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The Ultimate Dedicated Server Hosting Guide

As a beginner, you have probably started your hosting journey with shared hosting. It’s the cheapest option, providing lots of features for a start-up. However, as your business grows, you’ll come to realize that you need an upgrade. And none can match the versatility and level of control you’ll get with a dedicated server.

In this guide, you can find all you need to know about dedicated servers. What is dedicated hosting, and why would you need to consider it as an option? Furthermore, you can learn about the different types, providers, and components of dedicated servers. At last, you can determine whether dedicated servers are worth it? Should you get one for your business? And last but not least, how to pick the best-dedicated server for your needs.

Dedicated Servers Guide cover image

Introduction to Dedicated Servers

In this section, you can learn the basics of a dedicated server – how it works, its different types, pros, and cons. Furthermore, you find a complete comparison table among different types of hosting and decide whether you need a dedicated server. Finally, you can access the differences between buying and renting a dedicated server and the qualities to look for in a dedicated server provider.

What Is A Dedicated Server?

A dedicated server or dedicated hosting service is a type of Internet service. It grants you exclusive access to a physical server, not sharing the resources, such as CPU or RAM, with other clients. Your website gets a server all to itself, accounting for immense power and flexibility.

A dedicated server doesn’t limit the number of websites you will host on it. Instead, this number depends on the amount of resources required for hosting the sites. And if you need more, you can always upgrade and do so quickly.

Now, since you won’t be sharing computing power or connectivity, dedicated servers grant you limitless use cases, including web hosting, email hosting, database operations, and so on. You can further capitalize upon them by resellers, but more on that later.

Dedicated hosting differs from shared hosting and VPS, as the latter allows for shared resources among users on the same server.

Here’s a comparison table to better grasp these three concepts.

Shared HostingVPSDedicated Server
Server Deployment and ManagementYou get a complete administration system. The web host performs all updates, security, maintenance, backups, software installation, etc.The same as in shared hosting.You can deploy and manage your server, get specific modules, special languages, and so on.
Resource AllocationYou share resources with other users on the same server. If one maximizes the usage, you will also run out of resources.You share resources with other users on the same server. However, you have a more significant say over your website’s limits.You get exclusive access to the resources on your servers, such as CPU or RAM.
Configuration and CustomizationYou get limited customization options. Your web host determines the terms in the shared hosting environment.You get more control over your resource limits and can customize the server with extra software.You get full access to each aspect of your site. You can configure your server to match your specific needs or wants.
Performance, Speed, and UptimeIt might support hundreds of visitors per week. Still, you depend on other site’s usage – if they use up too many resources, your website might slow down or even crash.Better equipped to handle spikes in traffic since you get more bandwidth and resources in general.Your website is significantly faster and more reliable since you are not sharing resources with other users.
Security FeaturesIt depends on the web hosting providers. Still, when one of the sites on your server gets hacked, you are also at risk.You don’t depend on other users on the same server as much. For instance, you can install personal security software.Your server isn’t vulnerable if another site gets attacked. You also get a dedicated IP, further decreasing the risks of security breaches.
Ease of useIncredible ease of use for beginners and no need for any tech skillsRelatively easy to use.Requires some tech experience and skills to operate.
PricingThe cheapest solution.Somewhere in between.The most expensive solution.

 

Note: Companies may also refer to dedicated servers as bare metal servers (OVH, cPanel). This term stems from the fact that the user is close to the physical hardware. On the contrary, cloud servers use hypervisors to abstract the physical hardware.

As much as I am experienced in the niche, some things are happening behind the scenes. Due to this, I decided to bring in several experts/vendors to validate what I have said. In turn, in this guide, you will have a chance to get exclusive information straight from the source.

Question and Answer Session

Question: What are the top benefits of dedicated servers? Can customers expect better uptime, overall server performance, speed, and security? Furthermore, what is the background of this? What technologies do you implement to achieve this effect?

Kamatera: Unlike shared servers ( we do not provide shared environments ), with Dedicated servers you have full access to the server ( root/administrator ) and can do what you want with it.

It is only your server and no one else will be using this server which increases overall server performance, speed and security.

HostArmada: Dedicated Servers are the most powerful Web Hosting Solution a customer can consider in their arsenal. As the name suggests, the Dedicated Server provides dedicated resources, such as RAM, CPU, Disk Space, unlike the other Web Hosting Services where a customer has to share the resources with others.

Another great advantage of the Dedicated Server is the Flexibility of server setup in terms of Software. For example, the system administrators can configure the Server and install special Software so the security, performance, and overall stability of the Server can be improved. Such Software includes a high-performance Web Server (like, for example, NGINX or LiteSpeed), a security solution (for example, an All-around security solution and WAF like Imunify360 or an IP-based firewall like CSF), or a monitoring tool that can ensure the stability of the Server.

In simple words – the Dedicated Server removes the boundaries set by the traditional Shared Hosting and has a substantial advantage in terms of dedicated resources over the VPS hosting services.

Contabo: The main advantage of dedicated servers is that a customer doesn’t share any resources with others. This means full power in terms of CPU and IO performance. So, customers will get a faster and more powerful server in comparison to a VPS.

InterServer: A dedicated server is exactly how its sounds a machine that’s yours that can be customized and tailored to your exact specifications. Resources, storage, and speed are all built to the desired specs and allow for a wide range of deployments.

Now that you have an idea on what a dedicated server is, we can dive into more details.

Types Of Dedicated Servers

In general, the web hosting providers offer two types of dedicated servers, managed and unmanaged. The first and foremost difference you will notice between the two is the cost. Still, your decision should be based on the core differences of the solutions, not rushed to save a few bucks.

Managed vs Unmanaged Dedicated Hosting image

 

Unmanaged dedicated servers are the cheaper alternative. However, if you go for this option, you must have enough human resources and expertise on hand. Your in-house team will manage the server, including installing scripts, performing updates, handling compatibility issues, security risk mitigation, and attack containment. In turn, the web host will ensure that the infrastructure runs smoothly only from a hardware perspective.

Note: The client manages, maintains, and monitors the server. The hosting provider offers storage and hardware security, not responsible for anything else.

Question and Answer Session

Question: Can you tell us more about the pros and cons of managed vs. unmanaged dedicated servers? What’s going on behind the scenes?

Verpex Hosting: The most significant pros of managed dedicated servers are that it offers support that is helpful to non-technical organizations, you can focus more on your business, and it is scalable. The cons are that the server is not your property, and you don’t have total freedom and complete control over the servers. The pros of unmanaged servers are that it gives full control to the user, it is cheaper than managed servers, and it can be customized and optimized by the user. The cons are that it requires more effort and time to be sustained, and you need a significant amount of knowledge about managing a server.

Kamatera: We offer 24/7 support, Our support will always assist if the client cannot login or the server is down, they will be able to advise but once our support needs to access a client’s server to fix anything or assist with the configurations on the system level, our clients are required to add the managed services, the service is very recommended and costs $50 per server per month and includes the following:

 

•             Protocol Monitoring (HTTP, SMTP, TCP, UDP, etc.)
•             OS Monitoring (CPU, RAM, Disk Space, etc.)
•             Web Monitoring (Page Result/String Search)
•             Custom Monitoring (up to 10/server)
•             Email/SMS Alerting
•             NOC Proactive Troubleshooting
•             Firewall and Networking Management
•             OS & Services and Troubleshooting
•             Operating System Updates (Upon request)
•             Backups and Restore Administration
•             DNS Setup & Administration
•             Load Balancing Management
•             Server Resources Performance Metrics
•             Application Installation and Configuration

HostArmada: Often the Web Hosting Providers are separating the Dedicated Server service in two – Managed and Unmanaged based on the client’s needs.

Managed Dedicated Server is a type of service where all the System Administration tasks are undertaken by the Web Hosting Company offering the solution at no additional cost.

The Managed Dedicated Server is typically deployed with a ready-to-use control panel (like in our case with cPanel/WHM), mail server, FTP server, web server, database service, and everything else the customers will need for their websites to operate optimally.

In addition, any assistance provided by the Web Hosting company is free of charge should the customer requires such.

Unmanaged Dedicated Server is a type of service where all the System Administration and website management tasks are undertaken by the clients themselves.

From the beginning, the Server is provisioned with the minimum amount of Software needed for the Server to operate and Server its purpose. Sometimes this can include a free-to-use control panel, or if the client requests, the Server can be deployed with Software based on the needs of the client’s website.

After the initial deployment point, the Server is left on the management of the clients or if they have hired any third-party System Administrator.

Typically should the clients of Unmanaged Dedicated Server require any System Administration or Management services by the Web Hosting Company, they are taxed on a fixed hourly rate which can lead to even higher expense than the Managed Dedicated Server depending on the work that needs to be done.

The main advantage of using Managed Dedicated Server service is that clients can focus on their Websites and leave all server-related affairs to the Web Hosting Company at no additional cost!

On the contrary, the web hosting provider will take full responsibility for getting a managed dedicated server. They will assign engineers to continually monitor and configure your server, handling all operation-related aspects. Furthermore, managed dedicated server solutions also come with strong security features, such as DDoS protection, regular updates, monitoring malware detection, automated data backups, and operating system hardening.

Note: The hosting provider manages, maintains, and monitors the client’s server. The client doesn’t take on any responsibilities.

Due to all this, managed dedicated servers deliver the highest performance and uptime levels. Furthermore, when someone else takes on the daily server administration, your team will have more time for other tasks. So, naturally, it comes at a price.

Final verdict: These solutions are most suitable for companies that operate multi-user apps, databases of any kind, SaaS, virtualization, resellers, high traffic sites, and multiple websites.

 

Managed Dedicated ServerUnmanaged Dedicated Server
Server Deployment and Maintenance Come with full support: the provider handles all installs, updates, security, and configuration issues. The hosting provider might replace all components and manage the entire infrastructure.You get complete control and freedom, but it involves much more work on your end. You can customize the server as you wish and deploy any features you see fit.
AccountabilityYou can hold the hosting company accountable in case of malfunctions or breaches.The hosting company isn’t responsible for any issues caused by poor self-management.
Performance, Speed, and UptimeIt delivers the highest performance and uptime levels.It depends on your in-house team’s expertise and management.
Ease of useEasy to use, even for beginnersRequires high tech knowledge
SupportYou can contact the hosting company to deliver support at any timeTech support requests sent to the hosting company usually result in extra charges
PricingIt is the more expensive alternative of the two. However, once you pay the initial/recurring cost, there are no extra charges during the billing period.Have a significantly lower sticker price. However, it takes resources away from a more critical business function. So, the solution might end up being substantially more expensive throughout its life cycle.

 

As you probably noticed by now, dedicated servers have both their advantages and disadvantages. So, it’s up to you to weigh it out.

Pros And Cons Of Dedicated Servers

Pros:
  • Full control and freedom
  • Improved speed and performance
  • Better security features
  • Higher availability of resources

Cons:

  • More expensive than other types of web hosting
  • Cannot tackle sudden spikes in traffic
  • Requires technical knowledge

Here are several significant indicators when the pros outweigh the cons to facilitate your decision.

When Is The Right Time To Consider Dedicated Hosting?

