Servers are an integral part of the internet, being responsible for storing files and managing computer access in one centralized network or system. The server you choose for your domain has the task of ensuring that your website can be accessed from anywhere and at any time, by anyone on the internet.
Today there are several different types of servers which one can choose from, with cloud hosting currently being the most popular. However, one type of server which has faded to the background a bit over recent years is the dedicated server. Below, we will talk about what a dedicated server is, how it functions and how it stacks up to some of the most popular server options available today.
What Is A Dedicated Server?
A dedicated server is one which will only be used by you. No one else will be sharing the space, meaning that you will have full control over it. You can customize a dedicated server how you like based on what you think works best for your one or more domains, and this type of hosting typically enjoys a better uptime than other types of servers.
How Does A Dedicated Server Work?
One way to look at a dedicated server is to compare it to your personal computer. That one computer is working for you and only for you. A dedicated server works very much the same way, only it has a lot more RAM, numerous microprocessors, a bigger hard drive, and more.
A dedicated server works in one of two ways:
A managed dedicated server is the most popular option of the two for those who are not involved in the tech industry. With a managed dedicated server, a separate company or provider has the job of ensuring that your server stays up and running. A user simply sends his or her data through the server and the provider will take care of all of the other tasks. Some common qualities which you should expect from a dedicated server provider include:
- 24/7 server monitoring and support
- Regular virus scans
- OS and kernel updates
- Spam filtering
- Vulnerability testing
An unmanaged dedicated server is one where you are in full control of its upkeep. Most individuals do not choose to go this route as it is time intensive and most do not know how to tackle the problems which can come up with managing a server.
Why You Should Consider a Dedicated Server
A dedicated server brings with it a host of important benefits, starting with:
Since the host is under your control at all times, any downtime is kept at an absolute minimum. Every single change, upgrade or repair which is performed is pre-planned and predictable so that you can prepare for any temporary outages.
A dedicated server is designed to handle an influx of massive amounts of data at all times. Unlike other servers, which often crash if there is a sudden increase in traffic, your dedicated server will stay intact and working for you.
- A dedicated server will also have nearly limitless bandwidth, another assurance that your domain will stay up and running, regardless of traffic or data increases
Most servers available today are fairly secure, but many tech experts argue that dedicated servers are the best ones on the market. Not only is there only one person using the server (unlike the thousands which may be accessing a cloud server), users can customize the server according to his or her needs and bolster its security as they see fit.
You Have Full Control
Another major benefit of this type of server is that it is under your complete control. You can choose what software is being used, make changes when necessary and reliably scale when your business needs to do so.
Dedicated Server Hosting Compared to Cloud Hosting
Cloud hosting is a fairly new way of storing and accessing information. Through cloud hosting, all of your information is kept in the cloud (or online) which means that users are able to access all of their files from any device, anywhere.
There are a number of advantages which come with cloud hosting that are important to outline. One key advantage is that the cloud is typically made up of several servers. This means that if one server has an outage, the other five in the same room will take up the slack and keep your domain online.
Another benefit that comes with having multiple servers working for you is that it is easy for businesses to scale. Businesses can extend storage and processing capacity at any time through cloud hosting.
The final benefit is that cloud hosting is less expensive than a dedicated server is. Because there are multiple users in a cloud, each user pays for a portion of the service, which reduces the cost for everyone.
Dedicated hosting may not have multiple servers to draw from, but they are more reliable than even cloud hosting. Most businesses will not require any more space to scale than what a dedicated server has to offer and are willing to pay the higher price tag for this type of hosting, for the security. As much as cloud has been touted as being secure, keep in mind that even Apple’s cloud hosting was hacked which resulted in a number of personal photos of celebrities being leaked to the public.
What about VPS Hosting?
A Virtual Private Server (VPS) is another type of hosting which works like a dedicated server but on a much smaller scale. Because it is smaller, it is less expensive and is still fairly customizable. The main problem with VPS hosting is that resources are often improperly allocated. This can result in an improper estimate of what your server can or cannot do, which often leads to your server running at full capacity, causing your domain to suffer lags and downtime.
Dedicated server hosting offers the best in quality, however, but because of its higher price tag it may not be a great financial fit for every business. If you are a company which receives thousands if not millions of hits on your website every day, a dedicated server is the best way to ensure that your visitors enjoy the best experience on your website day after day.