Are you seeking a hosting solution for your website?
The web hosting marketplace is inundated with service providers, all of them have lucrative plans catering to different business segments. (Do a simple Google search and you will know.)
Many business owners do not have an adequate understanding of web hosting. As a result, they cannot appreciate the difference between, say shared and dedicated hosting and end up purchasing a plan which does not fit their needs.
For websites with large user traffic, dedicated server hosting is considered an optimal solution. In fact, if you do not have budgetary constraints, a dedicated server is often the most hassle-free option.
So, do you clearly understand what dedicated server hosting is all about? Are you well-acquainted with its pros and cons? If not, read further to find out.
What is Dedicated Server Hosting?
Before beginning our discussion on dedicated server hosting, let us go through the basics of web hosting.
So, what is web hosting?
Web hosting is the service that allows you to publish your website on the internet. When you create a website, you need space on a physical computer (aka server) on which you can store all the data and files related to your website in order to let it work properly. The server is a powerful computer that runs without interruption to keep your website up and running.
The space you need on a server depends on how large your website is. If you have a simple website that is expected to attract little traffic or, if you have a business where the website does not play a significant role, you can share server space with multiple websites. This kind of web hosting is known as shared hosting.
In contrast, if you have a complex website, you need an entire server reserved exclusively for your own use. Such a server is known as a dedicated server and the hosting is accordingly called dedicated server hosting.
In dedicated server hosting, all the server resources are reserved for your website. This lends tremendous flexibility and control over the server- you can select the operating system and software of your choice and configure the hosting environment according to your needs.
Renting a dedicated server is similar to using an in-house server; dedicated hosting comes with the additional advantage of vendor support.
So, what are the Benefits of using a Dedicated Server?
Dedicated server hosting brings endless benefits to businesses. Some key ones are as follows:
- No Sharing of Resources – Dedicated server hosting offers access to the full resources of a server. As a result, you don’t need to worry about other clients hogging resources on your server. A dedicated server ensures your website does not get bogged down by a traffic spike or malware attack on other websites.
- Improved Performance and Security – Dedicated server hosting assures superior performance and security for your systems. Shared hosting is optimum for websites that receive low-to-medium traffic. Websites with substantial traffic require a dedicated hosting plan. Dedicated server hosting secures your systems as you need not share resources with a malware-infected site or a potential spammer. Dedicated hosting is particularly beneficial for enterprises handling sensitive transactions.
- Flexibility – Dedicated server hosting in India offers the flexibility of customizing your server to fulfil your unique needs regarding RAM, CPU, storage space and bandwidth. A dedicated server offers a flexible environment to meet the dynamic needs of your business. You can tailor the server according to your specific needs and enjoy better control over it.
- No need to Purchase or Maintain Equipment – In dedicated server hosting, you don’t need to purchase, install and maintain equipment. This way, you save considerably on floor rentals, licensing fees and manpower. The service provider bears the cost of handling and maintaining the equipment. This significantly reduces your expenses associated with IT infrastructure.
- Unique IP address – A dedicated server hosting plan allows you to have a unique IP address. In shared hosting, you share your IP address with multiple websites. So, if there is some issue in these sites, it can negatively affect your website ranking. With a unique IP address, all such issues are eliminated.
Are there any Downsides to using a Dedicated Server?
Of course, there are. Dedicated servers do have certain drawbacks. Some of these are:
- Not a Budget-Friendly Solution – A dedicated server does offer an array of benefits but it is not a pocket-friendly solution. In dedicated server hosting, there are no tenant websites to share the cost of the server. Plus, there are additional charges for hardware upgrades, software installation, updates and patches. Dedicated server hosting is, therefore, not recommended for websites drawing low-to-medium traffic.
- Usability Issues – A dedicated server can be difficult to manage for clients with no experience of using servers. Clients need to have the required technical know-how for installing software and managing the daily tasks under their control.
You should carefully weigh the pros and cons of a dedicated server before choosing one for your website.
How should I choose a Dedicated Server for my Business needs?
Now that you have a fair idea of how a dedicated server can benefit your business, let us discuss the factors you should consider while deciding on a dedicated server for your business.
- Effect of Downtime on Business – How does website downtime affect your business? Agreed, a dedicated server offers resources for your exclusive use. But a dedicated server has a single point of failure. So, if your server fails, your website will experience downtime unless, of course, you scale to multiple dedicated servers. Consider renting a dedicated server only if you are ready to face potential downtime.
- Performance Requirements – What are your requirements in terms of the performance of your dedicated server? While renting a dedicated server, consider the following hardware choices:
When choosing a processor two factors are of utmost consideration: number of cores and clock speed (measured in GHz).
Higher number of cores and higher clock speed translate to superior performance of your website. But a processor with more cores and higher clock speed can dent your budget. So, a trade-off needs to be made between the number of cores and clock speed.
The quality of RAM dictates the efficiency of your server and the loading speed of your website. A faster processor with a higher number of cores provides you with more RAM options. If you are unsure of the RAM you should select, choose a plan that offers the flexibility of adding RAM whenever you desire.
It is recommended to choose RAID set-up for your hard drives. A RAID set-up stores your data on multiple discs and offers fault tolerance. This means if one of the hard drives in your RAID crashes, your website will keep functioning (albeit with some loss of performance).
The bandwidth you need depends on the web traffic you expect. If you expect high traffic and aim to run multimedia files, choose a high bandwidth server. If, however, you are unsure of the traffic you will receive, go for a plan that includes a lot of data traffic.
Scalability is vital while selecting a dedicated server hosting in India. You need to examine how easy (or difficult) it is to add more servers if you want to scale and serve a higher number of users. Many dedicated hosting plans offer load-balancing where the end-users are split across all the available servers.
5) Location of the Server
The physical location of your server affects the performance of your website. Your server needs to be located close to your end-users. If your end-users are in India, choosing a dedicated server in North America or Australia will not serve the purpose.
6) Server Management
A dedicated server requires you to have technical knowledge about running and managing the server. Even if you are alien to technology, you can opt for a managed hosting plan and make things work for you. In managed hosting, your host assumes the responsibility of managing the administrative tasks related to your server. This allows you to focus on the core aspects of your business.
The Final Word
Dedicated server hosting is optimal for complex websites that draw thousands of visitors every day. If you intend to buy dedicated server hosting in India, carefully weigh the pros and cons of a dedicated server. An informed choice can play a key role in the long-term success of your website.