Due to the growing popularity of cloud solutions, it’s not unusual for people to wonder if they should even be considering dedicated servers as a viable hosting option today.
This article will teach you the differences between cloud and dedicated hosting. But, more importantly, you will see what you should consider when deciding on the best dedicated server provider and plan.
What Are Dedicated Servers, and What Do They Offer That Cloud Servers Don’t?
The Difference Between a Cloud Hosting Plan and a Dedicated Server
Both solutions are known for high performance and reliability, but there are some differences you should be aware of.f
Cloud servers are virtual servers running in a cloud computing environment. They provide the user with virtual resources as needed and offer exceptional scalability.
Dedicated servers are individual physical machines over which the user has complete control. Unlike a cloud server, these traditional setups do not use virtualization and, instead, rely on dedicated hardware.
Benefits of Dedicated Servers
Dedicated servers are known for the following unique benefits:
- The highest security and privacy potential.
- The ability to use your own hardware (colocation).
- Full access to hardware customization and software installation.
- The highest level of remote monitoring, control, and access (IPMI).
- Unlimited storage capacity potential.
How Can You Determine if a Dedicated Server Is the Right Choice for Your Business or Organization?
Consider the following three things when choosing a dedicated server:
Define Performance Requirements
The first thing you should decide on when picking a dedicated server is the performance requirements for your website and/or applications. This will help you determine the hardware you need as well as any additional services, such as load balancers. We will share more details about the dedicated server hardware and optional services later in this article.
Anticipating Bandwidth Use
Don’t forget about bandwidth, which is the amount of data your dedicated server downloads and uploads over the course of a month. To keep your business expenses in check, make sure to read how much bandwidth your dedicated server hosting plan includes. If you predict your bandwidth usage will increase, you should also check how much your hosting provider charges per additional gigabyte.
What Factors Should You Consider When Choosing a Hosting Provider for Your Dedicated Server(s)?
When deciding on the best-dedicated server hosting provider, many different factors need to be considered. We will cover the most important ones below to get the best value solution.
One of your priorities should be to select the best hardware for your specific needs, including the right CPU, RAM, storage, and network cards. But that’s not all. You should also consider the available future upgrade options, as your business will likely grow with time. This way, you will ensure that you have the proper dedicated infrastructure in place.
Service Level Agreement
SLAs or service level agreements are guarantees that your hosting provider makes with regard to some important hosting aspects. Some of these aspects are network uptimes, initial response times, and hardware replacement times. Make sure to compare the different SLAs between providers and take this into account before committing.
The quality and variety of support channels are essential when selecting a hosting provider. This is especially true for dedicated solutions as their maintenance includes some unique aspects like hardware manipulation. So make sure that your hosting provider offers 24/7 support and offers the communication channels you need, such as live chat or call center support.
When it comes to dedicated server security, there are a couple of things to consider.
First, there is data center security. Make sure your hosting provider secures their data center from unauthorized access by employees as well as third parties.
Next up, we have server software security. Make sure your hosting plan includes software security solutions on an operating system level as well as the website level.
Finally, check what kind of malware remediation your plan comes with and if you need to pay for additional security services after a certain type of breach occurs.
When comparing different plans, don’t forget to consider how much bandwidth is included in the initial price as well as how much you will be charged per gigabyte after that.
Data Center Location
The location of your server is very important when it comes to giving your website visitors a fast and smooth user experience. So make sure your dedicated server plan offers the location you need to best serve the majority of your visitors. Keep in mind that dedicated server infrastructure doesn’t allow for easy transfers between data centers like cloud infrastructure does.
When it comes to customization options, dedicated server plans have a lot to offer. You can upgrade the server’s RAM and storage or select different RAID solutions. To avoid being too limited with upgrade options in the future or having to migrate, make sure your hosting provider offers the customization options you need.
Operation System Options
Dedicated solutions offer the most flexibility when it comes to operating systems, and some hosting providers will even allow you to install your own. In case you’d rather have it set up by the hosting company, make sure that they offer the operating system you need.
Pricing, Setup Fees, and Contract Terms
It’s easy to overestimate or underestimate your needs when deciding on a dedicated server plan and provider. To avoid this, it’s best to contact the hosting company and tell them how much traffic you are getting and what your previous server configuration was. This will help them suggest the best solution for you.
While pricing is usually transparent, there might be some hidden or unplanned setup fees when joining a hosting company. This could be the initial configuration of the dedicated server infrastructure according to your preferences or a website migration from your old host.
Another important thing to consider is the terms of service, so make sure to read the company’s TOS page as well as any other agreements that you accept or sign during the registration process.
Most hosting providers offer additional services with your dedicated hosting plan. Some of these services include RAID storage, control panels, premium support, PCI compliance scanning, enhanced security or scheduled malware removal, etc. So consider these when picking a provider because you never know what you might need in the future.
How Much Does It Cost To Set Up and Maintain a Dedicated Server Infrastructure?
At this point, you might be wondering how much all of this will cost.
While the final price depends on a variety of factors, it’s usually possible to predict the base monthly or yearly fee you will pay for dedicated service hosting. This fee will show up at the end of your checkout process.
The fees, which aren’t as predictable, include increased bandwidth use due to traffic spikes, hardware upgrades, malware removal services, future migrations, etc.
To get the best maintenance, consider buying managed hosting and letting your hosting company take care of it.
Are There Any Risks Associated With Using Dedicated Servers, and How Can These Be Mitigated?
Your server is only as good as your hosting provider’s dedicated server infrastructure.
Dedicated servers primarily depend on strong and stable internet connections. So make sure that your hosting provider has multiple internet connections to their data center.
You should also ask them if they have a power backup system in place in case of electricity problems.
Dedicated server hosting plans still have plenty to offer in today’s cloud world. From extensive hardware upgrade options to allowing you to install a custom operating system, there’s no lack of benefits they provide.
Consider Liquid Web Dedicated Hosting
Let us take your dedicated server hosting experience to a whole other level. Take a look at our Managed Dedicated Server Plans for the best performance and the highest level of security for all of your websites and applications.
Liquid Web Security Operations tech Joseph spends his days cleaning up malware and doing his part to keep the Internet safe. He is interested in all things Linux and always looking for something new to learn. In addition, he enjoys cooking and playing guitar, is an avid horror and sci-fi reader, and is a fan of black metal music.
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