What Is a Dedicated Server? Learn the Basics

What is a Dedicated Server?Much like many organizations, you probably opted for cloud computing when you first launched your web application, database or mail server. After all, cloud computing services seem convenient, agile and cost-efficient. But cloud services are not the only ones in the industry.

Many are starting to realize that dedicated servers can be low cost, have higher throughput and can be just as reliable as cloud computing. You may be thinking, “What is a dedicated server—and why should I opt for one?” Learn more in this post.

What Is a Dedicated Server?

A dedicated server is precisely what its name suggests: a server dedicated entirely to your organization’s tasks and performance. Unlike a typical PC, a dedicated server consists of enterprise-grade hardware resources that organizations can leverage to power their business-critical applications.

With dedicated servers, you do not share CPU, RAM or disk resources with other organizations. Sometimes, the phrase “bare metal servers” is used to describe dedicated servers because the user is close to the physical hardware, unlike cloud servers that use hypervisors to abstract the physical hardware.

Organizations can achieve the highest possible task speeds with a dedicated server because you don’t share the computing power or connectivity with another organization. Also, IT administrators have full control over the server. As such, there are limitless use cases that you can achieve with dedicated servers. For example, you can use them for web hosting, database operations, email hosting and reseller hosting.

Dedicated servers consist of enterprise-grade CPU and RAM that are much more powerful, more reliable and less prone to failures than cloud services.

Dedicated server-grade CPUs

Unlike typical CPUs in consumer-grade PCs, server-grade CPUs go through more rigorous testing, leading to a more reliable and dependable component. Server-grade CPUs also incorporate more features like higher frequencies (to process more data) and Error Code Correction (ECC).

Dedicated server-grade RAM

Dedicated servers use ECC RAM, which is more reliable than consumer-grade RAM. The ECC RAM can detect and make corrections on data when errors occur, making it more dependable and reliable for business-critical applications. They can also accommodate more memory than typical RAM. Since they are built from high-quality components, ECC RAM is more expensive than standard RAM.

Server OS

In addition to enterprise-grade CPUs and RAM, dedicated servers require a specialized OS. There are dozens of different server OSes that you can choose from, but it boils down to basically two options: Windows Server OSes and Linux. While Linux remains the most popular server OS, Windows Server OSes are gaining ground.

Use Cases for Dedicated Servers

Organizations can use dedicated servers in a variety of ways, including:

Benefits of a Dedicated Server

A dedicated server has many advantages ranging from improved performance, security, flexibility and customization to 24/7 on-premises support.

Factors to Consider when Evaluating Service Providers

Choosing a dedicated server provider is perhaps the most complex part of comparing different hosting packages. From performance stability to 24/7 on-premises support, many factors impact the choice of a dedicated server provider. Some of these factors include:

Performance

The performance of a dedicated server depends largely on the server’s hardware specifications. As such, you should consider the following:

The service provider should have multiple data centers at different geolocation sites. Under normal circumstances, an organization should select only a data center located close to its customers. This ensures the least-latency network (the fastest connections for end-users). In case of a calamity, such as an earthquake or hurricane, other datacenters provide continuity of business operations.

Security

A reliable service provider is one that offers the best security and scalability possible. When selecting the service provider, you should consider the following:

An SLA defines and documents all the agreements that the service provider compensates in case there is a server failure. As such, organizations must evaluate SLAs thoroughly before deciding to opt for a dedicated server provider.

Pricing

Eventually, every decision you make comes down to price. While a low-cost dedicated server provider may seem tempting, it may not provide you the best performance. But this does not mean that you should go for the most expensive service provider. The best option is to compare all the service providers and bargain for the best offer.

Support

Some service providers provide limited support during normal working hours and for a certain number of instances. If your employees or clients work on holidays or weekends, then you should opt for a service provider that provides 24/7 support.

Choosing between Shared Hosting and Dedicated Hosting

If stability and security are your cups of tea, dedicated hosting is the way to go. However, if you are looking for something cheap and quick, choose shared hosting. There are significant differences between shared and dedicated hosting, some of which are mentioned below:

  • Hosted Sites:

As the name suggests, multiple companies host their sites on a shared hosting server. In dedicated hosting, your organization site is the only dedicated site hosted on the server.

  • Disk Space and Bandwidth:

Shared hosting gives your organization limited disk space and bandwidth since other organizations share the same space. If you go over your allocated limit, you will be charged extra. On the other hand, in dedicated hosting, the available disk space and bandwidth is dedicated entirely to your organization, thus reducing the limitations brought forward by restricted disk space and bandwidth.

  • Technical Skills:

Since management, maintenance, and administration of shared hosting is done by the shared hosting provider itself, there is little to no requirement of technical skills on the part of the organization. Hence, shared hosting does make installation, administrations, and upgrades easier.

Dedicated hosting however requires the technical skills of IT experts since everything from installation, upgrades, administration, and management needs to be done in-house.

  • Costs:

The costs of shared hosting are significantly lesser than that of dedicated hosting since the costs are shared equally between several users.

  • Security:

Dedicated hosting offers better security in comparison to shared hosting. This is because, with dedicated hosting, you can select the security measures that you want to install, and since your space is not shared with other organizations, there is little risk of acquiring malware from poorly configured neighbors.

  • Performance and Response Time:

Dedicated hosting is the clear winner in performance and response time too, as shared hosting is prone to an unexpected burst of web traffic which drains the server’s bandwidth resources. Dedicated hosting servers are highly responsive, and have excellent performance and response time.

  • Website and IP Blacklisting:

If someone on your shared hosting network does something illegal, then the entire server can become blacklisted. This problem does not persist with dedicated servers.

  • Control:

The level of control you can exert over your infrastructure is more pronounced in dedicated hosting than in shared hosting.

In conclusion, the kind of hosting you choose depends on your own organizational needs. If you have a small organization where performance or security is not a big deal, then shared hosting is the way to go. If you have the costs needed to get a high performing, highly security setup, then choose dedicated hosting.

Flexibility of Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) Deployments

Dedicated servers allow organizations to realize the full benefits of centralization. But centralization alone is not enough. Business agility and scalability are some of the factors that organizations are looking for in a complex, fast-paced and ever-evolving environment. On-premises dedicated servers, hybrid cloud and multi-cloud are no longer just futuristic technologies—they are already here.

Centralized management over the entire IT infrastructure is the most efficient way of minimizing complexity. Parallels® Remote Application Server (RAS) is a highly centralized Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solution that you can install on private, public and hybrid cloud environments.

With Parallels RAS, IT administrators can publish applications and desktops, and users can access them from any location and on any device. Users can access the published applications and desktops on their PCs, thin clients, tablets, smartphones and any HTML5-compliant browsers. Since the applications and virtual desktops are hosted centrally, there is minimal end-point management.

Parallels RAS stands out because it is designed around on-premises, hybrid and public clouds, including Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Azure. You can also deploy Parallels RAS in hyper-converged environments, including Scale Computing HC3 and Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV).

Download your Parallels RAS 30-day trial today, and experience simplified management of your dedicated server firsthand!


References

Wikipedia

HostGator

SWAAY

Parallels