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Dedicated Server

A dedicated hosting service or dedicated server is a type of hosting in which you lease an entire server, not shared with anyone. You get your own web server with root access and full administrative control. Though ownership of the server still rests with the data center and you can only lease it for as long as you continue to pay the monthly rent.

You have a wider choice of operating system and software that you can install and run on your server. You can also directly purchase software from various software vendors and install them yourself on the server. However, if you want your server to be managed by the provider, it would be advisable to select from the array of software options that your hosting provider gives you, unless if there is a particular software which you definitely need and is not provided by your hosting company. Server management can usually be provided by the hosting company as an add-on service. However, they usually restrict their support to the array of software that they provide. They may not support issues that may arise due to your third party software. You also have some choice of hardware in terms of CPU, RAM capacity, extra hard disks, etc.

You will need a dedicated hosting when you have a very high traffic website of the order of 10,000+ unique visitors per day. You would also require dedicated hosting if you are running critical software and do not wish to risk hosting it in a shared environment. For instance if you need to run your e-Commerce or ERP system, it would always be advisable to opt for dedicated hosting. Dedicated hosting can also be viable if you own several websites and would like to host them all together on a single server.

Dedicated Server Management

Server management is an important aspect. If you do not have a 24x7 team of server administrators with you it is better to outsource server management to your hosting provider. Various server management schemes are usually available:

Fully Managed: Includes monitoring, software updates, reboots, security patches and operating system upgrades. You are relieved of all hassles. This is the best option, if you can afford it.

Managed: Includes medium level of management, monitoring, updates, and a limited amount of support. You may need to perform specific tasks yourself.

Self Managed: Includes regular monitoring and some maintenance. Most of the day-to-day tasks on your server will have to be managed by you.

Unmanaged: In this scheme there is little or no involvement of your hosting provider. You have to yourself take care of all maintenance, upgrades, patches, and security.

Carefully review what server management scheme options are available with your choice hosting provider and what each of them entail. There is no industry standard to clearly define the management role of dedicated server providers. This creates lot of ambiguity and misunderstanding as each provider uses the same set of industry standard hosting terms when talking about their server specifications. However, they have their own interpretation which may be quite different from your own perception. For instance, the term Fully Managed may be interpreted by one hosting provider as merely providing a web based control panel. Another provider may interpret is as having an expert team available 24x7 to take care of all server and network issues and ensure smooth uptime of the server.

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About the Author
Rajeev Kumar
CEO, Computer Solutions
Jamshedpur, India

Rajeev Kumar is the primary author of How2Lab. He is a B.Tech. from IIT Kanpur with several years of experience in IT education and Software development. He has taught a wide spectrum of people including fresh young talents, students of premier engineering colleges & management institutes, and IT professionals.

Rajeev has founded Computer Solutions & Web Services Worldwide. He has hands-on experience of building variety of websites and business applications, that include - SaaS based erp & e-commerce systems, and cloud deployed operations management software for health-care, manufacturing and other industries.

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