Choosing the right dedicated server specs can be a serious challenge for the uninitiated. There are so many hardware and networking configurations to choose from.
How much RAM will you need? Is 4TB of storage enough? Do you need unmetered bandwidth?
Don’t worry, we’ll answer all those questions and help you pick the right dedicated server specs. Read on to learn how to choose your ideal server configuration.
What Is a Dedicated Server?
A dedicated server is a type of web hosting used by a single tenant. The main difference between dedicated servers and shared servers is that with dedicated hosting you get full access to the server’s computing resources. There are no other users hosting in the same server space with you.
When you get a dedicated server, you can also choose its hardware components and the software that goes on it. And with root access to your dedicated server, you can configure your server as you wish to fully utilize its power.
On top of everything, dedicated servers are more secure than any other hosting solution because they aren’t shared. You don’t have to worry about other hosting tenants creating vulnerabilities that hackers can also use against you.
If you want to learn how to secure your dedicated server, check out our guide containing 11 dedicated server security best practices!
How To Choose Your Dedicated Server Specs
One of the biggest dedicated server advantages is being able to customize the hardware configuration of your server.
However, picking the right dedicated server specs can be difficult if you aren’t sure how much computing power you need for hosting your web services. Here’s what you should look for in an ideal dedicated server.
The central processing unit (CPU) is the heart of any server. When choosing a CPU for your dedicated server, you should consider: the number of cores it has and its frequency (also known as clock speed).
In general, a CPU with a higher core count and a higher frequency will deliver better performance. But keep in mind that a multi-core processor will be more powerful even if it has a slightly lower clock speed than a single-core CPU.
Any CPU with 8+ cores and a frequency higher than 3GHz should be sufficient for hosting most types of web services.
Random Access Memory (RAM) is as important as the CPU in a dedicated server. The more RAM you have, the faster your server will perform. That’s because having more RAM enables your server to run multiple applications and processes at the same time. If you don’t get enough RAM, your hosted services can get very slow for your users.
If your web service gets lots of traffic, you should rent a dedicated server with at least 16 or 32GB of RAM. And if you find that it’s not enough, you can always upgrade it. The cost of RAM memory has significantly decreased in the past decade, and it won’t cost you a fortune to get 128/256GB of RAM if you need it.
When choosing a dedicated server you’ll need to determine what type of storage you’ll use and how much storage space you’ll need.
On one hand, you have the classic hard disk drives (HDD) that are cheap and come with a lot of storage space. They are great for dedicated servers for backup because you can get terabytes worth of storage for little money. The downside is that hard drives have fairly slow reading and writing speeds because they have moving parts, which also makes them more fragile.
On the other hand, you can opt for solid-state drives (SSD). They’re pricier than HDDs, but they are lightning fast in comparison. With SSDs, you’ll get less storage for your money compared to HDDs, but they don’t contain moving parts which makes them faster and more durable.
Another option is to combine SSDs and HDDs in your dedicated server. You can use hard drives to store your data, and solid state drives to load your server’s software & keep important information safe.
#4. Network Speed
Having a fast network connection is extremely important. The network speed determines how fast data travels to and from your server. You don’t want your website visitors to wait a long time for your pages to load. The same goes if you use your dedicated server for video streaming – no one likes buffering.
Hosted websites will load faster and videos will play without buffering if you have a high-speed connection. Most hosting providers offer 1Gbps or 10Gbps network speeds. You should choose a 10Gbps dedicated server to get the best hosting experience.
Server bandwidth determines how much data can be transferred in one period of time. All users of your hosted services send and receive data through your server. You need to make sure you have enough bandwidth to accommodate everyone.
In addition to the number of users, you should also consider the type of data that will be hosted on your server. For example, emails take up very little space, while video files are very large and will use more bandwidth.
Generally, if you’re hosting a smaller website, you can choose a dedicated server plan with 10-100GB bandwidth. However, if you’re operating a video streaming server, an online education platform, or a large e-commerce site, you should choose an unmetered dedicated server. As mentioned, video files take a lot of space and streaming will chew through a metered plan quickly.
#6. Server Location
Choose a server location that is closest to most of your clients. The closer your users are to the physical location of your hosting server, the better the connection and data transfer rates they’ll have. If your website users are far away from your server, they’ll often experience site latency and slow website loading speeds.
Dedicated Server Specs FAQ
#1. What are good dedicated server specs?
A good starting point when choosing dedicated server specs is a quad-core (8 threads) Intel Xeon processor, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, 8TB storage space, and a 1Gbps internet connection.
For streaming servers, you should at least upgrade the storage space to 16TB and opt for a 10Gbps connection with unmetered bandwidth.
Upgrading the CPU to 12 cores and getting 64GB of RAM is also recommended for demanding hosting services, such as e-commerce websites or SaaS applications.
#2. How much RAM do I need for my dedicated server?
The minimum amount of RAM you should go with is 16GB. If you want to improve the performance of your hosted services, you should consider getting at least 32GB of RAM. And, if you’re hosting enterprise services on your dedicated server, you will need 128 or even 256GB of RAM.
#3. How much does a dedicated server cost?
The price of a dedicated server starts at $100/month. From there, the cost can increase based on the CPU, RAM, storage options, and network configuration you choose.
- A dedicated server is a type of web hosting. A single user owns the server to host websites or apps.
- When configuring your ideal dedicated server, you should choose the CPU, RAM, and storage option that best suit your hosting requirements. You should at least get a dedicated server with a quad-core (8 threads) Intel Xeon processor, 32GB of DDR4 RAM and 8TB storage space.
- Network speed, bandwidth, and server location also play an important role in data transfer speeds and user experience. Getting a 1Gbps network connection is a minimum requirement, and unmetered bandwidth can be useful for large websites.