As the name already suggests, a dedicated server is nothing more than a server, or machine, entirely dedicated to a user and located on a Server Farm (or Webfarm ), managed by providers that, in principle, deal exclusively with hardware interventions on request from the same customers.
This first definition may already give us a clue as to the benefits of a dedicated server . If on the one hand, in fact, the customer has an entire server at his disposal to be able to operate remotely, on the other he is exempted from the burden of having to buy one and install it at his premises , with significant savings related not only to the purchase of the machine itself but also to all other costs related to the management and maintenance of the server itself (just think of the costs for electricity needed to power the machine 24 hours a day).
Once you have clarified what a dedicated server is, you can move on to illustrating its main features so that you already have an idea of its functionality . A dedicated server consists of a CPU , Central Processing Unit , or central unit, of a RAM , Random Access Memory , and of a disk space , characteristics to which the providers that provide hosting plans associate a Web service . (Linux or Windows) with relevant software and a permanent Internet connection. Those listed are general attributes which, of course,they vary according to the providers and the chosen plan.
Before proceeding with the list of the other characteristics of a dedicated server, it is good to clarify an important point, so as not to “demotivate” all those who are thinking of purchasing this type of service but are aware of not having the technical skills. for its management.
Within the group of dedicated servers it is in fact possible to draw a further distinction between the so-called dedicated unmaneged server and the dedicated server maneged . In the first case it is the customer who buys the service to deal with all the problems that may occur on the server itself while the providers only intervene in the case of problems related to hardware and connectivity. It follows that this type of dedicated server is recommended for those who have technical skills and resources to manage the machine.
In the second case, however, the providers also guarantee the customer the assistance of a technical staff who essentially takes care of the management of the server, intervening, therefore, whenever problems occur, be they security or updating, raising the customer from this burden. It is evident that dedicated managed servers ensure a much more complete service both at hardware and software level and for this reason they have higher costs than unmaneged dedicated servers . Having clarified this point, it is possible to identify the other technical characteristics that must necessarily be verified when choosing and purchasing a dedicated server..
What is a dedicated server? The technical aspects
Regardless of what your skills are, there are a series of purely technical features that it is essential to evaluate carefully before selecting this or that offer.
Starting from the processor it is good to make sure that this is indicated for your particular needs and that it is able to allow the server to operate with maximum efficiency conditions . Obviously the higher the “requests” of your site, for example with high CPU usage scripts, the faster and more powerful the chosen server must be.
As for memory (RAM) , the criterion to follow is: the more RAM available the faster the access speed to the site , so make sure there is enough.
Equally crucial is the disk space that needs to be modulated based on your site’s data consumption . In addition, if you need a good loading speed, dedicated servers with SSD disks , Solid State Drive , capable of guaranteeing significantly reduced loading times, are preferable .
Another key point is the band , responsible for the amount of data that can be sent in a specific period of time. To optimally select your bandwidth requirement, it is important to take into account not only the number of average visitors but also the type , size and quality of the content on the site; so, for example, a site with a lot of high resolution photographic material will need a higher bandwidth than a portal with few low resolution photos.
Fundamental to understand what a dedicated server is is also to evaluate the speed of connection to the server , therefore connectivity , and the security and backup options , which are priority to protect and save all the information present on your site.
The software must be chosen taking into account the operating system . There are two options, Windows , ideal for ASP.NET and MS SQL sites , and Linux perfect for all portals designed to use an open source system such as MySQL or Apache .
Last important aspect to evaluate is the assistance service which must be professional and reliable so as to be able to support the customer in the event of faults and anomalies . It is good to remember that the characteristics of the assistance service vary according to the type of dedicated server ; if you have opted for the purchase of the server , the support will be limited exclusively to problems related to the infrastructure and the network while in the hypothesis of the rent , the service provider will also deal with any hardware and systemic problems .
How a dedicated Server works: the advantages
From what has been said so far, it is clear that dedicated servers offer numerous advantages and therefore it is a highly professional hosting solution .
The first characteristic of a dedicated server is undoubtedly the flexibility that allows each customer to install on the server all the software and services that their site needs. In fact, a dedicated server, unlike the shared one, allows the user / customer to operate on the server side and manage it in complete autonomy without having to run into limits and restrictions.
This freedom of action is further extended for all those customers who are able to technically operate on the machine and do not require the intermediation of the staff of the provider, except for hardware interventions. In this case, not only the costs will be reduced but also the management times will be optimized as the customer will be able to intervene on the server at any time without being dependent on third parties.
At this point, the performance of the server itself inevitably also binds, which will be much better given the possibility of being able to use all the resources of the dedicated server exclusively with significant advantages in terms of stability and connection speed.
