Managed Dedicated Server Overview

Are you looking for hosting? You may be asking yourself what is the best solution for your website or online application. One that will provide the uptime and reliability you need with the best support in the industry?  Let’s go through a breakdown of our traditional Dedicated Server options to get a full scope on the aspects of these types of servers.

A traditional Dedicated Server means pure hardware. It’s customized and built to the specifications you select on our website. All resources (CPU, RAM, Disk) are “dedicated” to only you and no other customer.

What does it mean to be Fully Managed customer?

Tired of struggling with server configuration and maintenance? That is where our Fully Managed Heroic Support applies to you. Full Management is going to offer a variety of support options for your server. Those options are below:

  1. Fully Managed (CentOS – WHM/cPanel and/or Windows – Plesk)
  2. Heroic Support Accessible 24/7/365
  3. Fully Managed Network Infrastructure
  4. Fully Managed Hardware
  5. Server housed in our completely owned Liquid Web Data Centers
  6. Level 3 Technicians On-Site 24/7/365
  7. System Level Monitoring Alerts & Notifications
  8. System Level Health Monitoring and Graphing
  9. 100% Uptime SLA on These Items
  10. Installation and Full Support of Core Software Package
  11. Core Operating System Updates & Patches
  12. Security Enhancements
  13. Virus and Spam Protection
  14. Full Control Panel Support
  15. Control Panel Updates and Patches
    To see a full support comparison, see the Support Comparison Chart.



Experiencing performance issues? Large growth? These are early signs that you may need a Dedicated Server to handle processes? Let’s talk on the key components that call for a Dedicated Server.

Performance Issues
Have an e-commerce site and experiencing slow load times when your site is active? Consider upgrading to a Dedicated Server to really kick your website into high gear. An influx of traffic coming to your site demands more from server’s resources.

Each time a user submits an order via your e-commerce site, a read/write request to the MySQL database is performed. Multiply this process by 1,500+ users performing the same action causing your hard disk read/write to spike. For regular VPS servers, this spike may leave your VPS struggling to serve visitors. With Dedicates Server using Solid State Drives (SSD) they can serve out faster read/write speeds.

 

Increased Traffic
Having a popular site is a great problem to have! Traffic spikes can happen due to various reasons. A Dedicated or Cloud Dedicated Server is going to be your first step on ensuring you are ready for increased traffic. If you require scalability, our Cloud products give you the flexibility of resizing and upgrading or downgrading your server with a simple click of a button. We don’t stop there, you may be in a position to explore our Enterprise options to handle high demand traffic!

Server Errors
Pulling up your website only to see a “500 Internal Server Error” can be disastrous for your online business. Most common errors come from a lack of resources to keep your website online and stable. To avoid this type of error, placing yourself on Dedicated hardware is the first step. This goes hand in hand with increased Traffic. A larger flow of traffic can also cause issues due to lack of Dedicated hardware.

Server Specifications
Considering a Dedicated Server can be quite the task if you are not familiar. Let’s break down each server component and talk on how it can benefit you and your application or website.

Server Central Processing Unit (CPU) and Cores
On our Dedicated Servers page, you’ll see that our initial offering is a Single CPU, Quad Core (Intel E3-1230 v5). This means you have a Single CPU Socket on the motherboard with 4 Cores at 3.4Ghz. Each Server CPU will provide a different CPU Clock speed which is important for performance. Higher the clock speed, the more efficient the CPU can process data from your website.

Server Memory (RAM)
LiquidWeb provides you with 16GB DDR4 Memory for Traditional Dedicated Servers. The majority of large websites that are built around a Content Management System use Apache, PHP, and a MySQL Database. Ensuring your server has enough RAM is crucial to maintaining performance as all of these software components will require RAM usage.

For example, a small WordPress site with less than 1,000 visitors per day would be fine to start off with 16GB of RAM. Yet a large e-commerce site with 5,000+ users per day will need extra RAM to handle simultaneous requests.

Hard Disk Drives and Solid State Drives
Configuring a Dedicated Server on our website? You’ll notice that we provide Solid State Drives for your Primary Hard Disk.  We also provide you with a free backup drive of 1TB (SATA 7,200 RPM)! You’ll be placing your Linux/Apache/PHP/MySQL onto SSD drives for quicker response times. By utilizing SSD drives, your CPU and RAM will not have to rely on each other due to the high performing speeds on the SSD. If a SATA drive was being utilized to run your LAMP stack, the performance would decrease as there’s now a physical moving disk at 7,200 revolutions per minute (RPM). When comparing SSD vs SATA, the performance of our SSD is 10x faster than what our SATA drives can deliver. SATA drives are ideal for massive amounts of storage/backups. Files that will not need a lot of access or reading/writing to.

RAID
A Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) is an easy method to combine several disks into a big array. There are different levels of RAID. Each that offers their own fault-tolerance, performance, and capacity. There are also different storage techniques such as striping, mirroring, and parity. If your server already has Solid State Drives, adding a RAID array is beneficial to further increase performance and redundancy.