The first and foremost question you need to consider at this point is ‘How much traffic do I expect?’ However, that’s not where it ends.

As mentioned, shared hosting might be a good option for a start-up. For instance, you might have a personal blog or a small business. In this case, you might find a shared server as a sufficient alternative. But even then, you will be limited in terms of performance, flexibility, and configuration options.

Then, you might upgrade to a Virtual Private Server (VPS). As explained earlier, a VPS delivers enhanced flexibility and customization options. With a VPS, you get a better say in your resource limits and security add-on. But still, you are sharing the physical server with other users.

Now, say you have decided to scale up once again, this time – to a dedicated server. This option is primarily beneficial for larger sites, including high-traffic sites or eCommerce businesses.

Warning: You need to determine the reason for upgrading to a dedicated server before purchasing the more advanced plan.

In general, there are two directions in which you might go.

First, you might be facing sudden spikes in traffic due to some viral content or a trending product. Dedicated hosting might not be the best alternative in this case since it comes with fixed resources that don’t scale up as your traffic increases. In other words, if you reach the upper limit of your resource consumption, your site visitors will start seeing error pages. Well, at least until you upgrade your plan. So, a better choice in this regard is cloud hosting.

Second, your site might be gradually growing and needs to handle increased traffic on a daily basis. Dedicated servers are ideal if you anticipate growth soon or highly depend on your website or web application. They can help you dominate the online space by reducing bounce rates with improved uptime and enhancing the overall user experience.

The third alternative at this point is a virtual dedicated server (VDS). It’s the middle ground, combining features of cloud and dedicated servers. A virtual dedicated server is a composite of complete server hardware, operating system (OS), and remote access layer, allowing you to access your server via the Internet globally.

It provides you an isolated server with dedicated resources (CPU, RAM) on the Internet. As the user, you will get the functionality of an in-house server. Still, the cloud service provider manages the environment on a rental basis. In other words, you can develop, deploy, and host web applications on the leased managed environment as the user. Since you will not share the server with other customers, you will not get multi-tenancy.

Note: You can get small to full-scale server instances with a virtual dedicated server, depending on the provider’s resource offerings.

Here are several indicators that you need to consider dedicated hosting. If you have found yourself thinking about these issues, you might as well prepare for a change.

  • Problem #1: Your website speed is slowing down

Is your website or application slowing down during periods of high-volume traffic?

See, if your website is growing and getting more traffic, it’s only natural for your performance to start decreasing. The rule of thumb is the more traffic you get, the slower your site and the worse your site performance. Worst case scenario, your site can ultimately crash.

There’s yet another reason behind this. When your website encounters traffic spikes, your visitors might not be able to access it. In turn, this leads to higher bounce rates and loss of revenue. If you want to use your site for promotions and special events, you should be prepared for it. In general, it means it should be able to handle spikes of up to 30 times your regular daily traffic.

Dedicated servers solve this issue, as they provide extra resources. They can handle significantly more traffic, allowing for smooth operation. Better yet, they guarantee maximum uptime 24/7.

Tip: Always keep in mind the difference between sudden spikes and continual growth.
Key takeaways: Dedicated servers improve website performance.
  • Problem #2: You are facing lots of security threats

In general, shared hosting exposes your site or app to many potential security threats. This issue highly depends on the web hosting provider you choose. Sure, many shared hosting providers are on the market, allowing for diverse portfolios of security features.

Still, the problem is the following. Say one of the sites on the same server as your website gets hacked. You will also be exposed to the threat. Other worthy mentions at this point are DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) attacks, sharing the server with hackers, or other malicious activities.

With a dedicated server, it’s far different. You are fully responsible for your security, meaning you can choose to set up any security system you might prefer. In general, dedicated servers include firewalls, network monitoring, and strict access control. Better yet, you can go for a managed dedicated server with pre-installed security-enhancing features. The point is, other websites don’t affect your site’s privacy and security.

Important: Security should be your primary concern, especially if you handle sensitive transactions over SSL or FTP protocols.

Question and Answer Session

Question: What security-enhancing features do you offer with dedicated servers?

Kamatera: Regarding the infrastructure level, we do any necessary steps to protect the data in the physical level or network access like bio-metric device, 24\7 security guys,  logs and etc.

The infrastructure does not encrypt the data on the operating system, not just our infrastructure,  the Data in any infrastructure it’s not raw data.

The data encryption is something that needs to be done within the operation system or application.

Recommended to secure the system by adding a FW.

HostArmada: Dedicated Servers are considered high-end Web Hosting Service. The customers looking for this service are well-experienced in the Web Hosting field and know how the security aspect of the service is crucial.

Here at HostArmada, we offer fully managed Dedicated CPU servers so we can put all our knowledge and provide our customers with ready-to-use, a high-end solution that is protected against nearly everything.

With every Dedicated CPU server, we offer absolutely free of charge, all-around security solution that includes an IP-based firewall, Web Application Firewall, Brute force protection, DDoS Protection on a server level, and of course, a custom SSH port so common exploits can be avoided.

In addition to that, our security solution also includes free Proactive Malware scan with constantly updated malware definitions, free Proactive Malware removal, and of course, infected files quarantine.

Contabo: For instance, we offer a pfSense Hardware Firewall that is linked exclusively to a dedicated server. The pfSense firewall will only establish allowed connections no matter what the configuration on the dedicated server is.

InterServer: A customer has the ability to select which security features they would like to utlize in order to secure their server. It’s important to remember that this is a bare bones device that is built to spec from a hardware perspective but data, software, and licensing are all selected by the customer.

Key takeaways: Dedicated hosting reduces potential security breaches.
  • Problem #3: You want to differ from neighbor sites

Shared web hosts provide a single IP address to all websites or applications on the same server. Now, say one of these sites (your neighbor sites) contains spam content. It means search engines can potentially spot the problem and penalize the IP, including your website, as you share the address.

Yet again, here’s where dedicated servers kick in. Dedicated hosts provide you exclusive access to a dedicated IP, meaning you (and only you) can be responsible if it gets penalized. Furthermore, the dedicated IP can significantly boost your SEO. In turn, you can generate more organic traffic, leads, and ultimately revenue.

Key takeaways: Dedicated hosting provides you a dedicated, unique IP address.
  • Problem #4: Your resource needs are continually growing

Imagine the following – you have a web hosting plan, but your traffic needs are still growing.

Dedicated servers grant you complete control regarding customization or configuration. Therefore, you can quickly expand your resources. All you need to do is request a hardware upgrade from your hosting provider. At this point, you can add more RAM or disk space. Either way, it will not require you much effort nor time.

Key takeaways: You can easily add more resources to your dedicated server.
  • Problem #5: You would like better control over your operations

As explained earlier, shared hosting providers set up everything and manage the environment. In turn, you, as the client, don’t get much of a say in how things work. You get what the provider gives.

If you want more control over your operation, a dedicated server is a proper solution for you. With it, you determine all variables regarding web hosting. For instance, you can select an operating and server software, adjust hardware specifications, or any other specific requirements. That’s what makes dedicated hosting perfect for advanced web developers.

Key takeaways: Dedicated servers provide superior flexibility and customization options.

Potential Use-Cases For Dedicated Servers

There are several types of dedicated servers based on their application and functionality.

Potential Use-Cases For Dedicated Servers mind map

 

  • Type #1: Web Server

Dedicated servers for websites are essentially what we have talked about until now. It is also the most common application of dedicated servers.

Illustration of how the dedicated server works

Clients worldwide use dedicated servers to host their websites, software, and data. Most of all, people deploy this solution due to its reliability, security, and speed, accounting for a pleasant user experience.

Web servers accept requests from web browsers running on the client computers. They deliver requested resources, such as web pages, software, or any other data. Thus, a web server caters to client requests from the Internet.

Get Your Questions Ready - You Ask, We Answer!

Question: Can I use a dedicated server for bitcoin mining?

Answer: You can use dedicated servers for mining bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency in this regard. Still, it will use too much electricity. Furthermore, web hosts don’t recommend this particular use, as it rarely leads to success.
  • Type #2: File Server

When clients use dedicated servers for web hosting, they also host the subsequent files needed to keep their websites up and running on it. However, you can also use a dedicated server to only store and distribute files.

illustration of File Server

With a file server, multiple users can simultaneously remotely access the same files, convenient for backups and maintaining data integrity. As file servers provide centralized data and permission management capabilities, they also allow users better control over users.

  • Type #3: Email Server

Using a dedicated server for email hosting allows you to keep a close eye on the communication. For instance, you can impose files and attachment upload limits or provide each employee with a personal email address. Due to this, email servers are becoming increasingly popular.

illustration of how the Email server works

Email servers also come in handy if you share confidential information. They keep your internal and external business communication private, thus providing better security than third-party email providers.

You can customize applications, track connections and authentication requests using the log. Better yet, if it spots any suspicious activity on your network, it will instantly notify you. Therefore, configuring a dedicated server to send and receive emails will do a much better job than a regular provider.

  • Type #4: Gaming Server

Gaming requires lots of resources for smooth operation and minimal latency. That’s what makes dedicated servers perfect for games, such as Minecraft. Minecraft dedicated server hosting even allows players to create and manage their own worlds, controlling every detail. For instance, as the client, you can control who has access to your server or a particular game on it.

illustration of how the Gaming servers works

So, it’s safe to say; gaming servers take things to a whole other level.

  • Type #5: Application Server

Similar to games, apps are becoming more resource-hungry over time. A dedicated server might be suitable for hosting your applications, especially if the number of users accessing them grows over time. These applications vary depending on your industry. Many entities use dedicated servers to run in-house applications, such as a custom mail portal or a custom-built CRM.

illustration of Application Server

Application servers provide code and data integrity, streamline the authentication process, and provide clients an enhanced centralized data management control. In turn, developers can easily perform updates on app servers. Due to this, clients usually choose dedicated servers to host their SaaS web apps and mobile apps.

As they solve the lag or speed issue, app servers can provide the best user experience on a SaaS site. In other words, the app server can give smooth operation of both web and mobile apps, even with a large number of concurrent users.

Dedicated servers provide excellent performance, high reliability, fast speed, and high security and data protection levels. In turn, they are also the perfect solution for testing applications or developing any software.

  • Type #6: Database Server

Clients collect, store, and manage enormous amounts of data on a daily basis. As a business, you might find data management a challenging task, especially if you need to quickly handle large volumes of data.

illustration of Database Server

The main issue with data management is that hundreds of people need to access it simultaneously. In turn, this uses up lots of resources, eventually slowing down the server. If you choose to migrate to a dedicated server, you can speed up the process and solve the issue.

At last, you can use the dedicated server to perform backups, using options such as RAID, off-site, application, or R1Soft backups. The best way is to run automatic backups often and keep the backup server as close to the production environment as possible.

  • Type #7: Trading Server

As odd as it might sound, you can use a dedicated server for foreign exchange (FOREX) trading on the global market. Mainly, clients deploy dedicated servers for this cause due to their high levels of security. However, keep in mind, you need excellent developer skills to perform the customization required to run the FOREX apps.

illustration of trading server

Final verdict: You might use the dedicated server for other purposes, such as a print server or anything else you see fit. However, these are the most common uses of it worldwide. Also, keep in mind that some of these use cases require administrator permission, known as root access, to set them up.

