Dedicated servers are becoming quite useful for many companies and use cases. Running a dedicated server is often viewed by companies as something complicated and as such, they opt for other solutions. But that shouldn’t be the case and you should definitely explore the pros and cons of a dedicated server solution for your particular needs.
First, what exactly is a dedicated server? Most regular hosting services are shared. This means that while you get allocated CPU, RAM, storage and other resources, they are not the actual peak capabilities of the server. They are all shared between a lot of accounts which are stored on the same server. This means that if someone else’s account on the same server gets DDoS-ed or gets overwhelmed with users, everyone on the same machine could feel the strain.
The dedicated server, on the other hand, is available to only one client. This means the server stores only your data and only you use its resources. Plus, you can configure the server in any way you want and use it for a variety of tasks. This opens up a lot more opportunities and is ideal for companies or projects with specific requirements. Let’s further explore the benefits of dedicated servers.
Hardware for you
As we mentioned, one of the key benefits of a dedicated server is that all of its hardware is exclusive to you. No one else will use it. Moreover, depending on the provider, you can also get upgrades as needed and enjoy a server that’s up to your preferences.
This means that even at peak times, you will continue to enjoy all of the server’s power and performance. You won’t suffer service downgrading because of someone else.
Using a dedicated server also means you have root access to it. You can reconfigure the hardware and, for example, stop features you won’t need or are a security risk. Of course, some of the available features or allowed use cases might depend on the type of hardware or the service provider, so be sure to ask a representative if you need something specific.
You can use your dedicated server for a lot more than hosting a website. It can be a backup place, email server or one to run apps and so on. It’s up to you to load it up with software of your choice and configure it as you want.
Some providers can help you out by offering a choice of operating systems to install for you as they set up your dedicated server. This way you can also save some time and get a server that’s fully ready for you to actually start working.
Performance and reliability
Exclusive hardware, your own software and only you on the server. Add all these things up together and you (should) enjoy a very well-performing and reliable server. And if there are issues, it should be much easier to pinpoint them and fix them. Thus, minimize the downtime.
And some providers offer redundancy for their dedicated servers. This means that if a component fails on your main server causing it to stop, a backup one will immediately take the reign and your service won’t be interrupted.
While rare, it is possible that when on shared hosting, someone can make a huge mistake or get attacked by hackers to the point they get access to the entire server. As such, you can become collateral damage to someone else’s misfortune.
Another risk is that you may share the server with a potential spammer or a malicious website. Thus, end up taken down at some point or just constantly dealing with security alerts from other platforms.
A dedicated server removes these possibilities entirely. And you can beef up the security further by adding more features like SSL, encrypt stored data and so on. All while you enjoy additional security services and features from the provider like advanced DDoS protection, redundancy and more.
Dedicated servers also get their own unique IP. It means your site won’t suffer in the search engines because someone else’s has done something bad. The dedicated IP will actually help your site’s trust rating and it will make it easier and safer for payment processing and securing the data.
One of the main advantages of hosting services is that you get to use top-notch infrastructure for a fraction of the cost. That’s why shared hosting is so cheap, but is still able to offer high-speed connections, top hardware, advanced security and so on.
However, you can still enjoy all of that with a dedicated server. Granted, it will cost you more than a simple shared hosting feature, but it will be far, far less than doing everything needed yourself.
Dedicated servers “live” in the same data centres as the shared ones. You will get all of the same benefits, extra security, cooling, high-speed data and so on, but with the added “comfort” of your own server.
If something goes wrong with the data centre, it’s up to the provider to fix it. This means you won’t have to worry about a big part of the maintenance of the infrastructure which can be both complicated and expensive. Speaking of money…
Running a dedicated server will be a bit more expensive than a simple shared hosting. The price is EUR 44.99 for a machine from takeaserver.com with dual Xeon E5520, 16GB DDR3, 2x146G SAS with RAID 1 and 1 Gbit / s port with unlimited bandwidth. This would still be more than enough for running a lot of typical tasks for websites and so on.
Of course, when you need more, you can upgrade or request a custom configuration. Things can get pricey here, but again, you won’t have to spend anywhere near the typical upfront investments if you were to do all of this yourself. And you can get even bigger discounts if you subscribe for a longer period of time.
You will also save money on server maintenance. Since you basically rent it, it’s up to the “housekeeper” to keep it running (providing you use it properly and don’t abuse the service). You also save money on electricity, cooling, physical security and a lot more added costs that come along with a top grade data centre.
Choosing the right one
The competition is quite fierce in the dedicated server market. That’s great for the customers as it means they have a lot of options to choose from. You would have to consider a few things in order to make sure you get a deal which is suitable for your needs.
Set a budget and shop around to see what you can get for that amount. Keep in mind that your goals will change in time, so it would be nice to have the option to also change the dedicated server with ease. Sometimes higher prices can also come with faster support and that can be vital in case of a failure.
Speaking of support, the idea of a dedicated server means you will run and administer it yourself. Still, this doesn’t mean you should be left alone in case of an issue which is not related to the infrastructure or the data centre. Some providers can help you out in other cases as well. And having proper support to consult with can be a game-changer.
Another factor to consider is the hardware quality. It won’t do you much good if you rent a server which has old hardware, right? This is why you should pay careful attention to the service descriptions and the machines you can choose from.
Also, mind the rules! This means the service level agreements. There you will see all the rules you have to adhere to in order to enjoy the service. You will also see what you can expect from the provider as in uptime, deployment time, hardware fixes and so on.
When you’ve considered these details, you can go ahead and start your journey in the world of dedicated servers. It will be quite beneficial for you.