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How to Choose a Managed Dedicated Server?

Published on 3/4/2011 by

Some webmasters choose to invest in a dedicated server—a powerful type of web hosting server that they must manage on their own. For those with an abundance of time and ample technical experience, this is a good option. Others with less server know-how take advantage of all the speed and power of a dedicated server without all the responsibility by hosting on a managed dedicated server. With a fully managed server, webmasters are able to concentrate on their website development and leave the technical responsibilities to a system administrator.

If you’re looking for a managed dedicated server, do you know where to start? You begin by mulling over these questions.

What’s your time frame?

Do you need to be online next week or next month? Is it possible to have your website up and running as soon as tomorrow? Each hosting company has their own time frame when it comes to setting up a dedicated server and preparing it for your use. With some companies you’ll find that you can be online within hours and with others, it may take weeks.

Do you know anything about servers?

What operating system do you prefer? How much RAM will you need? What type of hard drive will you require? These are all basic questions when it comes to a dedicated server. Don’t know the answers? No worries, any web hosting company can help you find the server that’s right for you and your project. Some managed hosting servers are sold in an ala carte manner, where you’re able to pick and choose individual server elements, and other servers are sold as packages or bundles.

How much do you have to spend?

The price of managed dedicated servers varies greatly from company to company. Narrow down your budget before you begin your search.  You can save a few dollars by watching for companies that offer these items:

  • Free setup:Some companies do not charge to install an operating system or software or prepare your server for you.
  • Free support:  Most companies offer free basic web hosting support, but you’ll find some companies that charge for what they term advanced technical support. There’s never a need to pay money to have your questions answered.
  • Money back guarantee:  Most reputable companies will offer a 30-day money back guarantee on all managed dedicated servers. That means that if your server or the hosting company doesn’t measure up to their promises, you can get your money back.

What extras do you need?

All managed dedicated servers come with an operating system, software, a control panel and virus and spam protection. Do require anything else? Root access is generally not included with managed dedicated servers, but can be arranged with some companies. Not all companies do automated backups or server images, but some will. All web hosting companies promise to replace faulty hardware, but how long will it take to do it? Some companies have a one hour guarantee in place and others make no guarantees at all. Make a list of the things you need from your managed dedicated server and then find a company who can support you.

A managed dedicated server is the perfect way for beginner and experienced webmasters to spend the time they need on growing their business or project and leave the technical aspects of web hosting to a system administrator.