Get Your Questions Ready - You Ask, We Answer!

Question: Can I make and run my own home server?

Answer: You sure can! You can use your home server to run a website, collect and send emails, for gaming, and so on. You might not have heard of home servers, so let’s get right into it.

Introducing Home Servers

Dedicated servers don’t always refer to big enterprise-grade servers. Instead, the term can indicate a home server – any computing device used for storage, backups, serving media files, surveillance, or any other action in a home setting.

Use Cases Of Home Servers

A home server is an excellent addition to your home network. Here are the most common use cases of it.

illustration of home server

 

  • Idea #1: Host Your Website
    First things first, you can use your home server to host your own blog or website. The most important requirement at this point is a solid and fast Internet connection.
  • Idea #2: Run Your Gaming Server
    Some online games today allow you to host your gaming server. Using your home server will enable you to increase performance and stability. Better yet, you can customize the gameplay according to your preferences.Once again, your internet connection and bandwidth play crucial roles. So, make sure you have stable and fast ones.
  • Idea #3: Automation And Security Systems
    A dedicated server in a home setting can help you create a smart home as a central place to manage all of your devices. Apart from automation, you can use the home server as a security tool. For instance, you can set up cameras, connect and track everything from a single point – the server.Going on, your server will be running 24/7. So, you can use it to monitor your network or smart home. If you monitor your network, the home server will trace variables, such as disk space, bandwidth, CPU/memory usages, etc. In turn, if you use it to monitor your home, it can measure power consumption, temperature, humidity, and so on.A home server is also a great alternative for a password manager, making it available to all household members.
  • Idea #4: Centralized Storage And Backups
    In the past, people kept images in albums and videos on CDs. However, as time goes by, we are transferring all of this on the web. Still, we want to keep this data as efficiently and as long as possible. Here’s where home servers kick in.It makes perfect sense for all household members to store their files centrally on a single device. This way, everyone can easily access the photos, videos, or any other format you have in store.Furthermore, you can stream media, such as music or movies, from your home server. The files are from your own library, and you can stream them on all devices, including your mobile phone, smart TV, laptop, or computer.However, at this point, you must understand the importance of backups. Even dedicated servers might fail or become the subject of a ransomware attack. Furthermore, you can accidentally delete it. It can happen to anyone.As all your data is stored on a single device, you must implement backups. More importantly, it would be best if you went for an automated solution instead of a manual. See, the latter takes both time and effort. You can also forget to perform one, leading to a loss of important information.
  • Idea #5: Learning New IT Skills
    If you have a home server, you can test new programs, learn how to install VM’s, or manage the server without any risks of data loss.

 

Home Server Components

Setting up a home server might not be the most straightforward process in the world. Even so, it might be fun for you to find another use for your hardware. One thing is for sure – you will indeed develop your IT skills further.

First, here’s what you will need:

  • A computer

You might go for a desktop or a laptop, both of which are great ways to get started. However, another option is to buy an old enterprise-grade server from an online site, such as eBay.

Note: The old enterprise-grade servers usually provide for enough RAM, grade processing power, and support RAID configurations. However, they can spend a lot of power and produce loud noises. Also, they usually take up a lot of space. So, they might be an overrated solution for home servers.

In general, 64MB of RAM and a 300MHz processor are sufficient for your machine. See, your home server will not use much processing power since you won’t have a graphical interface to worry about. If you further increase these numbers, you can expect even better results. In other words, your home server will handle anything you throw at it.

You don’t have to worry much about the type of computer since Linux and BSD, the preferable server operating systems, are compatible with almost any architecture you install them on.

Going on, you will need as much RAM and storage as possible. The rule of thumb is, the bigger, the better. Also, you might go for a single hard drive or have a few. Think of it like this; the hard drive is the “heart” of the server. If everything around it fails, you can transfer it to another compatible device, and continue your operation, like nothing ever happened.

Finally, your machine will be running at all times. So, you must set a cooling mechanism in place. If the computer exhibits some unpredictable behavior or crashes unexpectedly, it’s an indicator it’s getting hot. At this point, you can install software to monitor your server’s temperature and notify you in case things get to an alarming point.

  • A broadband network connection

Next, you will need a broadband network connection or high-speed Internet access faster than the traditional dial-up access and always online for the optimal experience.

Tip: If you already have a connection, you can continue to use it as usual.

You won’t even need a static IP or a business-class connection. All that matters at this point is to keep your server connected to the router.

You can go for a wireless router. Still, connecting the router and server with an old-fashioned cable is the most optimal choice for reliability. Today, you can go for a variety of routers, some of which feature extra add-ons. But even if you select the basics, you will be good to go.

  • A network router with Ethernet (CAT5/6/7/8) cable

In addition to speed and stability, you will also need an Ethernet card (network interface card or NIC) for your server. However, make sure it’s compatible with your operating system. Essentially, you cannot go wrong with most cards. Still, it would be best to check the web for reviews before you spend your money.

  • A monitor and keyboard

Most probably, you have a spare monitor and keyboard tucked away somewhere in your home. After all, who doesn’t?

Important: You will need the keyboard and monitor only until you set the server up. However, you might also need them for future server debugging and upgrading.
  • A CD/DVD drive/burner (if you plan to use the server for media)

Here’s an example of what you will need to build your home server:

  • CPU: Intel Core i3-9100
  • Motherboard: Fujitsu D3643-H
  • Memory: Samsung M391A2K43BB1-CTD
  • PSU: Mini-box PicoPSU-160-XT
  • External PSU: LEDwholesalers 12V 20A 240W AC/DC Power
  • Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 USB
  • SSD: Intel 660p NVMe
  • HDD: Seagate BarraCuda 2TB

Essentially, this is a low-power home server. So, it will not use up many resources. You can expect somewhere around 10 watts in idle. However, if you increase the hard drives, consumption will increase since they consume the most power.

Top Benefits Of Home Servers

As mentioned, you can do some cool things with a home server. Here are the top ways in which you can benefit from having one.

  • First things first – you will be in control

Who doesn’t like being in control? While a third-party cloud service cannot provide you this advantage, a home server sure can.

Note: Cloud service providers don’t own the data you upload to their platforms. Instead, they retain licenses for reproducing, modifying, and creating derivative works from it. They can further share your data with other third parties, such as legal entities, domain administrators, or even affiliates.

Fortunately, a home server can eliminate all these security and privacy threats. It provides on-the-go file storage benefits, but with it, you are the one in control. You can manage your files or grant others access to do so if you wish.

  • As odd as it sounds, it’s an inexpensive solution

Price is always a subjective matter. What one finds cheap, another might consider pretty expensive. The point is, with home servers, it all depends on the equipment you choose.

First, you might go for an advanced solution and spend thousands of dollars on market-leading equipment. But it doesn’t end there. Apart from the upfront costs, you will need to pay quite a bit on ongoing electricity costs for the units and cooling equipment.

On the other hand, you can make your home server using your old laptop or mobile device. It’s the cheaper alternative. Still, it comes with a sacrifice – performance. It can help you access a few files remotely. However, it’s not sufficient for hosting a home server for the whole household or, worse yet, an entire business.

Tip: You can start with lower-performing hardware and upgrade to a dedicated one with time.
  • An indeed better gaming experience

As mentioned, you can control and customize your home server according to your needs and preferences. Furthermore, you can update your game servers when you want, instead of waiting for the third-party provider to release the latest version.

Say your gaming machine needs to reboot while playing. With a home server, you reduce this risk. In turn, you improve the stability of the game and overall experience.

  • Incredible simplicity and ease of use

As explained before, backups are essential in case of accidents. Without them, you can quickly lose years’ worth of data, regardless of whether it’s pictures, videos, or any other information in this regard.

In general, you should retain one on-site and one off-site backup. In turn, a home server allows you to manage everything from a single. Better yet, it’s highly customizable.

Get Your Questions Ready - You Ask, We Answer!

Question: But what about the power consumption? Or worse yet, the noise the home server makes?

Answer: These two might have been significant issues in the past. Luckily, technology evolved. Today, you can get your own home server for approximately $500. Better yet, it will consume around 10 watts when running idle.

Should You Rent Or Buy A Dedicated Server?

Now that you get the overall idea of what a dedicated server can do for you, we get to another issue. The question is, should you buy or rent a dedicated server? Fast forward, both options come with their pros and cons.

illustration of Advisor with coin

 

If you decide to buy a dedicated server, you will spend several thousands of dollars as a setup fee. On the good side of things, you will not have recurring expenses except for electricity.

It’s the complete opposite when it comes to renting. At first, you don’t pay anything. However, you have to pay the dedicated hosting provider, which accounts for approximately $100 per month.

Important: That’s sure a trade-off you need to decide upon; however, the true challenge lies in the non-financial differences.

If you buy a dedicated server, you need to have a highly experienced team. After all, you need to handle all aspects of server deployment and maintenance.

Fortunately, if you are not a tech giant or a knowledgeable in-house team, a dedicated server provider can take this work out of your hands. They handle all server maintenance, ensuring the maximum website uptime possible.

Say you have decided to rent a web hosting provider. What comes next?

What To Look For In A Dedicated Hosting Provider Offerings?

The dedicated hosting provider you choose can ultimately determine your experience. You can choose from thousands of dedicated servers on the market. However, different hosts provide various features and overall quality.

There’s no right or wrong approach. Ultimately, your choice depends on your needs, preferences, and budget. Still, it would be best if you considered the following qualities before you make a decision.

What To Look For In A Dedicated Hosting Provider Offerings mind map

 

  • Factor #1: Performance

First, you need to consider the server stability, meaning overall performance, accessibility, and usability. At this point, you need to determine your unique performance requirements. See, a personal blog and an eCommerce store don’t imply the exact resource requirements.

Some questions you need to consider are how many users do you expect to have? Furthermore, are you looking for a memory, CPU, or disk-intensive service?

Your dedicated server’s performance mainly depends on its hardware specifications, including:

  • The gigahertz of the CPU
  • The threads and cores of the CPU
  • Type of RAM
  • The GBs of the RAM
  • Storage space
  • Type of storage device
  • The storage device’s read/write speeds
  • Datacenter setup

For instance, you might need a powerful processor, fast loading speeds (SSD), or high storage capacity (HDD). You also might also need to transfer lots of data, which is where the bandwidth kicks in. Going on, storage compliance is vital for handling sensitive data, and so on.

Note: If your site needs more resources for features, such as custom applications or video transcoding, you need a more powerful processor. These two variables are positively correlated. As one increases, so should the other.

As a general rule, an uptime of at least 99.95% can minimize the chances of costly outages for your business. Here, it would help if you also determined the potential downtime you are willing to risk.

Furthermore, it would be best if you went for a provider with multiple data centers. This way, you can initially select a location that’s close to you, ensuring the fastest connections or the least-latency network. In case of a calamity, the hosting provider will switch you to another data center, providing continuity of operations.

  • Factor #2: Security

Security is the second most common reason customers go for a dedicated server instead of other types of web hosting. Inherently, dedicated servers are much safer than any other option on the market. Still, they are not 100% safe from hackers.

