need a server-side component. I've been debating about what language / framework to use but now I think I need to consider colocating versus virtual private servers.