Does all the jargon in the hosting world have you running around in circles? That isn’t surprising. There are a lot of options that you need to learn.
One term you likely hear a lot of is dedicated hosting. The question is, what is a dedicated server, and how will it help? Find the answer to those questions below.
What Is a Dedicated Server?
A dedicated server is similar to the desktop computer you’re used to working on. It’s a stand-alone system that has an operating system and software. The big difference between a server and a desktop PC is the type of software being run.
So, what’s a dedicated server?
A dedicated server is a machine that primarily runs software to connect people through a network and internet connection. An office that uses a server does so because the company uses software that everyone needs access to. It uses the server to store a central database and applications, so everyone works with the same data.
A website uses a dedicated server to have isolation from other web applications. Often, websites use shared hosting to publish their work. This means that they share an online space with other websites on a server.
Isolation means you won’t worry about what happens to the sites you share resources with.
How Do Dedicated Servers Work?
Now the question is, how will your dedicated server work after you purchase it. All of this depends on what kind of server you buy.
If you buy a dedicated server to host in-house, it’s up to you to set everything up. You’ll need to clear space for your server and make sure your room is climate controlled. Once everything is hooked up, you’ll need to install an operating system and software on it.
Your other option is to rent a dedicated server from a company like Net Depot. The big difference here is that you don’t have to buy the hardware for a server yourself. You rent it from a hosting company.
To manage your server, your hosting company will provide you login credentials to log into a command prompt. From here, you can install the software you need to run everything.
Why Get a Dedicated Server?
You might be tempted to go for a cheaper option instead of investing in a dedicated server. Depending on your needs, that might be a mistake. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why a dedicated server is worth investing in.
1. You Have a Lot of Traffic
A simple computer or shared hosting server is useful if you don’t need it for much. These systems can handle a lot on their own. Things change once your servers start receiving a lot of traffic.
Your system can bog down if you have too many connections to it at once. The hardware won’t be powerful enough to fulfill every request. A dedicated server has the hardware necessary to handle this workload.
You can use many configurations for your dedicated server, so you can scale your system as much as you need. Doing this means you won’t face downtime because of crashed systems. If you rely on uptime to be profitable, don’t hesitate to upgrade to a dedicated system.
2. You Get Total Control
Working on a shared system has limitations. You don’t have total control over what happens on your server. With a dedicated server, this isn’t a problem.
You can install any software you want on your dedicated server. This flexibility is helpful when you have unique applications that shared servers have a hard time hosting.
A dedicated server also allows you to adjust the configuration of your system. Take your website server software, for instance. Most hosting services run the Apache software to host websites, but a dedicated server allows you to run the Nginx server for your website.
3. You Need Security
One of the biggest problems with sharing resources with other people is security. While you can do everything right on your account, you can’t control what other people do. If someone doesn’t run a tight ship, they run the risk of their account becoming compromised.
The problem with server compromises is that it affects every site on the account. Most hackers use programs that write files everywhere on the system. These files are what compromises the other accounts on the system.
With internet crime at an all-time high, you can’t allow this to happen.
When you don’t share space with anyone, you don’t have this problem. You can rest easy once you set up your security protocols. The only other thing required of you will be to keep your software updated and stay updated with the latest security threats.
4. You Run Multiple Websites
Sharing resources with other people means there is a limit to the software that you can install. Typically, this means that you can’t host an unlimited number of websites on your server.
A shared server limits this by providing you a small amount of disk space and limiting the number of databases you can have. If you want to run another website, you’ll have to upgrade your hosting or buy another hosting account.
Your dedicated server allows you to host as many websites as you wish. You have complete control over your database and disk space, so you can expand things as you want. Your only limit is how powerful of a machine your sites are hosted on.
Invest in a Dedicated Server Today
It’s hard to know when you need to upgrade to a more powerful computing system. However, now that you can answer the question, “what is a dedicated server?” you should have what you need to make that decision. Upgrade today so you can take advantage of everything dedicated servers have to offer.
Of course, you need to know how to manage your server once you have one. Head back to our blog to learn everything you need to know.
Wayne Probert is a senior reporter at Zobuz, covering state and national politics, and he is a grantee with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Before joining Zobuz, he worked as a freelance journalist in Kentucky, having been published by dozens of outlets including NPR, the Center for Media.