Dedicated Hosting Service: For Serious Businesses That Need Serious Hosting
Companies that don’t host on the cloud are often ashamed to admit it, in the same way that many San Franciscans hide the fact that they don’t drive a Prius. Hybrid cars – and cloud hosting – are the “cool” kids on the block.
For many companies, though, the cloud isn’t necessarily the right way to go. When just starting out, shared hosting or a VPS (virtual private server) can often be sufficient for a firm’s online needs. But when the time comes to scale their hosting, the right decision could very well be to move up to a dedicated server hosting instead of moving to the cloud.
What Is A Dedicated Hosting Service?
You won’t be surprised to learn that a dedicated hosting service is one which specializes in providing “dedicated servers” for its clients, along with the Internet connectivity required. On each of those machines, all of the available storage space and resources are reserved for the exclusive use of one client, in contrast to shared or VPS hosting which requires a number of clients to share the same website server and its resources. When a company has a dedicated server, it can configure the computer exactly the way it would like and allocate resources in any way it chooses. As a company’s needs increase, it’s easy to add more dedicated servers to a configuration.
But there’s often more to a dedicated hosting service than just the bare metal “box,” as it’s referred to. Most of these services rent servers to clients and then provide what’s known as managed hosting, which means the company’s technicians will also maintain and upgrade the hardware and provide engineering support as needed; in some cases, those server administration functions require an extra monthly fee but they’re usually included in the rental fee. It’s possible to rent or purchase dedicated servers without support, but managing servers requires a level of IT knowledge and experience many companies don’t have.
What’s important to realize, though, is that dedicated servers are physical computers, with all functions being performed on a single machine for the benefit of a single client.
Enter Cloud Servers
The trendy choice for companies has been to bypass dedicated servers in favor of cloud servers. But in reality, cloud servers aren’t necessarily “on the cloud.” They could actually be located in the exact same data centers as dedicated servers. The word cloud in “cloud servers” simply refers to the fact that the servers are virtual rather than dedicated hard metal machines, with resources pulled from a large pool of networked machines as those resources are required. In other words, you can look at (and touch) a dedicated server. A cloud server is really just a dedicated virtual machine, using resources from a group of networked machines only as needed.
Many firms decide to use cloud servers because they’re been sold on the general advantages of “being on the cloud.” And without question, cloud servers are sometimes the right choice. But for many serious businesses, a dedicated hosting service is the way to go.
Advantages of Using a Dedicated Hosting Service
For serious businesses, a major advantage that a dedicated server has over a cloud server is performance. Once you’re in a cloud environment, you’re once again sharing resources just as you are in a shared server or VPS environment; if many clients are placing a heavy load on the cloud network at the same time, processing speed can decline rapidly – not a good thing if you’re reliant on your websites to perform at the best. The idea that there are unlimited resources “in the cloud” is a nice one, but it’s not always true.
There are many other reasons to go dedicated. For example, data is more easily secured when it is kept and processed in its own environment rather than a virtual one, and troubleshooting is simpler when only one computer is involved rather than an entire virtual network.
And perhaps most importantly, a dedicated solution is usually cheaper. With a cloud server, you generally pay according to the amount of resources you use, while you’ll pay a set monthly fee to rent a dedicated server with a defined amount of resources. A cloud server may mean savings for a small company or website, but a serious business which requires robust server performance 24/7 normally finds that a dedicated server is the most cost-effective option.