Dedicated servers are the highest form of web hosting available to the general consumer and represent astonishing performance and value for money when you consider the level of reliability that can be achieved, even with a cheap low specification dedicated server. Windows and Linux dedicated server hosting services are available from most web hosting providers which increases the choice you have when it comes to choosing a web hosting provider and dedicated server package combination which suits your requirements. The good thing with dedicated servers is that the resources that you can have added to your server are much larger than what you can have assigned to a VPS server; this makes dedicated server hosting perfect for businesses or individuals whose websites have outgrown their current VPS hosting service. There are many features that are unique to dedicated server hosting which you should take into account during the order process as taking advantage of such features will allow you to get good value for money but will also reinforce what is already one of the most reliable forms of web hosting available. Dedicated server hosting offers large businesses needing multiple servers a cost effective way of achieving this as the only other alternative to dedicated server hosting is colocation server hosting, but in the case of this you are required to own your servers which can be a problem for some businesses. Although there are unmanaged dedicated server hosting services available, it is recommended that you purchase managed dedicated server hosting services to ensure that highest amount of uptime for your dedicated server; not only will you be able to get full support for your dedicated server, but its also likely that your web hosting provider will monitor your dedicated server themselves so that they can take the relevant action if any downtime does occur.
What can I use a dedicated server for?
A dedicated server can have many different uses and the fact that both low specification VPS servers and high specification dedicated servers are available from a majority of web hosting providers increases the possibilities of what you can use a dedicated server for. The main use of a dedicated server these days is for web hosting purposes, and when you couple a medium specification dedicated server with a web hosting control panel such as cPanel you will find that you are able to offer very reliable and feature packed web hosting packages to those who require them; in this situation you will want to purchase a dedicated server with a powerful processor, lots of RAM and a large hard drive to keep up with the demands of your web hosting customers. A dedicated server can also be used for the hosting of single services if you are after a more redundant setup or simply because you need the extra resources; for example you may want to primarily use your dedicated server as an email server or a web server for resource reasons, and this is a good idea for larger businesses as it will provide them with a more stable IT infrastructure. Dedicated server hosting is also the perfect platform for basing your streaming media services; as most dedicated servers now come with at least 1TB of bandwidth you should face no problems with streaming large amounts of media between your dedicated server and client computers. The main uses for dedicated server hosting include:
- Web hosting – a dedicated server is the perfect environment in which for you to start offering your own web hosting packages as when coupled with a web hosting control panel such as cPanel or DirectAdmin you will be able to offer reliable web hosting services to those who require them, and as you have full control of your server you will be able to offer your customers certain features that other web hosting providers may not be able to offer – you will need to update the software that you have installed on your dedicated server on a regular basis to ensure that your dedicated server remains both secure and reliable for your web hosting customers
- Single service hosting - larger businesses prefer to use single dedicated servers for the hosting of a single service meaning that each dedicated server will have an assigned purpose, i.e. web server or email server – dedicated server hosting is perfect for this situation as you will be able to choose a dedicated server that meets your requirements perfectly so that you won’t be paying too much for something which is too much for what you need or too little for a dedicated server that isn’t able to meet your requirements or is highly unreliable – this can also help in terms of reliability as it means that a cluster can be built up over time or if one service/server crashes then the other parts of the domain using the servers will remain functional
- Streaming/media hosting – because you can now purchase dedicated servers with large hard drives and large assignments of bandwidth you will find that using a dedicated server for media hosting or media streaming will be no problem, and because most people who are using the internet now have fast connections you will find that delivery high quality content is now much easier than it would have been previously – however, you may find that using a dedicated server for streaming your media isn’t the best of ideas as there are always third party sites available to do this such as YouTube.
As you can see, there are many different uses for dedicated servers and it is this which has made dedicated server hosting with both businesses and individuals. In order to achieve the best value for money from your dedicated server you should be aware of what you want to use the server for beforehand so that you can build a server which meets your needs specifically during the order process; however, at a later date you may find that you want to upgrade your server which can be done easily by your web hosting provider.