Tip: Ensure that you purchase a reliable provider with the best possible security features.

Here, you need to consider multi-factor authentication (MFA), intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDS & IPS), data encryption protocols, enterprise-grade firewalls, and Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

  • Factor #3: Customization Options

Shared hosting providers allow for “one size fits all” solutions regarding server configurations. However, it’s quite the opposite when it comes to dedicated servers – you can configure it to work best with your website. The rule of thumb is the more customization options, the better.

For instance, the web hosting provider might offer several Content Management System (CMS) platforms, such as WordPress, Drupal, or Magento for eCommerce.

You might also have a strong preference for an operating system, such as Windows or Linux. For instance, if you plan on hosting Microsoft IIS, MS, SQL, or ASP.NET, you will need a Windows dedicated server.

Tip: It’s best to always go for a hosting provider that allows for scalability options.

For instance, if you need more CPU, RAM, or disk space, you should be able to contact your dedicated server hosting provider to upgrade your server’s resources easily. In short, you should be able to customize your server as you wish.

  • Factor #4: Support

Customer support is essential for web hosting, but especially for dedicated servers. As explained, even as a client, you need some technical knowledge to operate this server. And naturally, you might stumble upon an issue (or more) in the process.

So, it would be best to go for a dedicated server host with 24/7/365 available customer support. It would be best if you also aimed towards various contact options, such as live chat, ticketing system, and phone support. Still, the most crucial factor is the team’s response time.

Someone should always be available to assist you when you encounter an issue with your server. As mentioned, this will come for free with managed dedicated servers. You might have to pay some fee when it comes to unmanaged dedicated. Still, it’s good to have the option.

  • Factor #5: Pricing

After you have considered everything else, it comes down to the price. If two providers offer the same features and quality, you let the price decide. It’s as simple as that.

Warning: A cheaper alternative will always be tempting. However, it would help if you decided whether you are willing to risk it and up to which degree.

Furthermore, you can take advantage of some discounts. For instance, hosting providers sometimes allow for a flash sale, other times for bulk discounts. And almost always, you can get a discount if you purchase a longer-term plan.

Configuring a Dedicated Server

The next part of the complete guide, configuring a dedicated server, refers to actions after choosing a dedicated server. Here, you can learn what you need to do after you have selected a web hosting provider. First, you will learn about the components of a dedicated server. Once you get the overall idea, we’ll get into more details. You can find a step-by-step guide on configuring your dedicated server, along with expert opinions and tips.

The Parts Of A Dedicated Server

Most hosting providers on the market allow you to build your own server, which is incredibly fun. See, you don’t get to build it physically. Instead, you get to pick the parts you want or make the machine from your dreams from scratch.

mind map of The Parts Of A Dedicated Server

 

Tip: At this point, you need to think of the three main components – CPU, RAM, and Bandwidth, along with the control panel.
  • Part #1: Central Processing Unit (CPU)

The CPU, often called the processor, is the portion of a computer that retrieves and executes instructions. It consists of an arithmetic and logic unit (ALU), a control unit, and various registers.

Since it handles all the processing tasks, the CPU directly influences the server’s performance. It can also delegate the requests between storage devices, RAM, and other components.

In general, you can choose from a single-core, dual-core, or quad-core processor. The name suggests that the dual-core processor is a CPU with two processors, while the quad-core has four.

With more processors, you can expect better speed and performance, more superior and high-quality graphics. For instance, the quad-core can handle more tasks simultaneously than the dual-core, not to mention the single-core. However, there is also a downside to it. More processors mean more power/energy consumption and a more significant deal of heat.

Important: The demanding applications will require a lot of processing power and a powerful processor.

Here’s a recommended use of the three:

  • Single-core processors are ideal for small web applications, simple email servers, and other low-traffic websites. Entry-level dedicated servers can comfortably run on them.
  • Dual-core processors are intended for medium-to-high-traffic websites and database applications.
  • Quad-core and other higher core processors are perfect for powerful servers intended for large-scale databases, virtual environments, gaming, big data processing, mission-critical applications, and more.
Warning: More cores don’t always mean faster processing speeds.

Get Your Questions Ready - You Ask, We Answer!

Question: Do more cores always mean faster processing speeds?

Answer: A quad-core chip can execute instructions twice as fast as a dual-core or four times faster than a single-core. Still, it doesn’t always mean it can receive instructions from the RAM in the same ratios. It all comes down to the motherboard since all cores share the same memory and data path.

  • Part #2: Random-Access Memory (RAM)

RAM refers to your server memory. It processes data from HDDs/SSDs (long-term memory) to the CPU. In other words, RAM modules are short-term memory, featuring a pretty volatile form. In case you power off your server memory, you will lose all information held on it.

Short-term memory is much faster than long-term memory. It eliminates the need for the CPU to search for data or instructions within the hard drives. Thus, it allows the CPU to bypass slower storage and go straight to the server memory, enabling better read times in the server.

Still, you need to choose the proper amount of RAM for your server so that it can reach its maximum potential. At this point, you need several factors.

Note: There are some general rules to get you started.

First, you need to consider the number of users. You will need to add 1-2 GB of RAM to every five additional users if you have over 15 concurrent users.

Second, think of the size of your database(s). It’s the most important consideration since it directly impacts the processing needed to populate a data warehouse. Say you have a database of under 50 GB. You will be good to go with 16 GB of RAM. It would help if you also considered execution packages, your rate of growth, and operating system requirements.

See, some operating systems and applications require more RAM than others. So, the RAM amount depends on the recommended specifications of the OS/app. For instance, Windows Server OS requires more RAM than Linux. Keep in mind; you need to consider the operating system’s maximum memory limit.

Furthermore, high-traffic websites require more RAM. In turn, dynamic websites where several processes need to run simultaneously require the maximum RAM you can provide.

However, if there is caching, the server can run on lower RAM capacity.

Note: The cPanel needs at least 256MB but will require between 1 and 2GB of ram to perform efficiently.
  • Part #3: Bandwidth

Bandwidth refers to the maximum amount of data you can transmit to and from your server per second. When opting for a dedicated server, you need to consider several things regarding bandwidth. See, different service providers grant different offers.

For instance, some hosts provide unlimited bandwidth. Still, you need to consider whether it’s truly unlimited? Or will you need to pay for the extra bandwidth you don’t actually need? Make sure to read and understand the requirements carefully.

Tip: Consider your anticipated number of visitors and factor in the projected growth.

As these two variables increase, so should your server bandwidth. What you need is a provider that provides scalability. It would help if you could increase your bandwidth with time to meet these increasing requirements. Not to say, it’s a necessity!

See, some providers have burst options that can handle the isolated traffic peaks. With one such offer, you won’t need to subscribe to a high bandwidth monthly. Instead, you can go for a cheaper alternative, still, get the most optimal experience on your dedicated server.

Get Your Questions Ready - You Ask, We Answer!

Question: Is 2TB of bandwidth enough for my dedicated server?

Answer: It’s sure not. Back in the day, dedicated server packages included less bandwidth or approximately 1,000GB of monthly data transfer at entry-level. However, with time, customers’ demands increased. Today, an entry-level server should have somewhere between 5TB and 20TB.

  • Part #4: The Control Panel

The control panel is how you will be interacting with the server. Since you, as the client, have an ultimate say regarding all dedicated server configurations and management, the control panel is of incredible importance. It allows even non-technical staff to perform tasks that would otherwise require an experienced administrator quickly.

In general, different control panels will have the same functionalities and support most dedicated servers. So, at this point, you need to determine what you want to achieve using the control panel.

Important: The most popular control panels for Linux and Windows are cPanel, Plesk, DirectAdmin, and MSPControl.

You can choose whichever control panel you prefer, depending on your needs and preferences. Here are several things to keep in mind.

First, your control panel must be compatible with the operating system in the dedicated server. In turn, your hosting choice depends on your products. For instance, if your business relies on Microsoft-based products, you should go for dedicated Windows hosting and one of the panels mentioned above.

Also, you need to find out the resources that the control panel will use on the server. cPanel requires a minimum of 256MB but runs better at 515 MB, for example.

Key Takeaways: The control panel must also not compromise your security. It should provide good value for money, meaning it needs to have all of the required features.

Recommended Set Of Metrics

In general, there’s no minimum set of metrics that one requires to get an accurate status of the dedicated server. However, some of the main ones that you need to keep in mind include:

  • CPU utilization – shows the percentage of processor capacity at any given time. When the CPU usage is at 100%, it indicates a problem with the processor or inadequate machine capacity.
  • Memory Utilization – shows the percentage of memory in use against the total installed memory.
  • Hard Disk Space – shows the percentage of space being used.
  • Requests Per Second (RPS) – shows the number of requests the server receives per second. RPS is calculated by dividing the number of requests over a monitoring period between 1 and 5 minutes.
  • Error Rates – shows the percentage of failed requests when compared to the total number of requests. An error rate of less than 1% is acceptable in many situations; however, eliminating them is preferable.
  • Uptime – displays the time the server has been up for and how long it has been functioning correctly.

Now that you understand the background let’s see how all of it works.

Upgrading To A Dedicated Server

If you have a shared hosting plan, you can always upgrade to a dedicated server. In this case, you will need to migrate the website. At this point, you need to configure the new server, install the applications, recreate the accounts, including the email addresses, and transfer the data from the old server to the new dedicated web hosting solution.

illustration of Upgrading From Shared Server To A Dedicated Server

 

Important: While you can be the server administrator yourself, you can hire someone else to get the job done for you. Administrators use a combination of tools to monitor a wide range of metrics within the dedicated itself during the process.

Server monitoring is a critical step when it comes to upgrading to a dedicated server. It establishes the status of the server and provides in-depth information regarding resource utilization. In turn, the administrator(s) get broader visibility of the server’s performance and health. These include native agents for Linux, Windows, or both, and monitors for the CPU, RAM, storage, network bandwidth, processes, and so on.

How To Configure A Dedicated Server? (Step-By-Step)

I have decided to purchase a dedicated server from Flaunt7 to get a step-by-step guide on how everything works.

Question and Answer Session

Question: Can you explain a bit more about the hardware specifications regarding dedicated servers? What technologies or components do you implement, and how do they affect the server performance? If positively, to which degree?

Kamatera: All of our servers, shared or dedicated, come with SSD hard disks, up to 10Gb network adapters and Intel(R) Xeon(R) processors.

HostArmada: Here at HostArmada, we make no excuse when it comes to the hardware of our highest-end solutions. Our Dedicated Server customers can expect nothing more than the latest available hardware on the market, so the performance and the stability of the Server are always optimal!

Contabo: Our dedicated servers can be customized in many ways to match the anticipated workload. For example, storage is offered either as a hard disk, solid state disk (SSD) or even faster NVMe SSD. We rely on brand new, high-quality components delivered by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Dell or directly on manufacturers like AMD and Samsung

InterServer: We offer a wide array of dedicated servers that can again be customized and built to exact requests. As can be reviewed at https://www.interserver.net/dedicated/  it’s also important to note that dedicated configurations are constantly changing and evolving and we partner with leading hardware providers to ensure we remain ahead of the curve.

Let’s get right to work!

