Dedicated hosting is a high-end form of hosting service where the customer leases an entire server, instead of simply a small amount of server resources. Other forms of hosting included shared hosting, where the customer shares hosting space with several other customers and has limited control over the server itself, and VPS web hosting, where the customer leases a virtual server, which runs on the same physical machine as several other servers.
Why Use Dedicated Server Hosting?
Dedicated hosting gives you full control over the server that you are leasing. This means that you can configure the server’s operating system and services to exactly the way that you want them. You do not have to worry about the server’s resources being oversold, or about other users on the system consuming too many resources or crashing the server. The only person running anything on the server is you.
Who Needs Dedicated Server Hosting?
Dedicated server hosting is the natural choice for any company that has a high traffic website, or that wants to do something incredibly bandwidth, space or processor intensive. For example, if you want to run a video hosting website, a complex web application, a game server, or a community site that will have a large number of users, then you are likely to exceed the resource limitations of shared hosting quite quickly.
Dedicated hosting is also a good choice for anyone with specialist requirements. Most shared hosting runs either IIS on Windows, or Apache on Linux. That is fine for a typical blog, low-traffic forum or simple shopping cart, but it does not suit everyone. If you want to have the freedom to install something other than the typical LAMP stack on your server, then dedicated web hosting is the way to go.
Running Your Own Server
If you are an experienced system’s administrator, then the thought of renting a server off someone else may be a little off-putting, however, it makes good business sense in several ways. Remember that the hosting provider already has a data center with a high-bandwidth connection, multiple redundancies and backup systems in place, and a dedicated support team. Even if you have the skills required to run your own server, do you have the hardware, a stable high-bandwidth connection and a secure data center to house it in?
Renting a server gives you peace of mind that the server will always be available. If you do experience downtime, you will be reimbursed. In addition, when your needs grow to exceed the capacity of the server that you are running you website on you should find that upgrading your dedicated server costs far less than it would to buy a new server outright.
Dedicated server hosting is more expensive than shared hosting and VPS hosting, but this extra expense makes sense when you consider that you are the only customer using the server. Overheads for shared hosting are far lower, since one server could fit twenty or more customers on it, depending on the host’s tolerance for over-selling. Not everyone needs a dedicated server, but if your website has outgrown the capabilities of shared hosting, it is worth exploring VPS and dedicated servers as your next step.
When tinkering with (read: completely rebuilding) computers Crispin Jones is an avid blogger of all things tech. He writes for CWCS about hosting and servers – from linux to windows.