Dedicated Hosting Benefits

Great potential but also great responsibility

A dedicated server is completely at your service only What exactly is dedicated hosting?
Dedicated hosting means that a customer has a whole web server completely for his own projects. Unless told otherwise, most hosting packages sold today are shared hosting packages. That means, many, many client's websites are hosted on one single server. This allows for a very low price, like a discount. However, there are some disadvantages shared hosting has in comparison to dedicated hosting: performance, processor power, RAM (server memory) and other recources are shared between many customers and thus weak. Furthermore, standard installations have to be accepted. Contrary to that, a dedicated server customer has full control over all aspects of his server hardware and the installed software. Dedicated servers can be rent or bought. Even with bought servers, the rackspace, monthly traffic, electricity and so on has to be payed on a regular basis, however. The opinion of our editorial is, that in most cases it is the better solution to rent a server, instead of buying it. There may be some exceptions to this however.


Who needs dedicated hosting?
You will want dedicated hosting in the following cases:
  1. you plan a new project that requires a lot of performance or server control from the very beginning
  2. you already own a project that was shared-hosted until now, but grew so much that more performance, RAM, features, whatever is necessary
  3. you are a serious, large company that wants to have total control over your own server and don't mind if it costs $5 or $90 a month - because security and features are of high importance and $85 per month higher cost is peanuts for your enterprise.

What are the Benefits of Dedicated Hosting?
There are several reasons to decide for dedicated hosting instead of shared hosting:
  1. Highest, fastest Performance
    If a web project needs a lot of processing power, then shared hosting can be too slow. This case can happen with projects that perform a lot of server-side calculations. Either, because they do have so enormous traffic, or because complex tasks are performed like image conversions or 3D rendering. With a dedicated server, you can be sure that all the hardware's potential is at your service.

  2. Large Memory (RAM) requirement
    If a web project requires large amounts of RAM, then a dedicated server is the only way to provide service with reasonable response times. This can be the case with large database applications, where the complete database has to be held in-RAM to perform lightning-fast. With shared hosting, RAM amounts to every user's disposition is pretty constrained.

  3. Custom Hardware or Software Setups
    With shared hosting, you have to accept the standard package on an as-is basis. However, dedicated hosting gives you total control over all aspects of deployed hardware and software. Examples for this could be special ISAPI components, that a customer can install on his dedicated Windows server. The installation of special 3rd party software is always possible on a dedicated server, but never at a shared hosting account.

  4. Security and Privacy
    It is sure, that a dedicated server is only used by the customer that owns/rents this server. However with dedicated hosting also comes the responsibility to manage one's own server. All aspects of security can be tweaked as needed - if you know what you are doing. But also the security updates, patches and so on, must be installed by one self. If you want a dedicated server WITHOUT performing administration tasks on your own (but instead by the hosting provider), this is called "Managed Dedicated Hosting". Nearly all providers offering dedicated hosting provide the option to manage a server with full service for their customers as well.

  5. Large amounts of Storage Space and monthly Traffic (Bandwidth)
    If large amounts of fast disk space are needed, then dedicated hosting is the right solution. The complete disk space is at the disposition of the customer on a dedicated server. Usually, dedicated hosting packages contain large amounts of bandwidth as well.

  6. Deployment of special software, that needs a fast and reliable internet connection at any time
    One possible example for this: You want to monitor web sites. If one of them is down, you want the server to send your cell phone an alert message. Now, you could deploy such a monitoring software at your office PC, communicating through a DSL connection. However, it is much more reliable to have a 24/7 monitored, dedicated Windows server in a data center with 10 redundant high-speed internet connections, instead of your 1 DSL connection in your office (wich could fail at any time and your monitoring PC is offline itself). If monitoring of web sites is mission critical, this is a must. It's not possible to install applications on a shared Windows server (execution of files on a shared server is blocked always for security reasons). There are uncountable other very useful executable softwares, that could be running on a dedicated server.

It is the size of your company/project, the speed it grows and the features explained above, that determines wether you need dedicated hosting or rather shared hosting. A solution in between can be VPS hosting.


Click here to see a list of recommended Dedicated Hosting Providers we compiled for our readers.
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Robert Beck
Article written by
Robert Beck
Editor
Network- and Server Administration since 2003. Specialist in Linux, SunOS, Windows.
Do you have any questions? Drop me an email.
 

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