Did you know servers were created as early as the 1960s? And the term server was actually coming from queueing theory. From back then a single server serving multiple clients, until now servers are cloud based which are formed by a cluster of servers serving different client needs.
We will discuss what are the basics of dedicated servers, how a server works, what are the different types of servers, and what are the benefits of using it.
What is a Dedicated Server?
A dedicated server is dedicated entirely to your website/application/storage and its needs. Unlike a shared hosting server, all of the resources are yours alone and no other client has access to them. This leads to better speed, reliability and security.
In addition, you have full control over how the server gets set up, including hardware configuration, custom software options and security implementation. Imagine having your personal computer all by yourself not sharing it with your siblings or friends, which gives you the complete control of how you want that computer to operate.
How does a server work?
In the context of hosting servers, every time you open a new web page or do some online shopping, an array of near-instant processes are taking place in a server somewhere. Servers deliver all the elements, widgets, visuals or processes on the website to your browser.
At the most basic level, a server is a repository for web pages that respond when someone requests a certain website.
This ‘request’ is simply someone entering the web address into a browser and hitting enter. The server monitors these requests via ports, giving their ‘response‘ nearly instantly to deliver the site page requested.
It gathers the assorted elements that make up a website and communicates this assembled information back to the user’s web browser.
Different types of servers
The explanation above is how a hosting server works. That is the most common use of dedicated servers for website hosting. Here are other types of servers.
Web server: Deliver requested content to web browsers, pulling all the information together that makes up a webpage. eCommerce stores with large traffic are usually on dedicated servers to ensure their online store is able to cater the traffic demand from clients.
Application server: The server is being set up to provide a different environment for testing applications or to deliver any function request from applications.
Database server: Holds data and provides timely retrieval to client or other servers. Store and secure sensitive personal information.
Benefits of a dedicated server
Security and Control: the most obvious reason people choose a dedicated server is the security and controls that are presented. If you are in a regulated industry and are charged with maintaining the privacy of customer’s data and information, you absolutely cannot share a server with another company or have any security breach due to another tenant’s mistake.
Dedicated resources: unlike shared hosting or vps, there is a certain sharing of resources involved. With a dedicated server, you don’t have to share any resources or computing power. The full capacity of the server is at your disposal and you won’t have to worry about someone else slowing down your site or hogging the network.
Customisation: with the full control of your server, you are allowed to freely customise your server based on your needs and specifications. Unless it is a managed dedicated server where the hardware specifications are setup based on the common requirement. But it does not mean that there is no room for upgrade, you can still choose to upgrade your dedicated server when your usage is more than provided.
How to choose a dedicated server provider
Before making any decisions, you have to be sure that service providers fit your needs. Some factors to consider include,
Server Stability: this is the measure of overall performance, accessibility, and usability. As a general rule, you want to go with a service that offers uptimes of at least 99.95% to minimize the chance of costly outages for your business.
Security: Dedicated servers are inherently much safer than any of the shared options, but that doesn’t mean you’re 100% safe from hackers. Look for a service provider that offers built-in security features such as DDos mitigation, or hardware firewall
Customer Support: this may be easily overlooked when you are choosing the right provider. Look for a dedicated server provider that offers 24/7 customer support with a variety of contact options such as telephone, email, live chat or even WhatsApp chat. Bear in mind that customer support is only able to be evaluated when you are actually using their services.
Customisation: Does the hosting provider offer both Linux and Windows options? What type of hardware options are available? Can the server be upgraded easily? Prior to getting their service, ask these few questions that are related to your needs to find out what customizations are available.
Data center location: If you would like your online business to better serve the local market, server location is important for loading speed and accessibility. Find out how many data centers this service provider has, is the location suitable for your online business?
Buying or renting a dedicated server
Another decision to make is whether to buy or rent a dedicated server. We will briefly discuss the advantages of each choice.
Some organizations choose to buy a server and house it with a colocation provider or in-house. Buying your own server will give you ability to have better controls over the hardware and customisation. That is assuming that you have a server administration in house to help you with.
Another advantage of buying your own server is that you own the piece of hardware, it is your asset. It can help you to save more in the longer run for your business.
By renting or leasing a dedicated server, much of the management and maintenance is handled by the hosting provider, and you’ll never be expected to carry out repairs or pay for replacement hardware yourself.
Additionally, when you lease a server on a month-by-month basis, you’re free to change hosting providers at any time. That’s not the case if you decide to buy a server in the beginning.
Here you have it, these are all you need to know about dedicated servers. If you would like to know more, please let us know what information is missing or what kind of topics you are looking for.