A Dedicated Server is a type of web hosting where a business leases a full computer server with Internet access from a data center. Unlike a traditional computer server in an office closet, the Dedicated Server is kept in a climate-controlled data center where the network and Internet up-time are maintained by expert engineers. Business can now lease dedicated servers instead of purchasing and setting up a computer server at their office and hiring additional staff to manage and maintain the server. This allows businesses to eliminate the hassles of dealing with day-to-day server issues and focus on their business growth.
What is Dedicated Server Hosting?
A dedicated server is far more reliable and secure than a shared hosting account which utilize shared resources between customers. A dedicated server is reserved with 100% of the resources allocated to the client. This means that no two customers will share Internet connectivity, hardware, disk space, etc. This type of service is designed to allow 100% up-time and enterprise level clients can rest assured that the service is available to them without any compromise. Mission critical applications also require dedicated servers to be backed by sophisticated and powerful, fully redundant, infrastructure which sets data centers apart from traditional computer servers in an office environment. The cost associated with dedicated servers varies depending upon the infrastructure deployed, but is almost always more economical than purchasing the server hardware outright and managing it internally.
A typical dedicated server may include:
High Speed Connectivity
Dedicated server hosting is gaining momentum due to its unparallel speed and amazing bandwidth. Since dedicated servers are hosted in a data center environment, a large amount of bandwidth is available through multiple carriers. This allows business clients to take advantage of low cost bandwidth without compromising the quality and allows for extra redundancy. The main factor that helps reduce the bandwidth cost is the data center’s ability to bring in multiple high speed internet connections, thus eliminating the need of costly local loops to the client’s business site. Clients usually have the flexibility to turn up or down bandwidth per their needs, translating to cost savings as an additional bonus.
Dedicated servers are typically backed by up-time service level guarantees . Service level agreements can differ based upon on the quality of their network and infrastructure. Superior hardware combined with built-in redundancy and multiple layers of security provide the ultimate peace of mind when using a dedicated server. Multiple tier-1 redundant Internet backbone connections, diversified fiber conduits and redundant core routing enable businesses to get the peace of mind they really deserve. A 100% network up-time and hardware replacement service level agreement backed by a money back guarantees make it easier for businesses to transition from traditional computer server models to dedicated servers knowing that the data center is willing to put its money where its mouth is, so to speak.
Data and network security are some of the top priorities for businesses. Dedicated hosting server providers are able to help with their highly skilled and specialized engineers which are on staff 24x7x365 . Data centers usually employ top talent which are skilled in network security. This minimizes threats from spam attacks, viruses and hackers. Even with highly skilled security officers on staff, it is recommended that additional precautions are taken by pairing the dedicated servers with firewalls and regularly installed security patches to avoid threats.
Additional support features like 24x7x365 technical support along with proactive monitoring and hands-on services are some of the key support functions that also give clients peace of mind while away from their data. With dedicated hosting, clients can focus on their core business and let the professionals take care of their servers.
Businesses can choose to run their applications on either Linux or Windows operating systems. Open source Linux Servers provide a cost effective alternative to the Windows Servers, as licensing is free in the case of Linux. However, there are commercial products also offered by Linux such as Red Hat Enterprise, available at a monthly licensing fee. While there is no set standard for operating systems; most data center service providers provide various options to choose from, including Debian, OpenBSD, NetBSD, FreeBSD, Fedora Core, and CentOS, just to name a few.
Operating System Support
Dedicated server options vary from provider to provider with different levels of support for managing these operating systems. Vulnerability resolutions, patches, security fixes, and updates may be included with operating system support. However, application hosting is somewhat of a challenge since there are so many applications out there and dedicated server providers expect businesses to manage their own applications with the exception of the commonly used applications. Some of the common applications usually supported universally may include IIS and Apache for web servers, MySQL, MSSQl, and PostgreSQl for database servers, and Exchange, Postfix, and Qmail for e-mail servers. A remote reboot control option along with full administrative root access are also typically available to the client, giving the client full control of their server environment.
One of the key benefits of leasing a dedicated server from a reputable host is their ability to house the server in a world class data center facility. Most data centers are backed by uninterruptable backup power supply, diesel generator, redundant HVAC (heating ventilation air conditioning) and advance fire suppression. This allows data center operators to provide the best environment for the dedicated servers which helps extend the life of expensive equipment and ensure 100% up-time .
Some of the common applications for dedicated servers include:
Dedicated server for web hosting allows companies to have a web site (www.yourcompany.com). The website is a 24x7x365 storefront available for their customers to interact with and to order products & services, get more information, or get support for an already purchased product.
Dedicated server for e-mail includes an e-mail server (such as Microsoft Exchange or similar open source platform) and e-mail boxes ([email protected]) allowing a company to have its own e-mail service for its employees. In addition, the server may be configured to block spam or junk mail, inappropriate content, or archive all e-mails received and/or sent for compliance purposes.
Dedicated server for accounting/specialized applications allows companies to have a ready-to-go platform to install their 3rd party applications/programs (for example, accounting or HR software) which would have adequate memory, disk, and Internet access/connection speed to be capable of serving many queries.
Dedicated server hosting is a superior strategy to purchasing servers because it lowers cost, saves time, and eliminates effort in maintaining a server and IT infrastructure:
Lowering Cost – Dedicated server hosting requires no big ticket upfront commitments because the server price is built into the monthly fee. This means no big capital expenditures, plus it gives IT departments flexibility. Unlike leasing, dedicated servers can be kept online beyond their contracted service period (month-to-month, for example) allowing IT managers to refresh when they want and avoid being gouged by high payment (contract terms and conditions vary between providers so please be sure to check your contract). Because dedicated servers are purchased as a service, they are an expense and not an asset that has to be depreciated. Organizations can achieve a more balanced cash flow since the payments are steady throughout the service period, versus large upfront payments. Service providers are also given sizable discounts from software vendors when implementing their products, and are able to pass on the savings to their clients. For example, Microsoft Exchange is virtually free since the fee is on a per user basis, instead of per software license. Dedicated server hosting is extremely cost effective versus legacy implementations of software and hardware.
Saves time – Dedicated server environments can be ramped up or down based on demand and/or volume of transactions. This is especially important for Internet-based applications where a sudden spike in traffic would normally be unaddressable at one’s office due to the lead time required to add additional bandwidth. Dedicated hosting environments have enormous capacity making scaling bandwidth literally a “flip of the switch” process. (Please bear in mind that some providers do not accommodate this method so be sure to ask about flexible bandwidth and burst limits.)
Saves effort – Dedicated server hosting eliminates all the chores associated with running server infrastructure, network, and redundancy. Many providers do offer additional managed services to help with maintenance.
We recommend trying our dedicated server hosting on server refresh cycles or new IT projects to see just how much better it is than legacy solutions.