Advantages of Dedicated Server Hosting
Using dedicated server hosting can bring you a number of different advantages which are bound to benefit you in one way or another and are guaranteed to offer you as the consumer good value for money. You will find that you won’t have to share your dedicated server with anyone else means that you will have sole use of server resources meaning that the only reason that your server could crash is because of a hardware fault or because you have done something that has caused it to crash. The fact that you have sole use of your dedicated server’s resources will also help with server reliability; the main reason for this is that you have full control over your dedicated server, and as you can choose the specifications of your dedicated server during the order process you will be able to build a server that meets your needs perfectly. Along with the fact that you will have sole use of your dedicated server’s resources you will also have root/administrator access to your dedicated server, or in other words full access to a dedicated environment; this means that you have the right to install any applications of your choice or to make any configuration changes that you see fit – however, managing a dedicated server requires skill whether you choose to purchase a Linux dedicated server or Windows dedicated server which means that caution should be taken when installing any applications or making any configuration changes. In summary, the main advantages of dedicated server hosting include:
- Sole use of server resources – as you will have sole use of your dedicated server’s resources you will be able to ensure that the server doesn’t get overloaded by any applications or scripts that could pose a threat to the stability of your dedicated server – this also means that you can install any applications that you wish to on your server without affecting the performance and stability of any other servers as is the case with VPS hosting as there is no-one else sharing your server resources, the restritions that are in place to determine how many processes your server can be running at any one time are also non-existant on a dedicated server which increases the possibilities of what you can do with your dedicated server
- Reliability – dedicated server hosting is probably the most reliable form of web hosting available in terms of single server hosting services and you should take advantage of this fact by purchase a high end dedicated server with large amounts of server resources so that you are able to make the most of it reliability wise – the only way that the reliability of a dedicated server can be compromised is either by you doing something to cause it to crash, a hardware malfunction or if the server gets DDOS’d for some reason by external computers, although most dedicated server hosting providers now have measures in place on their networks to reduce the effect that any DDOS attack could have
- Dedicated environment - whether you choose to purchase a Windows dedicated server or Linux dedicated server you will be provided with access to a dedicated environment in which you can manage your server – for Windows you will be provided with Remote Desktop access to the server’s GUI whilst with Linux you will offered SSH access to the server’s command line, but in either case you will have the ability to install any applications of your choice and will also be able to make any configuration changes that you see fit, but in either case managing a dedicated server requires skill and it is important to make sure that you don’t make any changes or install any applications that could damage your dedicated server.
By reviewing the advantages of dedicated server hosting services you will notice that they are more likely to benefit large corporations running large websites or those who are skilled in the area of server management and will know what they are doing with their dedicated server hosting; it would be true to assume this and if you don’t fall under either category then you may wish to consider fully managed dedicated server hosting services to achieve the best result. Regardless if who you or what your situation is you will find dedicated server incredibly useful and the reliability that it offers truely amazing when compared to lower and more cheaper forms of web hosting.
Disadvantages of Dedicated Server Hosting
Although there are several advantages which will benefit a majority of those who are considering dedicated server hosting, there are also some disadvantages with the ability to effect a wider spectrum of potential users. Dedicated server hosting is one of the most expensive forms of web hosting and this alone can put many people off using dedicated server hosting services since although they require a dedicated server, they are unable to justify the extra cost when they can get a VPS server of similar specifications for a much lower cost that is within their budget. Dedicated servers also require skill to be managed, and regardless of whether you choose a Windows dedicated server or a Linux dedicated server you will need to have at least some basic skills which you can apply to the management of your dedicated server; although there are managed dedicated servers available for those who may be affected by a lack of skills, you will have to pay extra for the right to have full support from your web hosting provider’s support team. Although a dedicated server has a physical presence, this in itself can represent a disadvantage as it means that if something goes wrong with your dedicated server then it can only be sorted from the console; for example if you need an OS reload then this will have to be done physically, whereas if you had a VPS server then this would take two minutes as it could be done from your VPS control panel. In summary, the main disadvantages of dedicated servers include:
- Cost – because dedicated servers are actually physical servers your web hosting provider will need to meet the costs of the dedicated server and so you will find that dedicated server hosting isn’t really that cheap – as well as the cost of the server and the hardware your web hosting provider also needs to take into consideration the amount of bandwidth that you have assigned to your dedicated server, and most dedicated server hosting providers are now offering more than a terabyte of bandwidth with their dedicated server hosting products
- Management – managing a dedicated server requires a certain level of skill so that you are able to ensure that you don’t make any changes or install any applications which could damage your server or could affect the performance of your dedicated server- although there are fully managed dedicated server hosting services available to meet the needs of those who don’t have the required skills, you will be increasing the cost of your dedicated server when dedicated server hosting is expensive enough as it is, however, you may find it more effective and beneficial to learn how to manage your dedicated server yourself using a number of online resources that are available for free
- OS reloads – if you do happen to do something which damages your server or if you have an operating system failure then in most cases you will have to pay your web hosting provider to have the operating system reloaded, and for most this is a disadvantage as if you had a VPS server then it would have just been a simple job of reimaging the VPS server through the management control panel – this coupled with the fact that the operating system is one of the most important factors if your dedicated server gives you a good reason to be extremely careful when managing your dedicated server.
The disadvantages which you may face with dedicated server hosting ultimately only make it best suited to businesses with a large web hosting budget or for web developers who know how to manage a dedicated server and are able to justify the amount which they will need to pay for a dedicated server. It is important for you to ensure that you manage your server correctly to reduce any chances of the performance of your dedicated server being compromised; if something does go wrong then you may find yourself forking out for an OS reload.
In conclusion, dedicated server hosting offers a level of reliability that isn’t achievable with any other form of web hosting due to the fact that dedicated server hosting is seen as the highest form of web hosting available. Although it may also be the most expensive form of web hosting available, the cost is justifiable for businesses and individuals who required dedicated server hosting services. To get the best value for money it is best to keep your requirements in mind and stick to them so that you are able to get a dedicated server which meets your requirements exactly.