Servers are like the blood vessels of the internet. Their main function is to store files and manage the access of computers toward a centralized system or a network. Think of it as a ‘connector’ that makes sure your website can be accessed by everyone else on the internet. Now, there are currently several ways to gain access to a server and bring your domain online, one of which is Dedicated Server Hosting. In this article, you’ll find out exactly what this is and how it compares with other methods.
Dedicated Server Hosting
As the name suggests, Dedicated Server Hosting means you will be getting a single server not used with anyone else. This means you will have full control over the server, giving you the chance to customize it as you wish – depending on what you believe works best for your domain or even domains. Typically, a Dedicated Server is used by large websites receiving millions of traffic within a short amount of time. They can be quite expensive, but the different features more than makes up for the cost.
How It Works
Dedicated Servers are physical and extensive. Think of your personal computer but on a bigger scale and composed of numerous microprocessors, RAM, hard drive, and so much more. Servers are computers specially designed to handle large amounts of information – and Dedicated Server Hosting means that the grand scale computer is working only for you.
There are two ways Dedicated Servers may work: Managed and Unmanaged
Managed – Managed Dedicated Servers mean that a separate company will be handling the task of keeping the server running. All you have to do is send your data through the server and they’ll take care of the rest. Managed services often include: 24/7 monitoring, 24/7 support, virus scans, OS updates, kernel updates, spam filtering and so much more.
Unmanaged – an Unmanaged server simply means you will be in full control of the server’s upkeep.
Specifications and Benefits of Dedicated Server Hosting
So why choose a Dedicated Server? Following are the different benefits and characteristics of having your own server:
- Reliable – reliability is perhaps the biggest advantage of dedicated servers. With the host completely under your control, down time is kept at a minimum as changes, upgrades, and repairs are almost always predictable and planned for.
- Performance – capable of handling massive amounts of data at a given time, Dedicated Servers can be trusted to remain intact despite excessive traffic.
- Security – Dedicated Servers typically have better security, for the simple reason that they can be customized according to the needs of the user.
- Control – regardless of whether you get an Unmanaged or Managed server, the way it works is still under your full control, specifically when it comes to software. This gives you the chance to make necessary changes and optimize the service depending on what works best for you.
- Bandwidth – extensive assurance on bandwidth
Dedicated Server Hosting versus Cloud
Cloud hosting is fairly new, especially when compared with Dedicated Servers. Dubbed as the ‘cloud’, you probably know this as the online storage space that allows you to access all your files from any device by using just one account. When it comes to hosting, the same holds true as domains keep all their data in the cloud.
Pros of the Cloud:
- The cloud is usually made up of several servers. This means that if one of them goes down, others are there to pick up the slack.
- Since there are multiple servers, it’s easy enough to extend its storage and processing capacity. This makes it great for growing websites
- They’re definitely cheaper than Dedicated Servers
Cons of the Cloud:
- Security is still an issue with cloud hosting. Just recently, there was celebrity images leaked through a weakness in Apple’s cloud hosting.
Server Hosting versus VPS
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server and essentially works like a Dedicated Server but on a smaller scale. Think of it as being in a condo wherein you get a small portion of the whole property. In your private space or portion of the server, you are given the opportunity to customize as much as you want with few limitations.
Pros of VPS
- VPS cost is less expensive than Dedicated Servers
- In theory, VPS is fully customizable, allowing users to make changes as needed
- VPS may be offered in a semi-managed, managed, or unmanaged package
- Security is quite good although unlike Cloud Hosting, there are no multiple servers to pick up the slack
Cons of VPS
- Improper allocation of resources is the most common problem with VPS. Essentially, this means that although there’s an ‘estimate’ on the full potential of your private server, this might not always be the case. If you use the server at full capacity, problems may start to occur
Who Should Use This?
When it comes to quality, nothing beats the kind of service provided by Dedicated Server Hosting. Due to the ‘price’ limitations however, Dedicated Servers are best used by large scale websites entertaining more than 1 million hits on a daily basis. This can also be used by a group of companies under the same administration, allowing them to manage different aspects of the business under one hosting service.
Choosing Dedicated Server Hosting
Once you’ve decided that Dedicated Server Hosting is the one for you, the next step is to choose a provider to meet your needs. Following are some tips on how to make that choice:
- Hardware Quality – Remember that servers are physical, which means that the hardware components should be of top quality. Ideally, look for servers made by trusted brands such as HP and Dell.
- Replacement Guarantees – Look for a guarantee clause in your contract in the event that some of the parts suffer failure during use.
- Uptime – Study the provider’s track record. Expected uptime should be at the 99 percent range, otherwise it’s not really worth it.
- Support – Managed or unmanaged, there should always be available support from the provider. Study the extent of support they provide – can you contact them 24/7? Do they have a channel? Are there actual people answering questions at the other end of line?
- Software – The software must be flexible, allowing you to operate with both Windows and Linux. There should also be an extensive Control Panel, allowing you maximum control on the program. Additional software should be optional.
- Migration – If you’re switching servers, your new one should help with the migration process.
- Cost – Of course, don’t forget the overall cost of the Dedicated Server Hosting. Be specific with what services are included in the price tag and make comparisons before committing to any service.