The exclusive use of the server also reflects on the reliability of the service which protects the customer from anomalies, blockages, slowdowns or “downs of the site” caused by other users, situations that can instead occur in the case of shared servers .
Exclusive access to the server also means greater security and therefore protection of your data that will not be accessible to other users, not to mention that a dedicated server allows you to create customized firewalls and independently install any security update. A complete autonomy, therefore, which clearly not only affects the security side but is also related to all other server configurations , such as software, firewalls, control panels , which can be customized to your liking.
If we ask ourselves what a dedicated server is, we must also understand that this variant among the various servers provides one or more dedicated IP addresses , a feature that protects against potentially dangerous situations, such as spam or bad SEO positioning , hypotheses possible in the case of shared IPs.
The strengths of a dedicated server are therefore numerous and could be summarized with the words flexibility, complete control, stability and greater security .
A negative aspect could, however, be represented by the price which, clearly, is higher than that of shared servers and varies according to the type of service ( unmaneged or managed ) and the chosen plan.
Those who decide to opt for the hardware purchase , in fact, must be aware that the costs will initially be higher and that a good initial budget is therefore necessary while the monthly fee for the housing service will be more contained by virtue of the characteristics previously exposed. In the case of rent , however, the monthly fee will certainly be more substantial as the customer is relieved of the burden of having to deal with all the tasks related to hardware management and any malfunctions.
Surfing the net it is possible to find many offers of dedicated servers of as many numerous providers with webfarm both in Italy and abroad. The prices vary greatly from provider to provider and change, of course, also according to the characteristics of the selected service . So there are suppliers that offer dedicated ” basic ” servers starting from prices that vary on average from 20 to 70 euros per month , while “standard” offers can have a cost that on average is around 100/200 euros per month. The advanced and business-type offers obviously have higher rates that on average range between 200 and 300 euros per month. Those proposed are only indicative prices that obviously can vary a lot depending on the provider and the chosen plan.
What is a dedicated server and how it works: who needs it
By now we understand what a dedicated server is. From what has been said so far, it is clear that dedicated servers are an excellent option but how their choice is inevitably influenced by the customer’s needs and availability, both technical and budget. There are, of course, some types of users for whom a dedicated server is the ideal solution ; these are companies and individuals with very high needs who need high performance, total safety and absolute reliability or prefer to have a machine entirely dedicated to them without having to share space and resources with other customers.
The meeting dedicated servers so well to the needs of those who own multiple websites , who runs a site with a high number of daily visits (more than ten thousand) or who can not afford sudden malfunctions or “site down” that could bring significant damage to your business. The higher costs of a dedicated server , compared for example to a shared server, make it particularly ideal for medium / large companies , for those who manage a highly visited e-commerce or for individuals who have a good budget to invest.
In general, if you are considering purchasing or renting a dedicated server, it is always good to carefully analyze your needs and focus on a series of features such as the possibility of customization , security levels, space and bandwidth availability. , which certainly can give useful indications on the choice of this solution.
For those who, instead, use a shared server service, there may come a moment in the history of their site that must encourage reflection on the possibility of opting for the dedicated server solution . So when is it time to upgrade?
In principle it is not possible to establish times as each site has its own history and evolution. However, there are important signs to evaluate, thanks to which it is possible to understand when to switch to a more professional service . The cases are numerous and range from the increase in the number of daily visits to the slowing down of the loading of pages, from on-going technical needs, relating to applications, to a greater need for the user to control and manage.
When you ask yourself what a dedicated server is, and you decide to opt for a dedicated server service and you start looking for the best solution, it is recommended, then, to follow some indications so as to make an informed choice. Generally it is always good to set a budget a priori, therefore knowing in advance what amount you want to invest in purchasing the service; in this case not only will it be easier to select the offers but also to evaluate the different plans proposed by choosing the best combination of hardware, software, bandwidth and assistance available at that cost .
What is a dedicated server: classification
As seen, there are many Business hosting packages among which you have to orient yourself taking into account your needs. In general, the following sub-groups of dedicated servers can be identified:
- Dedicated unmanaged servers : The customer takes care of the server management first hand , so this solution is recommended for those with excellent server-side management skills . The assistance from the provider is reduced to the essentials but the monthly costs are more contained
- Dedicated managed servers : The customer has access to the server and to some specific information such as user and data control, but it is the provider that takes care of its management and changes . The fact of being able to count on a much more complex and complete assistance obviously also leads to an increase in costs.
- Dedicated self-managed servers : The customer manages his own server while the provider limits himself to providing a basic support service, generally at a lower price.
- Semi-managed dedicated servers : The customer manages the server firsthand but the hosting company offers a medium level support service whose specifications vary from provider to provider.
- Fully managed managed servers : In this case, the provider takes care of the entire management of the site , from security configurations to updates.
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