What is a dedicated server: How does it work and why you need it in 2021 | Themeim

Dedicated Server: The What +Why +How and Other Important Stuff You Should know

What is dedicated hosting

Do you own a website or an app?

Or are you developing one?

Then you have most likely gone for shared hosting.

— And why shouldn’t you. After all, 4 out of every 10 websites use this type of hosting.

But when your site traffic or app downloads start surging, you will need a powerful server to handle the HTTP requests.

That’s where a dedicated server comes in.

In today’s discussion, we are going to tell you what a dedicated server is, its benefits, how it works and other beneficial stuff.

Do stay with us. We intend to be excellent hosts.

What is a server?

If you already know what a server is, then feel free to skip to the next section.

On the other hand, If you want a clear idea, then do read it.

A server is a role that a highly powerful computer plays. This computer can perform a diverse range of activities such as delivering a website hosted on it when you type the URL in your web browser (Chrome, Mozilla), send your email to the receiver’s computer, let you view or extract data from a database that it contains and many more.

There are servers designed for specific purposes such:

      • The web server that hosts and delivers websites on demand
      • Email server that handles sending and receiving of emails
      • A database server that hosts a database for a client

For small businesses, a single server may perform all the activities above.

For an animated description of servers, watch the video below.

Ok. But

What is then a dedicated server?

A dedicated server, as the name suggests, is a server that houses a single website or application for a single client. That client, if he/she wishes, can make partitions in it using the virtualization technology and rent those partitions to other people.

If a single client has an entire server to himself/herself, then that person won’t need to share the server resources such as

  • CPU
  • RAM
  • Bandwidth and
  • Storage.

As a result, the client will have the massive processing power and a huge memory for any purpose.

For this reason, —  dedicated servers are usually more expensive than VPS or shared hosting. That’s also the reason businesses that are ultra-cautious about security and receives over 500,000 website visitors or develop large software solutions go for dedicated servers.

Bonus tips: VPS VS Dedicated Servers

What are the basic components of a dedicated server?

Dedicated servers, or servers in general, have the following basic components. Those are:

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

A CPU is one of the most critical components of a computer whether it’s a server, desktop or laptop. It is also known as a “processor”. As you can understand, it performs all the activities to serve all the PCs that are connected to the server.

In a server, you will usually find:

  • Intel Xeon E3 1270 series processors
  • Intel Xeon Gold series processors
  • Intel Xeon D series processors

Random Access Memory:

RAM in a dedicated server performs the same function as it does in your desktop or laptop. After CPU, it is the second most critical component of a server. RAM is also referred to as “memory”. When your server CPU performs a task, it stores the data in the RAM. The more RAM in your server, the faster your server will be.

RAMs in servers contain error correcting codes that are not present in your personal computers

Storage:

Storage in a server refers to the hard disk drives. These drives contain all the databases, emails, websites, app files and every other information.

Server hard disk drives are usually of four types.

Those are:

  • SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment)
  • SSD (Solid State Drive)
  • NVMe (Non-volatile Memory Express)
  • SAS (Serial Attached SCSI)

Do know that not all dedicated hosts offer SSD storage since it costs almost twice more than traditional HDD of the same criteria.

Motherboard :

— Motherboard, as you already know, is the circuit board that holds and connects all the other components of your server. It is also capable of dictating how much RAM a process can use, how many hard drives can connect to the server etc. Apart from these, it also determines the i/o rate across the components.

Server Network/port Card:

server network card controls the network traffic that your server receives. It is like the traffic police of your server. The speed of server network cards range from 100 Mbps to 10 Gbps.

Power supply:

Power supply keeps your dedicated server alive. Which is why it has to be super-reliable. Depending on the usage, the power supply will need to deliver power in a smart and efficient way so that wastage is low.

How does dedicated server hosting work?

You can get dedicated server hosting-also called dedicated host-in 2 ways.

You can get dedicated server hosting in 2 ways.

Those are:

1. Renting/leasing

2. Buying

Let’s compare the two so that you can decide quickly and easily.

