A dedicated server is the one that is either hosted and placed in company’s data-canter, or rented to a single client as well as Internet connection and connected software. The user is free to customize his own system environment, choose an operating system, virtualization platform (if needed) and software.
Most often, web hosting company provides support services including update of OS and applications, maintenance of firewall, recovery in case of disasters and data backup. Payment is performed monthly, quarterly or annually – it excludes need of upfront payments and running at a loss. Another peculiarity of leased dedicated servers is that the client does not need to host the hardware on his premises, because that would presuppose extra expenses on maintenance, network, space, security , power supply and cooling.
Main advantages of a dedicated server
There are three basic types of hosting: shared hosting, VPS (virtual private server) and dedicated. Shared hosting is used by a large number of clients, and the main advantage of such solution is low cost of service. However, the resources of a server used for shared hosting (bandwidth, CPU, RAM) are divided between users, and not always equally. As for VPS and dedicated servers, their resources are available to one client only, however, these solution do differ.
Benefits of dedicated server are as follows:
1. More reliability and power. With a dedicated server, you have full access to such resources as disk space and processor power. There is no downtime because of memory limitations or RAM, because no one else uses your resources. Uptime is increased, and you can smoothly run any websites and applications.
2. Better security. As far as you are the one who utilizes the server, it is more secure than shared hosting: there are no clients performing activities causing security vulnerability. Besides, you may introduce additional security measures to your server and specify your requirements.
3. Lower chance of IP blacklisting. If you don’t share your server with other users, there is less risk that your server IP can be blacklisted. It usually happens when the IP address of a server is suspected to be connected with some malicious activities: phishing, spamming and others. That has adverse effects on email deliverability, and often requires extra payments to have you IP removed from the blacklist.
4. Administrative access. Root access is available with every dedicated server, and it not restricted. You may customize it and install any software you want. With such access, you keep the entire server under control, check how resources are used, detect potential threat and deal with it before it spoils your server.
5. Improved technical support. Most decent web-hosting companies put focus on the level of technical support for their clients, because they usually host mission-critical web applications. Excellent support makes sure that downtime is minimal, and disruption of services and applications is not likely to occur. Only professional and experienced staff is employed to perform troubleshooting and be available to users on 24/7 basis.
When does dedicated server become a necessity?
Typically, servers are used to host web-sites, and if you work with shared hosting, one day you may realize it’s high time to switch to a dedicated server. The following factors will help you to make the final decision.
If you use an “unlimited” shared hosting plan, there still may be some limits applied to your account by the company. For instance, these can be limitations on use of commercial software, etc. This is done to avoid the problem of neighbors who may potentially affect hundreds of other users on the server by utilizing too much bandwidth, RAM, etc. The main downside in this case is that most often performance limits are present.
Using a dedicated server, a client will not face any of performance issues, because the entire server belongs to him only. Problems with performance may occur only in case when you run heavy applications or face an unexpected traffic spike that the server is not configured to deal with. In everyday life, a dedicated server handles performance issues without troubles.
When using shared hosting, a client is restricted on what software can be installed, and how it is configured. Typically, shared hosting offers the most common configurations of the most widespread software. As for dedicated servers, you have full freedom to install, customize and update any software that you need, because only you have access to it.
If a shared server is misconfigured, other users may have access to your data. Even in VPS, administrators can read your data, but it is not applicable to dedicated servers. With a dedicated server, you will have full root access, have your data secure and be sure that no one can access your server.
Dedicated server is an opportunity to host web-sites without threat to your security and uptime. When facilities belong solely to you, all resources can be used effectively to achieve any goals.