For example, having 2x 250GB SSD drives in RAID1 is a great start. Unless there is a high demand from your users, this can call for a RAID10 array that will add 4x 250GB SSD drives. This will increase storage size and performance for your server, with more drives mirroring and working together on-top of adding redundancy.

Bandwidth
One of the largest benefits of having a Liquid Web Dedicated Server power of 5 Terabytes of bandwidth. This is no added cost and only outgoing bandwidth counts against you! There are two types of bandwidth transfer, incoming and outgoing. When you are uploading files via FTP to your server its considered inbound bandwidth.When a user goes to your website or application, they are sending a request to your server, known as outbound data. We have higher bandwidth packages to offer along with unlimited options if required.

What Kind Of Dedicated Server Is Right For Me?
The big question, how do I know what I need? There are a few recommendations to help yourself get an idea of your needs. If your website is with another hosting provider, contacting that hosting provider and requesting your current servers specifications is recommended. Not all companies will give you the details you need but this could be very helpful in comparing apple to apple services across hosts.
If you are about to start a new online project or want to switch to a Dedicated Server, it’s recommended you chat or speak to one of our Hosting Advisors. They can assist you with a fitted package recommendation or answer any technical questions. Check out our Dedicated or Cloud Dedicated solutions to order yours today!

 

How to Use IPMI

IPMI (Intelligent Platform Management Interface) is a great way to manage your server remotely. Having IPMI combined with a Liquid Web VPN is similar to having a remote Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) attached to your server. You’ll be able to perform actions remotely which traditionally accomplished when physically present at the machine. This process includes viewing the startup process, changing BIOS settings, installing the OS, and even power cycling your server. This guide is intended to walk you through the IPMI web interface, and explain the various pages. If you need help accessing IPMI, try this Knowledge Base article instead!

Note:
Some functionality of the IPMI portal has been locked down by Liquid Web. As a customer, you have “Operator” level permissions. Only IPMI “Administrators” can perform specific actions in the web portal. This article covers what is primarily available to IPMI Operators!

This view is the first page displayed when you log into the IPMI web portal. There are a few important pieces of information on this page, including your IPMI IP address, the firmware revision of the IPMI BMC, and your system’s MAC addresses. The “Remote Console Preview” page gives you a small thumbnail display of what the video display would look like if directly connected to your server. Also note that you can perform some power cycling actions from this page, including “Power On,” “Power Down,” and “Reset.”

System Info within IPMI

 

While there is not much to look at on this page, it is one of the most important pages on the web portal! Clicking the “Launch Console” button will allow you to remotely connect to your server as if you had a KVM installed. When you click the button, your browser will prompt you to download a new file called “launch.jnlp.”

Note:
You will need Java installed to run this application.

Console Redirection page shows the "Launch Console" button

 

The “Event Log” page displays some fundamental logging information from the IPMI console. This page will keep a record of IPMI logins, and some other information on who accessed the system.

Note:
IPMI Operators will only be able to view these logs. Only IPMI Administrators maintain the ability to clear the logs.

Event Log shows who has accessed the server.

 

On this page, you can mount a CD-ROM ISO stored remotely on a Window share which can be useful if you would like to install a custom operating system remotely.

Note:
Installing a custom operating system may hamper Liquid Web’s ability to assist you! We have many officially supported operating systems available, ask your sales representative for more info.

IPMI gives you the ability to add your own OS.

 

The Virtual Media page allows you to upload a small binary image, (1.44MB max size,) directly to the IPMI controller in your server, allowing you to boot from legacy “floppy disk” images. While mostly un-necessary in today’s tech landscape, this option can still be helpful to some users.IPMI gives you the ability to add binary through floppy disk.

 

The Server Health page displays a small amount of information mostly permitting you to see some version information on the IPMI product.

Note:
Under normal circumstances, many of these fields will be blank, and there is limited information available on this page.

Check the version of your IPMI instance.

 

This page displays information gathered by sensors on the motherboard. You can see information on many physical aspects of your server here. For example, some data here includes fan speed, component temperatures, voltage readings on the CPU and RAM, and more.

Sensor Readings show fan speed, temps, CPU and RAM.

 

The “SOL” Console (Serial Over LAN Console) is a serial console connection to your server. With particular use cases, it is only useful for redirecting serial input/output over LAN.

The serial console connection, useful for redirecting serial input/output over LAN.

 

So covers the functionality available to IPMI Operators. When appropriately used, IPMI can be a valuable tool in maintaining your server. It provides similar level access as if you were physically present in front of your server. It used to be that this capability was only possible when purchasing additional expensive KVM hardware. Liquid Web Dedicated Servers have this functionality as a standard at no extra cost! Give us a call if you have any questions, or would like to discuss getting an IPMI capable server.

 

Cloud vs. Dedicated Hosting

Cloud and dedicated servers are two types of hosting solutions that you will find across professional web hosting companies. Whether your a small business or a thriving enterprise the question remains, what is the difference between Cloud and Dedicating hosting and which one is the best solution for you? For a third year in a row voted by Cloud Spectator, in top server side performance, we are here to give you a comprehensive break down of these two types of hosting environments as well as impactful aspects:  performance through speed and uptime, and most importantly cost.

