Is dedicated server right for you?

A dedicated hosting simply means the kind of hosting service where an entire computer server is leased to serve the needs of one single account.

A dedicated hosting sometimes is also known as dedicated server or managed hosting service.

Website (or websites) hosted on a dedicated hosting enjoys better flexibility and security when compare to shared hosting service. Client gets full control over the server in dedicated hosting, including bandwidth allocation, choice of server operating system, hardware specs, custom web applications, and so on.

Managing dedicated hosting

There’s no clear guidelines nor industry standards set to define the management role of dedicated server providers.

However, in most cases the server hardware is owned by the dedicated hosting providers where in some cases, they will provide support for your operating system or applications. Thus for such kind of managed dedicated hosting, users get full control on the server via web based control panel on top of a team of technical personnel readily available to handle all server and network related functions and problems. These dedicated hosting is sometimes known as the ‘managed dedicated server’.

As per listed in Wikipedia, server management can include some or all of the following:

  • Operating system updates
  • Application updates
  • Server monitoring
  • Simple Network Management Protocol hardware monitoring
  • Application monitoring
  • Technical support
  • Firewall services
  • Antivirus updates
  • Security audits
  • DDoS protection and mitigation
  • Intrusion detection
  • Backups and restoration
  • Disaster recovery
  • DNS hosting service
  • Load balancing
  • Database administration
  • Performance tuning
  • Software installation and configuration
  • User management
  • Programming consultation

Dedicated hosting providers define their level of management based on the services they provide. In comparison, fully managed could equal self managed from provider to provider.

Pros and cons of dedicated hosting

Website (or websites) hosted on a dedicated hosting enjoys better flexibility and security when compare to shared hosting service. Client gets full control over the server in dedicated hosting, including bandwidth allocation, choice of server operating system, hardware specs, custom web applications, and so on.

On the other hand, dedicated hosting is cost a lot more than the usual shared hosting. A shared hosting cost normally ranged below $10/mo; while leasing fees for dedicated hosting are over hundreds.

Price of dedicated hosting

For references, here’s the pricing for Hostgator dedicated hosting plan at time of writing. You might also want to check out other service providers, such as InMotion Hosting, A2 Hosting, as well as Cool Handle.

Linux Dedi-Hosting BasicStandardElitePro
ProcessorP4 2.4GHzDual-Core 3040 XeonDual-Core 3040 XeonQuad-Core 3210 Xeon
Setup FeeFreeFreeFreeFree
Monthly Price$174.00$219.00$279.00$374.00
DDR Memory1024MB1024MB4096MB4096MB
Hard Drive (SATA)80GB250GB2 x 250GB2 x 500GB
Bandwidth1,500GB1,500GB2,500GB2,500GB
DomainsUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
MySQL DatabasesUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
IP Addresses5101010
Managed Server?YesYesYesYes
24 x 7 Supports?YesYesYesYes

Do keep in mind that lower price does not necessarily mean good service, although it does not necessarily mean bad service either. When shopping for a dedicated hosting, you should find out what’s your server requirements and budget range. Start reviewing each only after you had your choices narrowed down to those that fit into your list.

What you need to know to run a dedicated hosting?

Basically there’s no rocket science required for running a dedicated hosting – especially when you’re signing up with a dedicated hosting that is managed well.

Experience in WHM and CPanel is most crucial when comes to handling daily tasks with a dedicated hosting. Skills with Linux (Windows OS if you’re operating a Windows Server) would be a huge plus for sure. Also in case you’re running a e-Commerce site and process money transaction on site, knowledge in cart software is a must.

Closing: When should you take up a dedicated server?

While a dedicated hosting is much costly; in some cases, nevertheless, a dedicated server can offer less overhead and a larger return on investment.

Here’re situations where a (managed) dedicated server is recommended:

  • Your website traffics grew so huge that shared hosting can’t handle it anymore.
  • Website security is your primary concerns.
  • You don’t have enough IT staffs to run your own dedicated server thus outsourcing it sounds like a better choice.

All in all, Dedicated hosting is normally recommended when the security and reliability in handling sudden traffic surge are the primary concerns. There are good reasons for dedicated hosting as well as shared hosting options. The smart move is picking up the kind of hosting that fits your needs the best.