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All you need to know about dedicated hosting

Hosting may have once been a distant, technical concern, but these days it’s central to operations. Businesses have demands for web resources that are much higher and shared hosting may not make the grade. 

Going it alone on a server is the natural progression, but could this bring with it too many responsibilities? 

We decided to take a closer look at this particular type of hosting to find out exactly what it involves for the user, and if it’s best suited to your business and web projects. 

What is dedicated hosting?

Illustration with book and server

With most types of hosting, you will be sharing either one server or a network of servers. But this is not the case with dedicated server hosting, as each user has a whole server to themself. Sounds great, doesn’t it? 

So what does this mean if you are the owner of dedicated hosting? Quite simply, you will have complete control of their hosting in terms of setup, configuration, and management. It includes root access, which is a direct way into the hardware with privileged control. You will be able to manage the operating system and software.

This is great news when it comes to security, as you can take complete control of your setup and implement the solutions that meet the security requirements of your operation. Added to this is the fact that being completely isolated on your own server means that you can take full control of your security. 

But with the extra freedom and control, dedicated server hosting inevitably brings greater responsibility. Of course, you will need the technical expertise to configure and manage your server, as well as the ability to select, install, and manage the most appropriate security solutions. For small and medium-sized businesses, these are typically services that are provided through external consultation.       

When do you need dedicated hosting?

illustration with timer, shield and gaming controller

Naturally, anyone that requires hosting services could appreciate the benefits of a dedicated server. But for which organizations and requirements are they typically the most suitable? 

  • High traffic websites: If you need higher speed and reliable uptime, you will benefit from having a more powerful server to yourself, higher management capabilities, as well as increased CPU, RAM, and disk usage capacity. This could be the case if you are running an e-commerce platform. This could also be suitable for resource-intensive web applications that need to run, install, and use the software, OS, and CMS of their choice. 
  • Streaming: As streaming is more demanding for resources like bandwidth, memory, and storage, you will likely find a dedicated server with high disk capabilities to be the best choice for streaming content
  • Security: Dedicated servers are better suited to those with a requirement for configuring security, as well as higher resources. This calls for the technical ability to do this, and it could apply to medium to large companies that manage high amounts of data. 
  • Database servers: Companies that host their own databases with a high volume of incoming/outgoing requests, which may be used for BI, or as part of CRM or ERP software. This has the effect of lifting the load from the server where the website and application files are stored. 
  • Remote working environments: Organizations with employees working remotely will find the use of a dedicated server will be beneficial for storage and backups. It may also be necessary to store knowledgebase and server-based tools for task management and distributed file storage.
  • Backup management: For every working environment or web-based project, dedicated servers provide the optimal backup service for improved security, disaster recovery, and business continuity. 
  • Gaming hosting: It is a great idea to have a dedicated server in this sector, and gaming platforms have the option to host games that are distributed from the server or as web applications. It is also possible to organize online gaming environments for a multi-player experience. If you are in the gaming industry then it’s probably best to get a dedicated server that will offer more in terms of processing power, storage, and memory. 
  • Sandbox and training/testing applications: For those that need isolation in the sandbox environments for testing new features without impacting real customers. This may involve load testing and stress testing to determine whether the website is up to scratch. 
  • Other increased demands: These may include telecommunication services such as private VOIP or those with high backup requirements.

Factors to consider when purchasing a dedicated server

Illustration of different server options

There are a number of things that may affect whether you choose Dedicated Hosting, or which provider or plan you go for. These include the following. 

Audience size

The choice of buying a dedicated hosting server may be driven by the number of visitors you expect to receive, and how much this may vary over time. It is more commonly the best option for mid-size enterprises, websites with intensive marketing activities, businesses with large product catalogs, streaming platforms with large audiences, gaming platforms, and hosting resellers. 

The advantages of dedicated servers are applicable to businesses with a range of audiences, with the common factor that avoiding disruptions during presentations or business-critical events is of paramount importance.   

Management

Dedicated Hosting users have the option of taking on all management tasks by themselves, which may include migration, configurations, storage, and security. These tasks will be much greater than those found with shared hosting, due to the complex nature of the full configuration of dedicated servers. If you have an internal system administrator these extra management tasks will be easier to handle. 

There is always the option of outsourcing this extra workload to a specialist. Alternatively, certain hosting providers offer management plans with different levels of services provided, so users can choose the level that suits their specific needs and technical ability.  

Customer support

When you choose a hosting provider, you need one that is responsive to your needs and values you as a customer. This means keeping the dialogue open at all times and not just when you’re about to make a payment. 

You should be aware of everything included in your support, the type of support, the hours covered, and any additional expenses that may be incurred. If you run into difficulties when making the migration, or at any point down the line, hours could be wasted at critical times if your hosting provider doesn’t deliver on customer support. 

As the costs are higher for dedicated hosting, it’s a good idea to pay extra attention to exactly what customer support includes.  

Cost structure 

Generally speaking, dedicated hosting comes at a higher cost but with increased predictability in costs. Dedicated hosting providers offer a range of different tiered pricing options, with the inclusion of various services. Some providers will offer a greater range of pricing options and more flexibility in terms of the resources made available to users. 

It’s important to thoroughly research each dedicated server to understand what is included in the deal in terms of technical specifications, like CPU, RAM, storage, and backup. You may also need to consider licenses, control panel, firewall, and how easy it will be to upgrade when this is necessary. 

Server location

Not all dedicated hosting providers will offer the chance to choose the location of the server used for hosting. However, this can make a considerable difference for businesses with audiences in different regions, such as Europe and Africa, or North America. When your server is closer to your audiences then latency is lower and you will enjoy a faster internet service.  

Final thoughts

As more organizations have higher demands from their web platforms, it’s no surprise that more are opting for dedicated hosting. But there are many points to consider when you choose a dedicated server, and it’s important to find one that ticks all the boxes without making a significant sacrifice. 

Planning and management are essential when making the migration to dedicated hosting, but with the right provider, disruption can be kept to an absolute minimum. 
If you’re interested in a service that excels, Namecheap’s Dedicated Hosting is unique as our servers boast newer configurations, while we also offer flexible management, excellent customer service, and competitive prices.

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Jackie Dana avatar

Jackie Dana

Jackie has been writing since childhood. As the Namecheap blog’s content manager and regular contributor, she loves bringing helpful information about technology and business to our customers. In her free time, she enjoys drinking copious amounts of black tea, writing novels, and wrangling a gang of four-legged miscreants. More articles written by Jackie.

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