Simply put the cloud a virtual space on multiple servers. A typical product of the cloud environment is a Cloud VPS. We can compare Cloud hosting to the service of a restaurant. The restaurant would represent the physical server, within that server lives the Cloud VPS, in this case, represented by the restaurant’s tables. Each waitress/waiter equals the resources that each table or Cloud VPS can pull from. If your party is growing, you can add another table (Cloud VPS) together and therefore increase your waiter/waitresses (resources). If your party is leaving the same concept can be applied, quickly adjusting to your needs. On the other hand, a dedicated server would have one table, the whole restaurant to yourself, having six wait staff attending to your dedicated server needs.

Note:
Dedicated and Cloud both have the option to manage or self-manage. Unmanaged means you’ll be responsible for running routine software updates, which are essential to security, as opposed to your hosting provider. The choice to go managed or unmanaged is better left to a broader discussion but as you can guess unmanaged is usually the cheaper option.

Cloud hosting wins over with price as there is no hardware to buy and you usually pay for what you use. While your business grows, you’ll be able to scale up by adding more file space for more or larger websites.  Because these are actual physical pieces that you can own, dedicated servers, sometimes have a setup fee associated with them. The freedom of having your server means you’ll be paying for maximum power even with you are not utilizing the whole server.  Your hosting provider can maintain both Cloud VPS and Dedicated, but dedicated servers often will need an additional team with a deeper understanding of resource monitoring and network setup. Lastly, Cloud VPS average entry-level servers start around $60 per month while dedicated entry level starts off around $199 per month.

Cloud Costs
  • Average entry level $60 per month
  • No hardware to buy
  • Unlimited resource scaling
  • Pay for what you use
Dedicated Costs
  • Average entry level $199 per month
  • Initial setup fees

Uptime, defined as the amount of time your server is online and available to your users.  For most, uptime is of the utmost importance because businesses rely on the revenue or information that their site provides. More and more cloud environments uptimes are improving though there is always the chance of downtime due to resource abuse from other customers on the same server.  Dedicated servers face similar issues with, but those are due to a different reason such as hardware failures. You’ll also find cloud environments are resilient and redundant with their environmental setup and are ideal for minimal downtime in scaling up. Scaling up within dedicated will prove to be more of an impact on uptime due to its intricacies. Regardless of their scaling and known for their superb uptime, dedicated servers are favorites to more significant e-commerce business with larger mission-critical websites.

Cloud Uptime
  • More for small to medium business because uptime can sometimes be an issue
  • Resilient and Redundant
  • Can have occasional downtime due to shared resources
Dedicated Uptime
  • Great uptime for larger websites, such as e-commerce businesses and high-traffic sites
  • One point of failure

How fast a network or website is most often the number one concern amongst website developers and users.  When differentiating whether the cloud or a dedicated server is faster, the short of it is, dedicated will usually be faster. It’s difficult to compare the two environments because not all websites are created equal, front-end and backend development play into speed.  In this instance, we are going to assume the code is sufficient for optimal performance. If we think of our restaurant analogy from earlier, resources (the wait staff) are limited in Cloud environment. These resources get pulled by the website’s processes, so you may reach a limit that your hosting provider or Cloud VPS cant handle as fast as a dedicated server. (Though there are some free caching services you can implement to be SEO competitive.)  Remember resources for dedicated servers are all yours, and this equals out to a significant increase in speed.

Cloud Speed
  • Average page load times
  • Extra work needed to implement caching
Dedicated Speed
  • Quicker website load times
  • High performance due to unshared resources
You’ll find that determining the current need of your business will help to ease the choice of hosting environments.  Dedicated servers remain the best choice where performance is critical if you have the money to spend but can be rigid in upscaling.  Most small to medium sites are optimal to run on the cloud or can stand for the occasional downtime and are best for growing businesses.   For a side by side comparison, visit our products to see how our Dedicated Servers  and Cloud VPS win over big name hosting providers.

 

How to Resize a Server

Upgrading your Storm® server is a simple process, and can be done in just a few satisfying clicks. Upgrades are a necessity. You work hard on your blog, or ecommerce store, and the traffic grows! Once you’ve optimized your WordPress site or Magento store, reward yourself with an easy upgrade process and increase the available resources to your Storm® by following the steps below. This process can be followed for Storm® VPS or Storm® Dedicated servers.

Pre-Flight Check
  • These instructions are intended specifically for resizing your Storm® server.

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How to Reboot a Server via Manage

Rebooting a server in Manage has been made incredibly easy, and only takes a few clicks. Further simplifying the process, multiple servers can be rebooted at the same time!

Pre-Flight Check

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How To Create a Storm Private Cloud Parent

This article is just one of a multi-part series.

Storm Private Cloud parents, are completely dedicated to your infrastructure and offer the functionality of a private cloud all within the Storm interface.

Easy customization, superior scalability.

With the Storm Private Cloud parents, it’s easy to create Virtual Instances with customizable amounts of RAM, disk space, and CPU cores.

Continue reading “How To Create a Storm Private Cloud Parent”