Websites, data, and software need to be stored somewhere – this is called web hosting. But we can’t save everything on our PCs and laptops. Aside from the space they require, uptime, security, and maintenance all need to be taken care of, and our personal devices just aren’t designed for that. Instead, we use servers. While most of us utilize shared servers, dedicated servers take things up a notch, providing a range of added benefits, power, and revenue opportunities – much like getting your hands on a Fast-Pass at a theme park. But first, let’s start at the beginning.
Servers are computers, software programs, or storage devices that allow other computers (or ‘clients’) to transfer data between them. They provide storage services and processing bandwidth, offer a platform for programs to run off, and host network data, devices, systems, and of course, websites.
Most servers and web hosting services exist as data centers – airconditioned, secure rooms filled with large machines containing thousands of hard drives writing, copying, and storing billions of megabytes of digital information every nanosecond.
Dedicated vs. Shared Hosting
Most servers are shared by many people performing different jobs and filling various requests. When a server is responsible for only one job (like storage, processing, or security) or is tasked to one person or computer, it is considered ‘dedicated’ to them – a dedicated server. Here’s the difference:
- Shared servers serve multiple users, websites, networks, and platforms simultaneously, sharing its resources and space with everyone. These servers are stacked together and rented out to internet service providers, individuals, and businesses, who use them simultaneously.
- Dedicated servers, on the other hand, are dedicated or committed to a single task or client. They are designed to provide more than enough resources for processing needs, room for storage, and often keep extra capacity available for an extra boost when needed.
Dedicated servers are equipped with powerful hardware and boast high RAM and multiple cores for processing. Many dedicated servers also have potent graphics cards linked to incredibly fast, high-bandwidth internet connections.
Why Would Anyone Need a Dedicated Server?
Dedicated servers are the preferred alternative for many people, and companies prepared to pay a premium to take advantage of the added benefits and capabilities of being connected to them.
- Performance – Dedicated servers focus all their processing power on a single client or task. With no other requests to worry about, a dedicated server can devote every resource it has to do things as efficiently as possible.
- Security – Many people simply don’t trust the internet. Dedicated server hosting allows you to store your data or host a platform or network (AKA a ‘VPN’) on a server nobody else shares and thus can’t access.
- Traffic – If you’re the only one using a server, you’ll never have to worry about too many people logging in and traffic going up. Plus, if something happens to a dedicated server, it’s much easier to get to the bottom of the problem if only a few known clients are using it.
- Scalability – Like being the only person on a roller coaster, with dozens of empty seats behind you, dedicated servers have loads of extra capacity – more than most individuals need. If you want to grow your business and guarantee extra storage space and processing capacity down the road, then a dedicated server is for you.