First of all, what is dedicated server hosting? Well, basically, it involves a hosting provider like iomart renting a single server, and the necessary resources, to one client. This allows the client to choose from two options. Option one, the client has exclusive use of the server and can choose to install the software they require themselves and manage the site however they wish. The second option is the client rents the single server and also pays on top of the rental for a full managed service, meaning iomart or another managed service provider will take on all of the techy bits required to maintain the server, including the implementation of software.
So, there are different types of hosting packages and options available and they all vary depending on the support and maintenance your business requires, but most commonly the provider will take responsibility for maintaining the server. It's then the responsibility of the client to set up and run their site.
Dedicated hosting removes the issues that often go hand in hand with shared hosting. For example, dedicated hosting means no one else is sharing the server, so there’s reduced risk of malware, viruses, or other problems from neighboring sites. Furthermore all of a dedicated server’s resources are exclusively available to the server user, leading to improved site speed and stability.
What are the advantages of dedicated server hosting?
Flexible, controllable and scalable
With dedicated server hosting you are able to change your server configuration, add new software and adapt resources to meet your needs. When using shared server hosting you are limited to the apps, software and the operating environment that already exists on the server—which might not be optimal for your business.
Dedicated hosting means you can have a whole server at your disposal—allowing you to scale as and when it’s needed, including features and functions at the different stages of development. This means you have a lot of control over the server from what software you implement, to the capacity for scalability, so that you can change whatever you need, whenever it's required.
Assistance from experts
Not only does dedicated server hosting allow for a lot of control over the management of your sites, but as the server provider, iomart (or another provider) are on standby to offer you expert technical support in the instance of any issues.
Having 24/7 technical support also enables you to continually improve your performance by getting advice and consultations from your managed service provider, to ensure everything is running smoothly.
You can improve your performance by optimising a dedicated server to support your most demanding apps.
Also by avoiding a shared server, you reduce your chances of being slowed down from other applications sharing your space.
Security & unique IP address
As part of your control over what apps and software you use, you can also customise the server for your security and compliance.
A dedicated server will keep your sites secure, too. Not only can you install any security and privacy protections that you need, but with dedicated server hosting you have your own unique IP address. This means that no other site shares that address, whereas on a shared server, if one website is a spam website it could lead to your website’s Google ranking being pushed down.
This kind of hosting can support more complex websites for larger businesses. It also means your server can withstand added features down the line, and having your own IP address is helpful for larger ecommerce businesses with credit card processing, who require SSL.
Disadvantages of dedicated server hosting
Self-managed dedicated servers
It’s possible to obtain a dedicated server as a one off transaction, but the self-management aspect of this option is one of the main drawbacks. iomart offers managed dedicated server hosting which removes this issue and ensures your servers run smoothly and efficiently.
Scalability compared to cloud storage
Dedicated servers are not as scalable as, for example, public cloud—unless you shift to a hybrid cloud model and use a little of both.
Disaster recovery and backups
Dedicated server hosting also relies on a good backup and disaster recovery service because you don’t want all your data stored on-premise and not backed up elsewhere. You need to be prepared for an unexpected disaster like a flood, which may cause downtime and be at great cost to repair. But, we have a personalised recovery plan service that can help you with this too.
Reliability can become an issue with dedicated server hosting. If the server goes down, then an engineer has to be on-premises to reboot it, before anyone can access anything. Recently with more people working from home it’s not always the easiest option, but can be done.
This is where colocation can also play a role. Essentially, colocation involves putting your kit (servers) into the data centres of your service provider, someone like iomart. This means they can be maintained by expert engineers attached to our network. This way, you own the server, but it has added reliability, is maintained by our experts, is secure inside our data centres and is backed up. Colocation is often a stepping stone for businesses used to managing their own stuff and who recognise the pains of doing it (security, reliability, business continuity etc) but aren’t quite ready to transition fully onto the cloud.
As you can imagine for all the flexibility and security that comes with dedicated server hosting, it does cost you more than, for example, a shared server. But this is dependent on the package you choose, as it is possible to reduce the cost if you want to fully manage your server, as long as you have the resources and knowledge at your disposal to do this, which could be just as costly.
Dedicated server hosting is undoubtedly an excellent option for a variety of reasons, but it can be a tough choice and businesses need to weigh up the pros and cons before making the switch. Unsure of the best option for you? Get in touch with us today and we will be more than happy to discuss your options.