What is dedicated server hosting?

Published on 12/3/2009 by

A dedicated server is a type of Internet hosting where the client leases or rents an entire web hosting server. As opposed to shared hosting or virtual private servers, dedicated servers are used by a single customer.

The advantages of dedicated servers

Dedicated servers present many advantages over traditional shared hosting, such as:

  • More flexibility:Customers are not bound by the limitations of shared web hosting plans.
  • Full control:With a dedicated server, you’ll be able to choose the operating system, hardware, control panel, and software instead of being reliant on what your host prefers.
  • Less dependence:  With a more traditional web hosting plan, customers all share the same hosting server, which means that if one client monopolizes the server’s resources, the rest of the customers suffer. Not so with a dedicated server.

Types of dedicated servers

Just as shared web hosting offers clients a variety of plans to choose from, so does dedicated server hosting.  There are four basic types of dedicated servers available today.

Fully managed servers:  With a fully managed server, the web hosting company is left in charge of providing software and security updates, performing reboots, and installing patches and operating system upgrades. Fully managed servers give customers all the benefits of a dedicated server without all the responsibility.

Managed servers:  Managed servers give clients medium level management over their dedicated server. With managed servers the client takes care of certain minor tasks, but still has the support of their web hosting company when it comes to bigger chores.

Self managed servers:  Self managed servers offer customers a hands-on approach to dedicated server hosting, leaving the client responsible for day-today operations. With a self managed server you are in complete control, but can still call on your web hosting company for assistance if needed—though it sometimes comes at a price.

Unmanaged servers:  Just as the name implies, unmanaged servers are not monitored or controlled by anyone but you. With an unmanaged server you’ll be accountable for all maintenance, patches, virus protection, upgrades and the like.

Who uses dedicated servers?

Dedicated servers can be used by anyone. Because there’s a substantial price difference between shared web hosting packages and dedicated servers, it’s usually only those who truly need the freedom and room to grow that invest in dedicated servers.  Often that includes the following:

  • Large businesses.Large corporations can set up a server to their specific needs, allowing their company to operate more efficiently and securely.
  • Highly trafficked websites:  Shared web hosting does not allow for any one client to consume the majority of any server’s resources. Highly trafficked websites are able to take advantage of all the power of dedicated servers without having to worry how many resources they may be using.
  • eCommerce websites:  Dedicated servers give eCommerce website owners the freedom to install security software, dedicated IPs, credit card gateways and the like, making it easier to take care of business in a safe and secure manner.
  • Multiple domain owners:  Those with a generous collection of domain names often turn to a dedicated server as a simple solution to manage all of their websites in one convenient location.
  • Web hosting companies:  If you’ve ever purchased a shared web hosting package you were on a dedicated server.

If you’re looking for more space and bandwidth than shared web hosting or virtual private servers allow, dedicated servers may be a good fit for you, too.