Renting/Leasing Buying
It costs on a monthly basis. The plans usually range from $90-$150 Buying a decent dedicated server PC will cost from $300 to over $1,000. If you customize the hardware, the cost may rise higher.
If your plan is a managed one, then the hosting provider will provide dedicated maintenance and support. For specific cases, you may need to pay. When you buy a server PC, then the company you purchase it from will provide hardware repair/maintenance support. For OS related issues, you will need to contact your OS provider. If you want OS level support from your server provider, then you will need to pay.

I see. So

How do I set up a dedicated server properly?

Setting up your dedicated server is easy if you already know about the hardware and configuration customization features. If you don’t, then we advise you do some research first. That way, the chances of getting more or less than you need is low.

Assuming you have the basic idea about your server requirements, you can set up your server by following the 6 steps below:

1. Initiate the configuration

For this step, you will need to create an account with your chosen server hosting provider.

After you do, you will need to locate the tab which takes you to the configuration section. Depending on your provider, the name of this tab may differ.

For instance in DreamHost, there is a button labeled “Dedicated Server” which takes you to the window where you will choose your hardware.

2. Choose the number of processor cores you want

After you have started the configuration, the first thing you will need to do is select the number of processor/CPU cores.

As we have mentioned before, the processing power you need will depend on your website/application traffic and/or the tasks that it performs.

What you may already know is, the more cores you have, the more work your processor can do in a given amount of time. But that also means that cost will go up as well with number of cores.

That’s why you need to know how much you will need now and about a year from now.

3. Select your hard drive/storage solution

After you choose your processor and number of cores, the next thing you need to do is select your storage option. The options that server hosting providers offer are HDD and SSD.

Meaning you have an “HDD vs SSD” situation. SSD is more expensive but is about 25 times faster than HDD. It is also more durable and consumes significantly less power.

Last but not least, it takes under 8 hours to take backups. For HDDs, this task takes about 20+ hours or a day. But once again, if the price is a primary concern for you, you can choose HDD. You can always migrate to SSD later.

4. Choose the amount of RAM

As we have already discussed, more RAM means your chosen dedicated server (or any server for that matter) will deliver output faster.

However, you will not be able to choose any amount of RAM you want. Your OS and the applications/websites you are going to host will have a server requirement.

So will your processor and motherboard. Not to mention the fact that the more traffic your site gets, the more RAM you will need to handle it and offer rapid and uninterrupted service to your visitors.

5. Select a payment plan

The last step in your server setup is choosing the payment plan. Pretty much all hosting providers will offer both monthly and yearly plans.

But on average, developers (and other clients as well) tend to go for the monthly plan.

Depending on your dedicated server hosting provider, these steps may vary (nothing drastic). In general, this is the sequence you will find in most.

What types of dedicated servers are there?

There are 2 types of dedicated servers that you need to know.

Those are:

1. Managed dedicated server:

As you can figure out from the name, your server provider will manage all the technical server issues for you. As the client, you will only be responsible for the websites, apps and codes that you host on your dedicated server.

Depending on your provider, you will receive regular server maintenance packages. Furthermore, you will also be able to ask them to resolve any issue that you may face.

Depending on your server hosting provider, you can expect the following services:

  • Server OS configuration · Regular server maintenance
  • Regular monitoring of hardware performance
  • Strong firewall for protection from malware and DDoS attacks
  • Reliable customer support · Uninterrupted uptime
  • Regular OS patching

2. Unmanaged dedicated server

For this type of dedicated server, you will need to have the technical know-how. From selecting your data center to domain and DNS, you will need to do everything yourself. If you are not familiar with the process, it may feel somewhat overwhelming.

The upside is, you will be able to configure your dedicated server to precisely meet your needs.

Got it. So

What are the benefits of a dedicated server?

There are several benefits to using a dedicated server for business owners.

We will be discussing the top 5 of those benefits here.

Here they are:

1. Uninterrupted uptime

With a dedicated server, you are guaranteed to have maximum uptime. For instance, Liquid Web, a popular hosting solution provider, claims to have recorded 99.999% uptime last year.

With dedicated servers, it is relatively easier. The reason is, being the only client, you will not be sharing the server resource with anyone else.

As a result, the chance of web traffic fluctuating like a roller coaster is significantly low. Meaning there will be less strain on the cooling system.

A team of researchers at the University of Toronto have found that under 500 C, the probability of server downtime rises linearly.

