If you are familiar with web hosting terms you probably know there are many types of web hosting. One of them is the dedicated server also named ‘dedicated hosting service’ and ‘managed hosting service’. This term means that a client leases a whole server without sharing it with anyone. Many people or businesses lease dedicated servers for building multiple websites and storing huge amounts of data.
Dedicated servers are more flexible than shared hosting as the owner has full control over the server, including the hardware and operating system. There is also another level of dedicated server called complex dedicated hosting’ and that includes virtual servers, hybrid servers and physical dedicated servers. I am telling you this because I know from experience that many companies choose a hybrid dedicated server that is a combination of the virtual and physical servers. The main difference between the standard and the complex hosting solution is in the engineering and administrative support the client is getting for the money he pays. The provider is in charge of the biggest part of the management, including IT software, security, storage and memory. Dedicated servers are usually hosted in data centers that provide HVAC systems and redundant power sources. Although the buyer holds full control of the server, the provider still owns the server hardware and they provide support for the client’s applications and operating systems in some cases.
A dedicated server is usually rented to provide a certain amount of hard disk space, memory and bandwidth which means a certain number of gigabytes that will be delivered monthly. If you want to do virtual hosting yourself, there are some dedicated server providers that allow that, you just need to find them. They usually include ‘File Transfer Protocol’ capabilities, e-mail and domain name system in their services and some companies even include easy-to-use and robust control panels.
Do I need a dedicated server?
You might be thinking about getting a dedicated server and wondering if you really need it. Well, there are a few signs that show whether you need that. One of them is a slowdown in performance. Once you made sure it is not caused by some bug in your PHP or your CGI coding you can know you need a dedicated server if your page loading time is increasing, pages can’t be served because the server is overloaded and the database requests often cause error messages because of the high volume. In these cases my best advice is to start looking for a dedicated server fast, before you lose your visitors.
Even if you need a dedicated server you must ask yourself if you will be able to handle it once you purchased. If you are confident that you will be able to install and upgrade security patches and software then you are ready to buy a dedicated server. If you don’t know how to install the software you can opt for a managed dedicated server and so you pat your web host some extra money to handle all these things. This is the best way to use a dedicated server without making fatal mistakes because of lack of experience.
You also need a dedicated server when you need more software and can’t wait for the provider to install them on the shared server. Shared hosting plans usually include quite a large number of software but the disadvantage of them is that you have to wait for the provider to install the updated versions because the upgrades will affect all the websites on the server and not only yours.
When it comes to choosing web hosting for your growing business it is imperative that you choose wisely. I know by experience that when your business is online, first impression is everything. That means you need to create the best and most eye-catching website possible and that also involves having the right hosting. Especially if you own a multimedia site it is imperative that your site is available 24/7. If that is the case with you, then you might want to think about getting dedicated server hosting. Why is that better than shared hosting? Let’s take a look.
If you have a dedicated server you won’t need to share bandwidth with anyone and that means your site will always have access to the required resources. It is not the same with shared hosting where you have to rely on your provider to have the best uptime possible. And if you choose managed dedicated server you will be free of the burden of managing your server and installing software and updates because your provider will do that for you.
Security for your operations
Dedicated server hosting offers a much higher level of security than any other type of servers. When you purchase a dedicated server you get the guarantee that all the resources on that server belong to you and that makes it far more secure than servers you have to share with other websites. If you have the security patches and all the updates regularly installed it can offer your website and all your online files the best possible security.
Flexibility and control
When you own a dedicated server you get more control over the server and hosting possibilities. This will give your business much more flexibility. When a server is used by multiple users the provider won’t allow users to access certain features. But if you own a dedicated server you are granted much greater access and so you will get more control of the server.
Opportunity for scalability
As your business and therefore your website starts growing you will probably need some more space and resources. If you choose a dedicated server from the start you won’t have to migrate to another server in order to get more space. With a dedicated server you will have the opportunity to grow your business as much as you want without any additional headache.
You might consider getting a dedicated server as your website is getting more and more traffic or maybe the shared server is way too loaded lately and you are getting error messages when you want to access your site. There are many reasons why site owners wish to purchase a dedicated service and there are even more companies that offer dedicated web hosting plans. But not all of them is good for you and cheap doesn’t always mean good quality as well. So how can you know which dedicated server will suit your needs best? Here I’ll give you a few hints about what you should check out before you go out and purchase a server. Believe me, from my own experience I know you better think twice before you make a decision.
Choose your operating system
There are two main operating systems, Windows and Linux. Linux has been a popular operating system for quite some time now. But if you have never used Linux before and you are thinking about choosing a dedicated server hosted by Linux, you will probably spend some hours learning in the process. You will have to start at the most basic things like learning the command line operation of the Linux box, which can’t be said about Windows because it is already familiar on a certain level. Windows has great power and flexibility while Linux has a great reputation for security, speed and reliability. But if you own a small or medium website then either one of them will do fine even though Windows is a little more expensive, but that is almost irrelevant.
Bandwidth controls how much data will be delivered from a server per month and if you have a graphics intensive or multimedia website you will see the difference in this area. So you might consider paying some extra money for a server that has a larger bandwidth. Dedicated servers usually have a bandwidth of 50 Gb per month and that might seem a lot to you but if you own a busy website then you can quite easily surpass that. In that case you might want to look for a Web host that can guarantee high bandwidth availability.
CPU and RAM
The busier your site is the more power it will need from the server. So it’s difficult to give you proper advice in this area. For example if you have highly demanding site that hosts a lot of visited .net forums then you will need a lot of CPU and RAM power.
Can you handle it yourself?
Well, that is very important to consider. I ran out and bought a dedicated server and then paid a lot of money to have someone install the necessary software and updates. So decide now whether you have the necessary knowledge to install stuff. If you don’t, you will need to buy a managed dedicated server. In this case the provider saves you from a lot of headache because they will take over all the maintenance issues.