Choose A Dedicated Server

Dedicated server plans differ in the type and number of cores and threads. You can further spot differences in the RAM, SSD Storage, and Bandwidth.

Note: At this point, you need to match your business requirements with what the service provider has to offer.

Select IPv4 Amount

IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) refers to the underlying technology that enables us to connect our devices to the web. When you access the Internet, you get a unique, numerical IPv4 address. Essentially, it’s a 32-bit number that uniquely identifies a network interface on a machine, or in this case, your server.

All dedicated servers provide you with at least one unique IP address. After all, it’s what makes this hosting different from shared or VPS. If someone types in your IP, it will lead them to your website. So, you can think of it as the address to your home. The interesting part is, you can have more than one.

screenshot of Selecting a IPv4 Amount

 

Question and Answer Session

Question: What is the importance of IP addresses? Essentially, why would a customer get more than one? Which aspects of their business this choice affects, how, and up to which degree?

Kamatera: IP addresses is a way to communicate over the network/Internet worldwide. The additional questions are very general and I cannot answer it briefly but the use of more than 1 IP address varies on the service you use and your needs.

HostArmada: An IP address is the numerical representation of the physical address where a computing device connected to the Internet resides. When a visitor access a domain name in their Web Browser, the DNS client running on their computer is performing several lookups until it finds the IP address where the domain name is pointed. Once the IP address is found, the Web Browser sends a web request for the content of the website running under the accessed domain. The Server then receives that request compiles the contents of the web page, and sends the compiled result to the visitor’s Web Browser.

Without an IP address, the visitor’s Web Browser cannot possibly know how to find the Server where the website for the accessed domain is hosted. It is hard to imagine how the Web Hosting service would work without an IP address, so it’s pretty crucial in that sense!

Here at HostArmada, we provide every Dedicated Server with a single Dedicated IP Address when we set up the Server, and as an additional service, we can provide one more just in case the customer needs one. Usually, the reason for having more than one IP address on the Dedicated Server is to have every website on a different IP address. Although not confirmed, it is a known belief that if only a single website is associated with a single IP address, this can provide SEO benefits. However, that is in the territory of assumptions since it is not officially confirmed by any Search Engine.

Another great benefit of having multiple IP addresses is if a single IP address got blacklisted by some blacklisting organization due to sending spam. If that is the case, the affected website will only be the one using the IP address and not all others since they will be using their own dedicated IP address.

InterServer: An IP is the equivalent of your home address. It servers a global identifier via the internet.

There are several key purposes for which IP’s are critical but the easiest way to break it down is that without it, your home computer, server, desktop, and mobile device will not be able to communicate with one another.

Choose From Unmanaged Or Managed Dedicated Server

As explained in this guide’s first section, you can go for a managed or an unmanaged dedicated server. Both alternatives have their respective pros and cons. So, once again, it all depends on your business needs, preferences, and ultimately budget.

Question and Answer Session

Question: How do your server management alternatives differ from one another? Do you offer managed support solutions, and what do they mean for customers?

HostArmada: Here at HostArmada, we offer only Managed Dedicated Server Web Hosting services. This means that our customers can fully rely on us to set up and maintain their Server absolutely free of charge.

With every Dedicated Server, we provide cPanel/WHM control panels so our customers can fully control their service. Along with that, our Management service offers quite a lot more since we also offer installation of different Software on demand, assistance with the transfer of the customer’s websites, assistance in updating the websites and basically anything related to the Web Hosting service that a customer might need.

InterServer: We provide un-parallel support across all of our hosting offerings. We often work with our customers on niche solutions that will allow for them the ability to deploy their content on state of the art hardware and infrastructure.

Pick The Parts

Now, we come to the exciting part. Building your server is an easy job. Well, as long as you know what options you need for your dedicated solution.

Different dedicated server providers offer various options regarding CPU. Some of which even take things to another level, offering their clients several options to choose from. For instance, you can go for:

Flaunt7:

  • Intel Core i3 (4 cores – 4 threads @ 3.6GHz)
  • AMD Ryzen 5 3600 (6 cores – 12 threads @ 3.6 GHz)
  • AMD Ryzen 7 3700X (8 cores 3.60 GHz)
  • AMD Ryzen 9 3900X (12 cores – 24 threads @ 3.8 GHz)
  • AMD Ryzen 9 3950X (16 cores – 32 threads @ 3.6 GHz)
  • 2x AMD Epyc 7282 (32 cores – 64 threads @ 2.8 GHz)

A2 Hosting:

  • Intel Xeon E-2224 4.6GHz Turbo
  • Intel Xeon Silver 4210R 2nd Gen Scalable Processor 10-Core 2.4GHz
  • AMD Rome 2nd Gen EPYC 7232 3.2 GHz Turbo

InterServer:

  • AMD RYZEN 3600X (6 cores)
  • Xeon E3-1230 (4 cores)
  • 2 x Six-Core E5-2620 (12 cores)
  • AMD RYZEN 3900X (12 cores)
  • Xeon E3-1230v2 (4 cores)
  • Xeon E3-1230v3 (4 cores)
  • Xeon E3-1230v5 (4 cores)
  • Xeon E3-1230 v6 (4 cores)
  • 2 x Xeon E5-2678v3 8SFF (24 cores)
  • 2 x Xeon E5-2678v3 4LFF (24 cores)
  • AMD EPYC 7402P (24 cores)
  • 2 x Xeon E5-2680v4 8SFF (28 cores)
  • 2 x Xeon E5-2678v3 (Storage) (24 cores)
  • 2 x Xeon Gold 6230R 8SFF (52 cores)

Kamatera:

  • Intel Xeon Platinum/Cascade Lake processors, 2.7GHz+

FastComet:

  • AMD EPYC 7501 Cores

The Intel Core i3 chips are suitable for everyday computing, such as web browsers, office applications, media software, and low-end games. However, if you intend to handle content creation, serious photo-editing, or video work, you will need a more advanced solution.

Xeon chips are more powerful and power-hungry. They offer more cores than mainstream PCs. Still, they usually underperform their Core i7 and i9 counterparts when it comes to clock speeds. In turn, these are primarily used at business workstations.

As a general rule of thumb, AMD Ryzen processors are better at multitasking than Intel Core CPUs. Still, there are lots of options in this regard. At the core, the AMD Ryzen processors differ in terms of cores/threads, base frequency, max turbo GHz, L3 lache, and TDP.

 

processor comparison screenshot

 

Finally, EPYC is yet another AMD brand of x86-64 microprocessors, based on the company’s Zen microarchitecture. It’s the perfect choice for the server and embedded system markets.

Question and Answer Session

Question: How can a customer choose the proper CPU for their dedicated server?

Kamatera: We offer several types of vCPU’s. When our clients use vCPU type A – Availability – shared core, The Server CPUs are assigned to a non-dedicated physical CPU thread with no resources guaranteed, we do not Guarantee they will get the whole 2.7GHZ if needed, this is more for clients that do not need high Processing power.

When our clients use vCPU type B – General purpose, The Server CPUs are assigned to a dedicated physical CPU thread with reserved resources guaranteed and you will get what you need, if you need to use all the 2.7GHZ or part, you will get what is needed.

When our clients use vCPU type T – Burstable, The server CPUs are assigned to a dedicated physical CPU thread with reserved resources guaranteed.

Exceeding an average CPU usage of 10% will be extra charged for CPUs usage consumption.

Server configuration is available from 1 vCPU up to 104 vCPUs per server and from 1GB RAM up to 512GB RAM per server.

Ideal for all general purpose scenarios of production-use such as application server, remote desktop server, web server, storage server, etc. and when CPU usage requirements are burstable during a small period of the time used.

Starts at as low as $0.0123/hour + $0.041/hour/CPU (Charged only if exceeding an average of 10% of CPU Usage)

Calculation example:

Server configuration of 8 vCPUs, 8GB RAM and 50GB Storage will cost 0.0931$/hour (68$ for 730 hours) when Powered On and $0.0102/hour ($7.5 for 730 hours) when Powered Off,

If the server is Powered On for the whole month (730 hours) and the average CPU Usage of 730 hours is 7% – the server will cost $0.0931 x 730 hours = $67.963.

If the server is Powered On for the whole month (730 hours) and the average CPU Usage of 730 hours is 20% – the server will cost $0.0931 x 730 hours + $0.041 x 730 hours x 8 vCPUs x 0.10 percent = $67.963 + $23.944 = $91.907.

When our clients use vCPU type D – Dedicated,  The server CPU are assigned to a dedicated physical CPU Core (2 threads) with reserved resources guaranteed.

Server configuration is available from 1 vCPU up to 20 vCPUs per server and from 1GB RAM up to 512GB RAM per server.

For all general purpose scenarios of production-use such as application server, web server, database servers, container node, storage server, HPC, etc.

You may read more here: https://www.kamatera.com/Products/509/CPU_Types

Next, you need to determine your dedicated server storage. At this point, you need to understand the differences between hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid-state drives (SSDs). The difference lies in how data is stored and accessed. HDD uses mechanical platters and a moving read/write head to access data, while SSD stores data on instantly accessible memory chips.

 

Hard Disk Drives (HDDs)Solid-State Drives (SSD)
Speed0.1 to 1.7 MB/s50-250 MB/s in 4K reads/writes
LifespanIt might last for decadesTen years
CapacityNo differences, both vary in their respective capacity
Price$25-$50 for 500 GB HDD$60-$150 for 500 GB HDD

 

Naturally, businesses go for SSDs due to the incredible speed advantage. However, here are two different types of SSDs:

  • Serial Advanced Technology Attachment SSDs (SATA)
  • Non-Volatile Memory express SSDs (PCIe/NVMe/PCIe-NVMe)

SATA SSDs tend to be the slower of the two. Still, they are much faster than traditional HDDs. On the other hand, PCIe SSDs have more bandwidth. Furthermore, they can 3-4 times the speed and performance than SATA SSDs, making them the fastest SSDs on the market. For obvious reasons, they are also the most expensive alternative.

NVMe SSDs transfer data at a high-performance speed. You can expect around 3,000-3,500 Mbps or 3-3.5 Gbps. In other words, you can transfer a 30 GB file to your computer in about 15 seconds or less.

Get Your Questions Ready - You Ask, We Answer!

Question: What’s better, SATA or PCIe?

Answer: Let’s simplify your choice. If you strive towards more storage, you should go for SATA. However, if performance is your primary concern, then PCIe it is!

Now, here’s a tricky issue. See, dedicated server providers usually allow for additional disk space. For instance, you can have the primary disk space with predetermined storage space. Then, you can choose to upgrade from 1TB to 4TB or get several disks that total to 4TB. Let’s see what the expert has to say.

Question and Answer Session

Question: Is it better to get a few disks, say one with 2TB and two with 1TB storage, or one with 4TB storage, and why?

Verpex Hosting: Even though there are pros and cons to both of the solutions, when you take into consideration the main purpose of a hard drive – safe storage of your data, the first option is the better one. In an ideal world, you should be backing up all of your data, and that means multiple copies of your files on different storage mediums.

FastComet: First of all it is always better to have the first disk for the OS only and additional disks for others uses. The advantage of using more small disks instead 1 big disk is is being take when configuring RAID. Other than that it really depends on the use and purpose, also the cost for the second disk is always cheaper, just $0.05 per GB.