2. Enhanced security and control

Because you will not be sharing space with a potentially questionable website or application, your properties hosted on your server will be relatively safer.

Besides, you will have root access to your dedicated server. This level of access will enable you to view server logs, add any software of your choice and configure settings in any way suitable for your projects.

Among software, you can choose any firewall you want. Another significant benefit of dedicated servers is data separation. This feature keeps the data stream of your server separate from the other data streams belonging to other clients of your server hosting provider.

As a result, any security issue will be resolved faster.

3. Money making opportunity

You can rent your server space to other clients and make money. Being the only client, the entire storage space is yours.

In that case, you can create VPS hypervisors in your server using the virtualization technique and rent those VPSs to suitable business owners or other developers.

4. Higher speed and ranks on search engines

Because of the enormous memory and processing power of dedicated servers, your resources will load amazingly fast. Websites you develop will have impressive LCP (Largest Contentful Paint), FID (First Input Delay), CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift) scores.

As a result, your websites will deliver a fantastic user experience and enjoy better ranks on search engines.

Where can I buy dedicated server hosting plans?

There are numerous server hosting providers out there.

Here are 4 top providers and their pricing plans:

1. GoDaddy:

dedicated server hosting plans of godaddy

GoDaddy is one of the front runners when it comes to dedicated hosting. GoDaddy is currently offering 4 well-curated

Each of these comes with HDD and SSD storage.

Their prices range from $130 to $400.

You can see their features below:

2. OVHCloud:

dedicated server plans of ovhcloud

 

OVHCloud is offering 7 purpose-focused dedicated server plans.

And 4 of those are cheaper than the DS-32 plan of GoDaddy.

You can view their plans in the image below:

3. NameCheap:

dedicated server plans of namecheap

 

offers 2 well-tiered dedicated server hosting plans. Those are: managed and bare-metal. The “managed” one is for business owners and the “bare metal” one is for developers.

You can choose these offers on a monthly, quarterly and yearly basis.

Have a look at their plans below

4. InMotion Hosting:

dedicated server hosting plans of inmotion hosting

 

InMotion Hosting offers dedicated server hosting in 2 formats. Those are: managed and bare-metal.

Under each of these 2 formats, InMotion offers 6 more pricing plans.

Bare metal:

Bare metal

Managed:

Managed

FYI, there are many other reliable dedicated hosting providers out there. But before you choose one, talk to their customer support and check out their reviews.

I see.

Are there any cheap dedicated servers available?

We had a feeling you may ask this question.

You would be happy to know that there are companies that offer cheap yet reliable dedicated servers.

We have shortlisted 3 of those for you.

Those are:

1. NOCIX:

NOCIX offers plans that cost as low as $20/month. You can even get hourly packages as well which start from $0.15/hour. For your information, their servers are preconfigured. Meaning you won’t be able to customize them.

2. SoYouStart:

SoYouStart offers plans that start from $41.99. Just so you know, not all their plans include DDR4 RAMs. Their data centers are in 5 countries in North America and Europe.

3. KimSufi:

KimSufi offers functional dedicated hosting plans starting from $4.99/month. There are downsides though. The data transfer rate is 100 Mbps. And their RAMs are all DDR3 with only 4 cores in processors.

Before you go for any of these low-priced dedicated hosting providers, keep one thing in mind. There is always a trade-off for cost. So, before you decide, think long and hard about your needs.

Recap

Let’s have another look at the key points we have discussed here.

1. What’s a server

2. What is a dedicated server

3. Server hardware basics

4. How do dedicated servers work

5. How to setup a dedicated server

6. What are the types of dedicated servers

7. What are the three reasons for using a dedicated host

8. Where can I buy dedicated servers

9. Cheap dedicated server

Wrapping up

Migrating from shared or VPS server hosting to a managed or unmanaged dedicated hosting is a very high leap.

Thus, we strongly suggest you make sure that you actually need such hosting. Otherwise, you may end up paying far more than you actually need to.

If you have any information that we may have missed, do share it in the comments below. We may send some appreciation your way.


Disclosure: These posts often contain affiliate links referring to a clicking and purchasing of an item will generate some commission for our site. Positive reviews are genuine and are not based on any payments. Above statements reflect our findings on the respective theme.


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