In the era of the digital age, all businesses make extensive use of technology to run their day-to-day operations. Whether powering websites and applications or hosting databases and services, dedicated servers are essential if companies want to remain competitive.
Dedicated servers are key to any successful IT infrastructure. This powerful piece of hardware guarantees the reliability of your business and enables authenticated access from anywhere in the world.
Of course, before you invest in one, you should understand what separates dedicated servers from other options and whether they’re a good match for your organization’s requirements.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about dedicated servers. So, you can make an informed decision as you plan out your IT infrastructure. Keep reading!
What Are Dedicated Servers?
Dedicated servers are high-end computers allocated solely for the use of a single client or, alternatively, an organization. In contrast to shared hosting and virtual private servers (VPS), clients get full control and permissions over their server environment as compared to basic websites hosted in common. This means that users have complete freedom to customize and configure the server as per their specific requirements.
How Do Dedicated Servers Work?
A hosting company or provider hosts a dedicated server in a data center. It is connecting it to the internet through their network infrastructure and powering it with their robust power supply.
As a customer leasing a dedicated server, you have access to the resources of the data center. They include internet bandwidth, electricity, cooling, as well as security.
Like similar assets, you also have access control rights, essential ports, services, and programming environments. Besides, you can also monitor other capabilities such as troubleshooting and performance.
Exploring the Functionality of Dedicated Servers
Users can employ dedicated servers for a multitude of purposes due to their exceptional versatility.A key purpose is to provide a secure platform for hosting websites and web applications; dedicated servers offer the best performance, reliability, and security for any website or web application.
Companies also find them great for storing large amounts of data because of hard drive size. Dedicated servers provide an excellent platform for online gaming and video streaming, too. In the latter case, they provide good speeds and can adequately cater to higher visitor numbers.
Key Features and Benefits of Dedicated Servers
As we’ve already mentioned, dedicated servers offer many advantages and features that make them most suitable for many organizations. Here are some of them:
- Enhanced Performance: Dedicated servers provide exclusive access to all server resources like CPU power, RAM, and storage, among others, allowing optimal performance as there won’t be sharing or competition over other users’ resources.
- Increased Security: Being the sole user of the server, there is no possibility that other users would impact your website’s security or impair its performance.
- Customizability: You can customize software configurations, choose specific operating systems, install applications you want, configure areas pertaining to your requirements, such as security settings, etc.
- Reliable Uptime: High uptime rates with dedicated servers are ensured because you don’t have to be bothered about other websites affecting the performance of your server.
- Scalability: With faster response times, you can upgrade the software you need according to changing requirements.
- Improved Website Speed: Fast loading speed is essential if you want a good user experience and high search engine rankings. Dedicated servers enable faster response times by eliminating potential bottlenecks associated with shared hosting setups.
- Better Control and Management: Although you wouldn’t have to share anyone else’s server in a dedicated server environment, you’d still get full administrative control along with controlling and managing various aspects like monitoring your server usage, analyzing trends, and setting up backups.
- Higher Level of Privacy: You will have increased privacy compared to shared hosting options. By utilizing a dedicated server, you ensure that your data and server resources remain exclusive to you. So, you are minimizing the risk of unauthorized access or data breaches.
Steps to Set Up a Dedicated Server
Now that you understand better what features and benefits dedicated servers offer, let’s see how to set up a dedicated server. Here is a step-by-step guide:
Step 1: Choosing a Management Level
Decide how much server management you want. From basic, including vendor updates and core software support, to complete one, adding more services like SSL setup, firewall configuration, and other options.
Step 2: Selecting the Right Operation System
Select a Linux version like Debian or Fedora server if you have user responsibility. For basic or complete management, go with enterprise-level Linux distros, CentOS or CloudLinux.
Step 3: Log On to the Server
Once payment is cleared and passwords are provided, proceed to log into the server being sold using the provided credentials.
Step 4: Secure the Server
Configure a firewall on your server, ensure that all accounts are loggable, establish backup procedures, implement anti-spam systems and anti-phishing measures for email servers, install SSL certificates while encrypting sensitive directories, and keep them enabled.
Step 5: Install Necessary Software
Use the operating system’s tools to download and install additional software packages required for your particular business purposes, such as a web server extension, game engines, project-management tools, or media servers.
Factors Affecting the Cost of Dedicated Servers
If you are planning to invest in this solution, then it is important to know what factors affect how much dedicated servers cost. These include:
- Hardware Specifications: Higher-end processors, more RAM, and larger storage capacities will mean higher prices.
- Bandwidth Allocation: The bandwidth refers to the volume of data that can be transferred between the server and the internet in a set period of time. Dedicated servers with higher bandwidth allocations tend not to be cheap due to their faster data transfer speeds.
- Data Center Location: Data centers located in major cities or regions with high operational costs charge more for their services.
- Managed Services: These may include server maintenance, security updates, and other technical aspects on behalf of the user. Managed services often come at an added cost as compared to unmanaged servers.
- Service Level Agreements (SLAs): Servers with higher SLAs will usually mean higher prices based on increased reliability and support.
- Scalability Options: If one can estimate that your website or application may need additional resources in the future, then analyzing scalability options becomes imperative before buying a dedicated server. Providers offering easy scalability tend to charge slightly higher fees for this flexibility.
- Additional Features/Add-Ons: Optional extra features or add-ons like enhanced security procedures, backup services, monitoring tools, and advanced technical support could be offered by some providers at an optional extra fee.
So, what are dedicated servers? In simple terms, they represent a type of remote server dedicated solely to one organization or individual. Unlike shared hosting, where multiple users share the same resources on different computers, a dedicated server provides exclusive access to all the benefits and functionalities of the whole server.
Dedicated servers give you greater reliability, flexibility, and control over your online presence compared to other hosting solutions. However, it is immensely important that everyone understand the key factors that have a notable effect on their cost and then decide if investing in a dedicated server would make sense for the business!