HostArmada: It is always better to have more than one disk since every physical disk comes with its own Read/Write limit. Let’s look at this in a more practical way. What is faster – to sit in a traffic jam or to take an alternative, equally fast route and reach your destination way sooner?

Every physical disk (no matter if SSD or a standard HDD) has read/write limits. Having a single disk means having an X limit for reading from and writing to a single disk. However, in case the disks are two, then the read/write limit is two times X, meaning twice the read/write limits.

In the case when using a single disk, let’s assume that a website hosted on the Server is having a spike in the access rate, and at the same time, the automatic backup service takes a regular backup of the websites. In such cases, the read/write limit of that single disk can be reached. In such cases, every subsequent visit on the website will have to wait until there are enough resources on the Server for their web request to be processed, leading to slow loading websites and, respectively, to unhappy visitors.

On the other hand, in the same scenario, if a server has two physical discs, the backup service can be “offloaded” on the second disk, meaning that the read/write resources it needs will be taken from the second disk while the first one remains absolutely stable. The visitors will enjoy the same astonishing loading speed, and the backup service will have 0 chance of generating a corrupted backup.

Contabo: If you want to make sure that the whole server won’t stop in case an individual disk fails, it makes sense to distribute the data in a RAID using several disks. This means RAID 1 or RAID 10. A RAID with multiple disks can also achieve a higher throughput than a single disk.

InterServer: In most cases we suggest and often encourage customers to select multiple drives for pure redundancy. The more drives on a server does pose the risk of potential hardware failure however, if they’re in raid you can prevent data loss as a result of drive failure. Again, there are many scenarios but we strongly recommend redundancy. Though this setup is more complex to configure and costly, over the course of time the reward outweighs the risk.

Tip: Consider the network transmission speed as well.

Gbps (GigaBits or GigaBytes per Second) measure peripheral data transfer or network transmission speed if you aren’t familiar with the term.

 

Interserver:

 

Add-On Services For Dedicated Servers

You are the one that selects all variables for your dedicated server environment. It’s pretty straightforward – you get what you pay for, meaning there is a wide range of available add ons for robust performance. Once you select all the necessary components, you can take things further with add-ons for dedicated servers.

Control Panel

First things first, let’s check the control panel. Essentially, this add-on determines your ease of use. You can go for:

Flaunt7:

  • None
  • cPanel Premier Metal 100
  • cPanel Premier Metal 150
  • cPanel Premier Metal 200
  • cPanel Premier Metal

A2 Hosting:

  • cPanel
  • Webuzo

Liquid Web:

  • InterWorx Unlimited
  • Plesk
  • WHM/cPanel

FastComet:

  • cPanel/WHM/Softaculous

InMotion Hosting:

  • cPanel & WHM

screenshot of cPanel pricing

Operating System

Next, we come to the operating systems.

Get Your Questions Ready - You Ask, We Answer!

Question: Which operating system is the best for gaming?

Answer: Windows is the best OS for gaming since it has the widest selection of games. Apart from variety, it offers excellent performance. Games mostly perform better on Windows than on Linux or macOS, say gamers.

screenshot of operating system selection

 

Question and Answer Session

Question:

Which operating system is the best for running a dedicated server? Sure there is the requirements aspect; however, what’s your go-to OS and if you mind sharing their benefits and flaws?

Kamatera: There is no go-to OS when thinking of Dedicated servers. OS is being taken in consideration only based on the needs. For example, If I would like to have a GUI desktop and surf the web like I do at home – I’d go with Windows.

Some services require Linux and some Windows – This is really based on the needs.

HostArmada: The choice of Operating System is always something that brings a lot of debate. Naturally, in the current state of the Web Hosting Service, the operating systems can be separated into two main categories – Linux-based and Windows-based.

Statistically, Linux-based operating systems see a lot more useful than Windows-based, and part of that is because they are Open-source. This means that there are no licenses that we – the web hosting companies have to cover. Another great advantage is that Linux-based operating systems are way more secure than their Windows-based counterparts.

Still, many clients look for Windows-based operating systems due to their software requirements. Most of the services running under Windows-based operating systems cannot be used on Linux operating system, hence the need for Windows.

When it comes to our choice – our go-to OS is Linux-based due to software considerations and is called CentOS 7, however considering the recent news around it (its deprecation), we are looking at a similar alternative called AlmaLinux.

As outlined, the main benefit of that Operating System is its low maintenance cost and also the impenetrable security.

InterServer: CentOS is the leading operating system of choice across many hosting providers and individual end users.

Security Add-Ons

Dedicated servers hold sensitive information. Thus, your server security should be your primary concern as a business, regardless of what it requires – extensive time, effort, or resources.

Cybercriminals frequently target dedicated servers, aiming to exploit weaknesses for financial gain. Unfortunately, that’s not all there is.

Nowadays, you can face a whole variety of server security issues, such as:

  • Weak passwords: Third parties can easily use their respective tools and knowledge to hack weak passwords due to poor security controls. Furthermore, they can sell stolen passwords on the dark web, being the worst-case scenario.
  • Outdated software/operating systems: Old systems increase your exposure, thus represent a weakness in software. Third parties can quickly identify and exploit this opportunity. To fix this vulnerability, you can use patches or get a managed solution.
  • Open network ports: Misconfigured servers are yet another easy target for cybercriminals.
  • Unnecessary accounts: Each account act as an access point for hackers. The more accounts you have, the easier it is for them to get in. You might as well delete what you don’t need.
  • Poor physical security: Physical security is just as crucial as the virtual one. As the user, you cannot affect this issue. However, your choice of a service provider certainly does.

The key to success is the proper combination of primary and advanced security measures for attaining the ultimate server security hardening.

Tip: Use strong passwords, encryption, regular updates, patches, and backups. Furthermore, remove any unnecessary third-party apps or software and install firewalls or antivirus.

SSH (Secure Shell) is an excellent alternative for password-based authentication when it comes to strong passwords. SSH keys consist of a pair of cryptographically secure keys – one public and one private. The public is available and can be shared freely. However, as the user, you keep the latter to yourself. It encrypts all exchanged data.

Note: Cybercriminals use advanced algorithms. They test out various letter and number combinations attempting to crack your password.

When you hold a private key, you are essentially making their work more difficult, not to say impossible.

Next, you can go for a proxy or a VPN.

The proxy server acts as the intermediary server, firewall, and web filter. It also provides shared network connections and speeds up common requests by caching. It provides another IP address for all users on your server, hiding them from undesired third parties.

VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) take things to a whole new level with private IP addresses. With a VPN, your server will appear in another virtual location. VPNs also come with solid encryption, further protecting your website and visitors.

An SSL certificate is also a must. The Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology can help you secure online transactions and keep your customer information private and secure. It encrypts the connection between the web host and user, meaning third parties, such as cybercriminals, cannot read or modify information transferred between the two systems.

Nowadays, online users understand the importance of an SSL and can instantly detect whether you have one or not. If your site has an SSL certificate, it will have the ‘HTTPS’ prefix instead of the increasingly outdated ‘HTTP.’

Essentially, your choice of an SSL certificate depends on the purpose of your website, the traffic, and the scale of data it receives. Say you have an international eCommerce store. In this case, your business highly depends on online transactions. Your site will generate thousands of hits and conversions per day. So, it’s only natural to go for more advanced or expensive solutions.

Get Your Questions Ready - You Ask, We Answer!

Question: Do SSL certificates pay off?

Answer: Nowadays, over half of online consumers claim that they are concerned regarding online payments. In other words, it takes a single red flag for them to leave your site and turn to competitors. So, it sure pays to be proactive when it comes to your site security.

Different dedicated server providers allow for different options.

Question and Answer Session

Question: How can a customer choose the proper SSL certificate? What are their respective pros and cons? Does the choice differ regarding the type of business, daily traffic, etc.?

Kamatera: SSL certificates do not differ regarding the type of business, daily traffic, etc…

You can purchase different kinds of SSL certificates like Wildcard, Multi-Domain, Normal and so on.. and also there are different authentication methods between vendors and coverage.

For better answers and Information you might want to contact an SSL provider.

HostArmada: SSL or Secure Socket Layer is a technology that utilizes a cryptographic protocol to encrypt the data packets sent between a visitor and a web server. Every website that a visitor inputs personal information like name, email, address, telephone, credit/debit card data, and so on, should be utilizing SSL to ensure that the information transmitted between the visitors computing device (computer, smartphone, tablet, etc.) and the webserver (the main part of the web hosting service) is encrypted to a point where nobody except the visitor’s Web Browser and the Web server can decrypt it.

Contabo: There are different kinds of SSL certificates: self-signed, domain, organizational validation, extended validation and wildcard certificates. They provide the same encryption level but differ in terms of validation. Self-signed certificates are not validated and should only be used for testing purposes. Domain certificates are validated based on the domain name only which makes them readily available as no company/organization vetting takes place. An organizational validation certificate requires company/organization vetting before issuing it. This increases the trustworthiness of the certificate towards the customer. The extended validation certificate currently offers the highest level of trustworthiness as additional checks like legal and physical existence are performed. In case you need a lot of subdomains or your application requires dynamic subdomains, wildcard certificates are much more convenient than obtaining individual certificates for each subdomain. Wildcard certificates are usually available either as domain or organization validated ones

For the information to be encrypted, a cryptographic key is needed. It is called an SSL certificate, and it is issued by a Certificate Authority (CA) for a single domain exclusively (or for multiple, depending on the SSL certificate type). Once issued, the SSL certificate is installed on the Web Server by the customers or by us should they decide to do that on their own.

Typically the SSL certificates are not a free service due to the verification process they require and the maintenance costs of the Certificate Authorities. However, HostArmada offers free SSL certificates for all domains hosted under our network, no matter the used Web Hosting service.

As we mentioned, the SSL certificates involve a procedure of verification. Depending on the level of verification, the SSL certificates can be divided into the following types:

1. Domain Validated (DV) SSL Certificate – This is the most basic, hence the cheapest SSL certificate a client can purchase. The verification process here is only at a domain level – the customer verifies the ownership of a domain name. This SSL certificate is suitable for all websites.

2. Organization Validated (OV) SSL Certificate – This type of SSL certificate verifies not only the domain ownership but also the organization that owns the domain. This SSL certificate is suitable for small business websites and medium companies.

3. Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificate – This is the most expensive, however, the most respected type of SSL certificate as it verifies the domain ownership and the organization behind the domain but in quite a big depth. This SSL certificate is suitable for large companies that make no excuse with the trust of their customers.

In terms of encryption, there is no difference in the level of encryption these certificates offer. The only difference is the information included in the SSL certificate, and the more complex the verification is, the more trust it will bring in the customer reviewing the SSL certificate when accessing the domain name behind it.

InterServer: When selecting an SSL certificate, whether you choose a free or paid version, it is critical to select it based upon the type of project you are running.

screenshot of SSL Certificates

However, apart from Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), you can also go for its successor, Transport Layer Security (TLS). The TLS provides encryption for all data sent over the web, especially useful for sensitive or private info, such as personal credentials, payment details, or passwords.

