What is a dedicated server and how to get the best one
Dedicated server is a physical server used to perform some specific operations on a regular basis. Dedicated server hosting, consequently, is about renting hardware with corresponding internet services by users, who gain full control over a machine for a prepaid period of time. The services are provided by organisations like hosting providers or hosters.
Types of dedicated servers – select the one you need
There are few ways to distinguish types of dedicated servers. The first one is to make a division based on the main function they are to deliver. In general, running scripts and software, or storing data are the activities most machines are used for. Below is a list of some common applications:
- DNS – stands for domain name server, so responding to DNS-requests and maintaining access to your resources is what it’s meant for.
- eMail – speaks for itself. It’s hard to imagine any organization or person without an email address nowadays.
- VPN – Virtual Private Network is a tool that helps to interconnect individual private networks over the Internet. VPN server has all the software up and running to make it happen.
- Database server – hosts databases, software to operate them and serve the requests.
- VDS carrier – with virtualization software it’s possible to create a number of VDS using real physical resources. This feature can get you started a hosting business of your own.
- Backup server stores your backups and helps to perform recovering procedures when it’s needed.
There are lots of others possible applications for a dedicated server, actually, limits are only set by the hardware you wish to use.
Another key for dividing dedicated servers into groups is an operational system installed. So, there are:
- Windows dedicated servers;
- Linux dedicated servers.
Windows is one of the kind, while Linux is the kernel for the whole bunch of Unix OS family members. Most servers nowadays have Unix OS on board, because it’s mostly free software and you can choose the one that fits your goals best.
Windows servers, however, definitely have gained their own niche. It is a good idea to rent it if you:
- developing, testing or simply running software that is meant for Windows.
- using a remote desktop for working with documents and files. If you’re familiar with Windows for PC then RDP (remote desktop protocol) can make your work with a Windows server as easy as running a home computer.
How to choose the best dedicated server hosting
Hosting providers generally offer some standards configurations along with build-your-own servers. Either way, there are few main technical parameters that you should consider while choosing a dedicated server as a web hosting service for your online project.
Hardware (HW) is fair enough can be called a key to success. At least, faulty HW won’t do you any good for sure. On the other hand, enterprise hardware solutions with proper administration in place can result in a perfect performance.
- CPU and RAM – if you’re planning to run some applications dealing with big amounts of data or video strimming, then pay attention to the number of CPU cores and RAM volume. The most powerful solutions surely cost a bit more then standard ones, but it will pay back eventually.
- Drives – dedicated servers are often used as a remote storage, and choosing proper drives is also an issue of a great importance. HDDs are cheaper, while SSDs can give you a speed boost. So, consider your pros and cons, and pick the drives you really need. Don’t forget to estimate the volume you will require and take some spare, for just in case.
- RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) – is a good idea, if you value the data stored on the drives. Once again, it might require some extra money from the start, but in the end it will be worth it.
- network port – one more thing you should consider is the amount of traffic you’re expecting. Respectively, you can choose between 100Mbps or 1Gbps NIC port.
How to find the best hosting provider for your project
Rental of a dedicated server is a vast service with a lot of organizations involved. And it’s quite a challenge to select the one for your project. Figuring out what hardware you need is not all, you’ll also have to make up your minds for such things as:
- SLA – service level agreement can get your additional round-the-clock surveillance for your online project. You can easily buy full administration services for your machine, if you don’t want to deal with technical issues at all.
- Connectivity and locations – it’s advisable to pay attention to premises, where the dedicated server that you rent is actually placed. The trustworthy data center (DC), that your hosting provider partners with, is a great deal of success of your online project. It guaranties not only the high uptime, but also can get your project literally closer to end customers. If you’re aimed to work with US or UK users, ask a potential provider for a DC nearby.
- Uptime – the greater it is, the less problems are to be expected. Each hosting provider declares it to be 99% and higher. It’s not a bad idea to search specialized hosting forums and gather some feedbacks from the clients to make sure that the numbers are close to real.
- Extra features – there is always something that comes additionally and mostly free of charge. It can be some diagnostic software, IPMI access or DDOS protection. These bonuses might tip the balance when you compare almost identical offers from different hosting providers.
Before making an order of a dedicated server hosting look through the tips listed above and don’t immediately rush for cheap dedicated servers. Make your choice wisely, consider what you’re after and what exactly you’ll get from the hoster. Find a few companies you like and compare their offers. Don’t hesitate to ask for additional information from the companies. And let the force be with you!