You also must consider Antivirus & Anti-Malware Software when it comes to security, especially if you have a popular CMS. There are at least a hundred new viruses spread over the web each day. This malware significantly comprises your website security and might even delete months of your team’s hard work or client data. Luckily, this type of software periodically scans your sites and notifies you of any issues. Better yet, it can detect and eliminate potential threats, even before you know they have occurred.

Now, keep in mind, you will receive some basic protection with any plan you purchase. However, that’s not the point. It would help if you always considered professional solutions, such as SiteLock, Sucuri Security, or Wordfence Security. Some solutions include Application Firewall (WAF) detecting top known threats, such as XSS or CSRF.

Another vital security component is off-site backups. It’s somewhat of a defense mechanism for when the worst happens. Say your website gets hacked. The best thing you can do to minimize the loss is to revert to a previous clean version of your website. So, you need a malware-free and updated version of your site. If you don’t have one, you’ll lose your work – it’s as simple as that.

At this point, it’s best to consider automated backup services, taking regular snapshots of your site. Dedicated hosting providers usually allow for backups within their offers. Still, some service providers are offering this option as a paid add-on.

Today, maintaining your server security is easier than ever. If you still don’t feel confident about it, here’s a comprehensive checklist to ensure you have covered everything:

  1. Record server details, such as the server identification number and the MAC address
  2. Check the service provider’s physical safeguards
  3. Set up server logging to follow up on all activities
  4. Ensure you have the most up-to-date versions (patching and updates)
  5. Keep only necessary software or operating system components
  6. Monitor hardware (regular hardware maintenance and routine inspections)
  7. Ensure system integrity and robust authentication methods
  8. Set up backup procedures (use automation)

Speed Add-Ons

Once you set the security in place, the next thing you should focus on is performance. At this point, you need to consider your website’s uptime and speed.

When it comes to uptime, the process is pretty much straightforward. You need to check your dedicated server provider’s server infrastructure and uptime guarantee if it has one. If not, you should skip it.

However, there are many speed-enhancing features worth mentioning.

One practical example is Cloudflare CDN. With its free CDN services, you can get caching services, while the paid alternative allows you to customize the way it caches your content. Cloudflare caches content from whichever data center is closest to the site visitor, with locations all around the globe.

Say you host your website in the US but mostly have site visitors from the UK. If you have Cloudflare CDN, it will eliminate costly delays since it will serve your site from a UK server. Apart from faster load times, the tool also reduces bandwidth consumption on your origin web servers.

How to Connect to A Dedicated Server?

Once you have set up everything to your liking, you can purchase the dedicated server. As mentioned, I got one from Flaunt7 to demonstrate how it all works.

Note: Dedicated server providers usually set up your service and send the Server Details and SSH Access Information via email.

screenshot of the message

Once you get the credentials, you can log in to the Client Area.

First, you need to choose an operating system. Whichever you prefer (CentOS, Fedora, Ubuntu, Windows OS), make sure you are familiar with it. Also, keep in mind, you get to choose an operating system (OS) during the order process. However, dedicated server providers also allow you to reinstall your server with another OS from the Client Area.

Tip: You should always apply the latest patches on the operating system on your dedicated server.

screenshot of CentOS server status

Using Linux, you can connect to your server using a command terminal or a third-party client by using SSH. For instance, if you go with root, you will need to enter ‘ssh root@IPv4_of_your_server.’ Here, you need to replace the information with the data you have received via email. In turn, if you go for a pre-configured user, you should insert ‘ssh ubuntu@reference_name_of_your_server.’

screenshot of the commands

 

If, however, you are on Windows, you should connect to the server using the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).

Important: The IP address and server reference name are interchangeable terms.

Once you choose and install an operating system, the next steps are to install a webserver, a database server, a scripting language, and a DNS Server. Then, you can secure the dedicated server and finalize the process by installing or migrating your website content.

Apache (HTTP) is the most popular, free, and open-source web server software. Nginx (engine x) is an HTTP and reverse proxy server, a mail proxy server, and a generic TCP/UDP proxy server. In turn, it is yet another great alternative that you can use for high performance.

Question and Answer Session

Question: What do you recommend, using Apache or Nginx? Do they serve different audiences, meaning what are their respective pros and cons, if any?

HostArmada: Apache is the default choice of Web Server for most web hosting companies not only because it is stable but because it earned its name over the years. Yet, in the modern context of the hosting web service, Apache is serving a secondary role, if any at all. The reason for that is, of course, in its core concepts and limitations, which are easily overmatched by Web Servers like NGINX, for example.

Contabo: Both are good webservers used to power millions of websites around the world. Nginx performs especially well when serving static content with very little resources in comparison to Apache.

NGINX was released a few years after Apache, and its aim is to provide way better caching capabilities and to serve a lot more requests than its counterpart. Due to its nature and ease of configuration, NGINX use cases are limitless. From a standard Web Server, NGINX can also serve as a Reverse Proxy, Load Balancer, Static or Dynamic website cache, and many more.

However, deciding to use NGINX as a replacement for Apache is not always optimal. Depending on the hosted website, the needs of the web server are, in most cases in favor of Apache. For example, most Open source applications such as WordPress, Drupal, or Magento are created initially for Apache. Of course, they can work with NGINX but should those be extended with custom plugins, themes, or modules, their compatibility with NGINX can be impossible, which is quite limiting.

To overcome this issue and to still take advantage of NGINX, we decided to integrate both of the Web Servers, hence providing all the benefits from both worlds. With our optimized Web Hosting setup, we left Apache as the primary Web Server so every website can work as it was meant to, however, at the same time, we use NGINX to cache the static/dynamic content of a website. Since NGINX receives every request to a website it processes it way faster, and if needed, it sends it back to Apache in case a compilation is required (such is the case with php based websites).

Why have to choose any of these if our customers can have them both and have way faster websites than using each Web Server individually?

InterServer: Once again, depending on which CMS you are running would heavily impact which webserver you would opt for. For instance a WordPress website is recommended to use Nginx as the webserver.

 

MySQL is an open-source relational database management system. You can use it to store and retrieve data for your site. However, keep in mind, the dedicated server provider you choose might not offer MySQL but one of its alternatives, such as Microsoft SQL, IBM Db2, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, and so on.

Next, you will need a scripting language to develop dynamic and interactive websites. One of the best choices is PHP since it adds functionality to web pages without the need to call external files for data. The top PHP alternatives include Java, JS. Node, Python, Ruby, etc.

 

Question and Answer Session

Question: What database and scripting language options do you provide for your customers?

HostArmada: In terms of Database service, the Dedicated Server remains flexible.

Contabo: Contabo’s dedicated servers offer full admin control. Basically, our users can install literally every database and use any scripting language supported by their operating system they will choose.

Based on their structure and functionality, we can separate the Database services into two – SQL databases and No SQL databases. With our Dedicated Servers, our customers can have nearly every Linux-compatible database service installed and managed by us.

The SQL Database service that we can install and maintain is MySQL. It is widely used, and probably everyone is familiar with it. We fully support MySQL 5.7 and MySQL 8, so we can answer any demand.

The No SQL databases or the so-called document databases are created for storing large volumes of data in a manner that keeps the data integrity and offers vastly better performance in comparison to the traditional relational databases like MySQL. The most used No SQL database by our customers is MongoDB, and we can fully install and manage it on demand.

In terms of scripting languages, we can install and manage nearly every one of those if it is compatible with Linux. With the default setup, we offer PHP (the entire 5 branch, the 7 branch, and even PHP 8), Python, Bash, Ruby, and Perl. If needed, we can also install and manage the famous NodeJS and even GO.

Furthermore, you will need to set up a DNS server. At this point, you can go for Bind, Unbound, PowerDNS, DNSAgent, djbdns, Knot DNS, MaraDNS, dnsmasq, or dhcpcd, depending on your dedicated server provider.

Now, when it comes to dedicated servers, you are the administrator, meaning you are responsible for your data and its security. So, it’s essential to take some measures to harden the operating system of your dedicated server.

For instance, you can install a host-based firewall (open only a specific port in your firewall) to protect against unauthorized access and use strong passwords. Furthermore, it’s best to disable any unnecessary processes, services, and daemon, such as bluetooth, GMP, cups, yum-updatesd, ypbind, hidd, snmpd, saslauthd, nfs, netfs, pcmcia, and sendmail).

Finally, you can start to migrate your website content to your dedicated server.

Tip: If you have dynamic blog content, it’s best to go with WordPress, especially since it works incredibly with PHP and MySQL.

Now, the question is, what can you find in the Client Area? First, you can check your server status, reboot, shut down, or reset your dedicated server.

Tip: Reboots are useful when you have made some updates regarding configuration, or you have fixed some issues on your dedicated server, and you wish to apply the changes.

Question and Answer Session

Question: What is the difference between a soft reboot and a hard reboot?

HostArmada: Rebooting a server is always a risky business, especially when the customer is not aware of Soft and Hard reboot procedures.

Often, due to the installation of Software or due to some Kernel updates, the Server has to be restarted. In such cases, the preferred way to go is a Soft reboot.

The Soft Reboot sends a signal to all running processes that they should finish their execution, and it awaits for that to happen before initiating the reboot procedure. This allows for each individual process to run its shut down sequence, ensuring that the data it operates with will be safely preserved so when the Server comes back, it can proceed from the point it stopped. To initiate a Soft reboot, the Server has to be accessible.

On the other hand, sometimes a server can become fully inaccessible in which case a Soft reboot signal cannot be sent. In such situations, the only possible option is the Hard reboot.

The Hard reboot does not give any signal nor time for the running processes to finalize their execution. Think of a hard reboot as pulling the plug of your desktop computer – the electricity flow stops immediately, and the whole system goes down. In such a scenario, no data is preserved by the running processes, which can eventually lead to data loss and even to errors in the normal operations of the services after the reboot.

Here at HostArmada, we took all the measures for Hard reboots to be avoided. Should a server become so loaded that it becomes fully inaccessible, our customers can contact us so we can manually execute a Soft reboot of the Server. Along with that, we will also fully investigate the reason for the Server going down and suggest possible solutions to the customer.

Contabo: A hard reboot involves powering off and then on the server. A hard reboot might lead to data loss or corruption as the operating system won’t get chance to finish its work properly. A soft reboot, on the other hand, is triggered in a way that allows the operating system to shut down in an orderly manner.

InterServer: A soft reboot is within the operating system and sends a signal to all of the processes that are running to shut down.

A hard reboot forcefully shuts down the entire system in a brute manner.

When it comes to server management, you can activate Rescue Mode, BMC Reset, or review the Traffic Graphs.

screenshot of Server Management tools

 

Important: If you have any type of issue on your dedicated server, the first step you should take is to activate the Rescue Mode. With this option, you can identify server issues, excluding software-related problems.

Screenshot of Server Graphs

Going on, the Client Area displays all server details (Service Status, Hostname, Primary IP, Username, and Password), Billing Overview, IP-Management (IP-Address, Gateway, Reverse DNS), and Additional Information.

screenshot of server details

 

When it comes to IP addresses, usually, you get to associate two or more IPs to the same network interface. Also known as IP aliasing, this process allows your dedicated server to establish several simultaneous connections to a network. In other words, different members of your team get to perform different tasks at the same time.

screenshot of IP-Management tab

 

Also, if you wish to use IP addresses in a /64 IPv6 block, you will have to make some network configuration changes.

Note: Different dedicated server providers imply different processes for these options. So, you might have to contact the in-house teams for further assistance.

 

Dedicated server providers generally provide server graphs so that you can track your server performance. In this section, you can usually check your bandwidth in/out and whether you exceed the limited data throughput.

Question and Answer Session

Question: How can customers use the traffic and server graphs from the Client Area? Can they indicate some red flags, and if yes, are there any corrective actions they can take?

HostArmada: Reading the traffic and server load graphs is something that the customers can use to determine if the Server is in a healthy state. However, since our Dedicated Server service is fully managed, we take care of that, and in case of any emergency with the Server, we contact the customers and provide them with detailed information in more human-like language so they can better understand what is wrong and how it can be fixed. After all, this is the purpose of the Managed Dedicated Server service – for the Web Hosting Company to take care of the service.

InterServer: Customers have graphs accessible to them which in turn provides them with a wide range of information. They can monitor the traffic flow to their server and if any issues arise they can report an issue to our support team.

As a user, you have several additional options in the Client Area. For instance, you can install RTM (Real Time Monitoring) or an SSH key. If you enable monitoring on your dedicated server, the provider will notify you each time it spots some unpredicted behaviors on your server.

Some providers also allow for on-site interventions. With this option, data center technicians will supervise your server. Then, say your server stops responding to pings. The technicians will check the hardware and take care of the issue.

Question and Answer Session

Question: Do you provide on-site interventions? If yes, what does it include? What kind of support can customers expect with this option?

HostArmada: The On-site intervention includes the audit and maintenance of the Server’s hardware components should the Server give a red flag on a certain check (like, for example, ping). In simple words, this service aims to proactively resolve hardware issues caused by any faulty components in a manner that will not delay the downtime those might cause.

Here at HostArmada, that option is always provided. Not only do we maintain our Dedicated Server’s hardware, but we also guarantee no downtime in case a hardware component should be replaced.

Generally, all our Dedicated Server customers can enjoy our support for nearly everything they need except for Development related assistance.

This includes (but it is not limited to):

  • System Administration Support
  • Website Transfer Support
  • Website Update Support
  • Website Optimization Support
  • Software technology consultation
  • Server Reboots
  • Server Monitoring
  • IP Reputation management

Finally, the Client Area provides backup storage. In case your server suffers data loss, you can easily perform this complimentary backup option from there.

Cost Vs. Value Of Dedicated Servers

The price of the dedicated server depends on your business’ hardware requirements. For instance, if you need more CPU, RAM, HDD, or SSD, you will have to pay for the extra resources. Essentially, these four variables are the main drivers of a higher price. Furthermore, if you go for a managed solution, you will have to pay more than the unmanaged solution due to the monthly maintenance and updates, as mentioned earlier.

We can classify dedicated servers into four categories:

  • Cheap/Inexpensive Dedicated Servers
  • Standard Dedicated Servers
  • Enterprise Dedicated Servers
  • High-Performance Dedicated Servers

Cheap Dedicated Servers

If you are an individual, start-up, developer, or small or medium-sized business looking for more excellent reliability and performance, you can go for a cheap dedicated server.

Here are the usual properties of a cheap dedicated server.

Flaunt7
  • 4 cores at 3.6GHz
  • 500GB NVMe SSD Storage
  • 32GB DDR4 RAM
  • 25TB Bandwidth
FastComet
  • 2 cores at 4,000 Mbps network out
  • 80 GB SSD Space
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 4 TB Bandwidth
A2 Hosting
  • 4 Cores at 2.30 GHz
  • 500GB (Mirrored) Storage
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 5 TB Bandwidth
  • 3 IP Addresses

Standard Dedicated Servers

Standard dedicated servers are of slightly better quality than the cheap ones. It’s the perfect solution for SMBs looking for better performance and dedicated resources for their site launching.

Here are the usual properties of a standard dedicated server.

A2 Hosting
  • 10 cores/20 threads at 2.4 GHz
  • 32 GB DDR4 ECC RAM
  • 2X1 TB RAID-1 SSD Storage
  • 10 TB Transfer
FastComet
  • 8 cores at 6000 Mbps network out
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 320 GB SSD Space
  • 6 TB Bandwidth
Flaunt7
  • 8 cores at 3.60 GHz
  • 64GB DDR4 RAM
  • 1TB NVMe SSD Storage
  • 50TB Bandwidth

Enterprise Dedicated Servers

Say you are a large global company. An enterprise dedicated server is the go-to solution for you. Still, it can be a suitable option for small and medium-sized businesses. In general, enterprise dedicated servers operate top manufacturers’ latest versions.

Here are the usual properties of an enterprise dedicated server.

InMotion Hosting
  • Intel® Xeon® Silver 4214
  • 128GB ECC DDR4 RAM
  • 2x1TB NVMe SSD m.2
  • 25TB Data Transfer
Flaunt7
  • 16 cores/32 threads at 3.6 GHz
  • 128GB DDR4 RAM
  • 1TB NVMe SSD Storage
  • 50TB Bandwidth
HostArmada
  • 16 cores (40 Gbps Speed In, 2000 Mbps Speed Out)
  • 32 GB RAM
  • 640 GB SSD Storage
  • 7 TB Bandwidth

High-Performance Dedicated Servers

The most advanced solution, high-performance dedicated servers, are the best alternative for big data analytics. The service comes with special configured GPU hardware, which makes it superior to the previous three options.

Here are the usual properties of a high performance dedicated server.

InMotion Hosting
  • Dual Intel® Xeon® Silver 4214
  • 192GB ECC DDR4 RAM
  • 2x2TB NVMe SSD m.2
  • 25TB Data Transfer
LiquidWeb
  • 32 cores at 2.9 GHz (3.9 Max Turbo)
  • 64 GB RAM
  • 2 x 480 GB SSD Primary Disk
  • 1 x 2 TB SATA Backup Disk
  • 8 TB Bandwidth
Flaunt7
  • 32 cores/64 threads at 2.8 GHz
  • 256GB DDR4 RAM
  • 1TB NVMe SSD Storage
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
Note: As the performances of dedicated servers increase, so do their prices. In turn, you can find a cheap dedicated server for less than $100, while high-performance dedicated servers might cost up to $100,000.

Key Takeaways

A dedicated server grants you exclusive access to a physical server and its resources, including RAM, CPU, and bandwidth. However, this increased power and flexibility comes at a higher price, making dedicated servers the most expensive type of hosting service. Thus, dedicated servers pay off only if you operate multi-user apps, databases of any kind, SaaS, virtualization, resellers, high traffic sites, and multiple websites.

Dedicated servers are ideal if you anticipate growth soon or highly depend on your website or web application. Your site might be slowing down, or you might be facing many security threats. Either way, it means it’s time to upgrade. Other indicators include continually growing resource needs, the need to control your site or get a dedicated IP.

Since you will get dedicated resources, you can count on improved speeds, performance, and overall reliability. Your security will not depend on other users within the same server environment. So, you can expect a smoother customer experience, mainly depending on you and the hosting provider.

As a customer, you can choose from two types of dedicated servers – managed and unmanaged, both of which have their respective pros and cons. If you go for the managed solution, the hosting provider will manage, maintain, and monitor your server. In turn, if you select the unmanaged dedicated server, you will have to take on these responsibilities.

Keep in mind, operating a dedicated server requires at least some technical knowledge. This is especially true if you go for the unmanaged solution, where you should configure and manage everything by yourself or your in-house team.

Then, you can deploy your dedicated user for various uses, such as web, file, email, gaming, application, database, trading server, and so on. Better yet, you can build your own home server using a computing device from your home setting.

See, choosing to buy or rent a dedicated server is not a straightforward decision. However, if you decide to rent, you will need to select the proper hosting service next. At this point, you will need to consider the performance, security, customization options, support, and pricing of the dedicated server provider.

Say you have chosen the provider. In other words, you have come to the fun part – building your dedicated server. You get to choose the parts of the server, such as CPU (single-core, dual-core, quad-core, and other higher core processors), RAM, bandwidth, or control panel (cPanel, Plesk, DirectAdmin, or MSPControl).

In the dedicated server configuration process, you also need to select the number of IP addresses, operating system, security add-ons, speed add-ons, etc. This step primarily depends on your business needs, preferences, and budget.

So, before you upgrade to a dedicated server or buy one, it would be best to consider your organization’s current state and future potential. Then, you can determine your hardware and software specifications. When you know what you are looking for, building a dedicated server is a “piece of cake.”

FAQ

What is meant by a dedicated server?

A dedicated server is a type of web hosting where the client gets exclusive use of an entire server with its resources, such as RAM, CPU, and bandwidth. The dedicated resources, in turn, account for better speed, security, and overall server performance.

What is a dedicated server in games?

A dedicated game server refers to a computer/device that hosts video games for clients. It’s a type of service, enabling reliable, stable, and fast connection to online games. In general, dedicated servers for gaming provide more processing, memory, and storage capabilities than other hosting solutions due to the resource requirements of “heavy” games.

What is a dedicated server on Steam?

A dedicated server on Steam grants users who want to set up a game server using SteamCMD control and root access to the server machine. It’s a command-line version for deploying and updating different dedicated servers running PC games available on Steam.

What is the use of dedicated servers?

Clients can use dedicated servers for various purposes, the most common one being web hosting. Other uses for this flexible solution include database storage and access, email servers, custom virtualization setups, trading, VPNs, and so on.

What is the difference between managed and unmanaged dedicated servers?

The hosting provider takes on all responsibilities regarding your server’s setup, management, configuration, and monitoring with a managed dedicated server. In turn, with unmanaged dedicated servers, the host is only responsible for the physical server – the hardware specifications in the infrastructure. You, as the client, then manage the server, including installing scripts, performing updates, handling compatibility issues, security risk mitigation, and attack containment.

What are the hardware components of a dedicated server?

The critical components of a dedicated server you should check before the purchase are the CPU (central processing unit), also known as the processor, the motherboard, RAM (random access memory), and storage.

Are dedicated servers faster than VPS?

If a dedicated server has the same specifications as a VPS (virtual private server), it will always provide a performance advantage. It’s because the user of the dedicated server gets exclusive access to all resources on the server.

Is hosting a dedicated server safe?

Dedicated servers are far more secure than cloud hosting, shared, or VPS. Since dedicated server customers get exclusive access to the server, they don’t depend on other clients in the same environment, as there are none. For example, in shared hosting, if one user gets in a compromising security position, it will affect the others within the same shared hosting environment. Still, the security of a dedicated server highly depends on the in-house team, the hosting provider, and the features it has to provide.

Is dedicated hosting good for beginners?

A dedicated server requires at least a bit of technical knowledge to operate. However, if you are a beginner, you should go for a managed dedicated server since the host handles most technical aspects. In turn, you will get a user-friendly control panel to customize your website to your liking.

Can I build my own server?

Yes, you can build a dedicated server in your home with only a few components, including a computer, a network connection and router, a monitor and keyboard, and a CD/DVD drive/burner (optional).