Choosing where to host your website is not an easy job, as there are a ton of options to pick from. You have to choose not only which company to host with, but also the type of web hosting that will best suit your business.
There are many different types of dedicated servers you can choose from, depending on what services you plan to host.
Read along to learn about the 6 main dedicated server types, and 9 different use cases for dedicated servers.
What Is a Dedicated Server?
A dedicated server, or a bare metal server, is a type of web hosting where you get the exclusive use of an entire server. You don’t have to share the RAM, CPU, or other server resources with other organisations, and you get the option to control the server configurations according to your requirements.
Businesses that largely depend on their websites or web applications can benefit from using a dedicated server. Dedicated servers offer many advantages such as better performance and security, room for customization and scalability, and full control of the server beginning with root access.
7 Main Dedicated Server Types
If you want to get the best performing hosting solution, you definitely need a dedicated server. Let’s check out the main types of dedicated servers to help you decide which one is best for you:
Cheap Dedicated Servers
Cheap dedicated servers were created as an answer to performance issues with shared storage and networking resources that are common in shared hosting services. Cheap dedicated servers are a great option for businesses that need higher reliability and better performance than that offered by shared website hosting providers.
A cheap dedicated server can be purchased from most hosting companies for prices as low as $100 per month.
Standard Dedicated Servers
Standard dedicated servers offer higher-quality build and better performance than the cheap dedicated servers. They are best suited for either businesses that have outgrown their shared hosting environment, or for businesses that anticipate the need for greater performance.
These types of servers usually offer additional features such as cooling systems, network paths, uninterruptible power supply (UPS), and data backup systems
The standard dedicated servers are usually configured according to your requirements to suit best your business requirements. Additionally, some dedicated hosting providers offer managed options, migration assistance, and other convenient services to support your account.
Enterprise Dedicated Servers
Enterprise dedicated servers offer maximum reliability, availability, and performance, and have similar hardware to what an IT department would purchase for their databases and applications.
They can be fully customized in terms of RAM, CPU, SSD/HDD, and RAID. Additionally, depending on the hosting provider, you might have different options for connectivity, such as blended or dedicated internet access (DIA), cloud direct connects, IP addresses, firewalls, and more.
High Performance Dedicated Servers
High performance dedicated servers are used for big data analytics and scientific computations. They include custom GPU hardware from top manufacturers.
This category of dedicated servers is built for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), and is used in universities, big data companies, and government agencies for processing and analyzing data for important research projects.
High Bandwidth Dedicated Servers
High bandwidth dedicated servers allow for high transfer rates of data between network points.
Typically, the high bandwidth dedicated servers are used for high traffic websites, streaming A/V, gaming servers, file hosting, and bulk data transfers.
Unmetered Dedicated Servers
Unmetered dedicated servers offer you a hosting solution that has no limitations on monthly bandwidth usage. This way you can avoid bandwidth overage fees.
The unmetered dedicated server is connected to the network on a set port speed, and you have full access to use as much bandwidth as necessary. These types of servers are very useful for users that expect high volumes of traffic.
Managed Dedicated Servers
Managed dedicated servers, just like their name suggests, are fully managed by the hosting company., The hosting provider hires experienced engineers to configure and handle the dedicated servers. These types of servers are most suitable for companies that don’t want to deal with any security or hardware setup, or regular maintenance.
Managed dedicated servers tend to deliver the highest level of performance and security through real time traffic monitoring.
9 Use Cases for Dedicated Servers
Below you can read more about some use cases of dedicated servers, which are great for fast-growing websites with a lot of traffic.
#1. Website Hosting
Website hosting on a dedicated server is the most common use case. When your website starts getting a lot of monthly traffic, your best option is to switch to dedicated server hosting. Otherwise, the slower loading of the website might be frustrating for the users and affect their user experience, which could result in worse website performance.
#2. Email Hosting
Another use of dedicated servers is email hosting. This way you can configure unique email addresses, configure rules on how the emails will be used and customize the size of the attachments allowed to be sent.
This is useful for reducing the use of unnecessary bandwidth and gives control over the type of content sent through the email server.
#3. SaaS Web Hosting
Software-as-a-Service has become the preferred way of delivering applications over the last few years. Dedicated servers are the preferred way of hosting for SaaS applications, as they provide the necessary server resources and processing power to serve large customer bases.
#4. Mobile App Hosting
Dedicated servers can be used for mobile application hosting as well. Mostly, mobile applications that have a certain technical level and require higher speed of execution or a larger memory capacity would be hosted on dedicated servers.
#5. Gaming Servers
Dedicated servers are also used to host private video game servers in order to provide the highest level of speed, reliability and stability. They offer more storage, processing and memory capabilities than other hosting solutions and ensure that the game goes uninterrupted.
#6. Data Backup & Redundancy Management
Dedicated servers are commonly used for data backups of internal database and redundancy management. You never know when a disaster might strike, thus it is fundamental to backup essential data and avoid the risk of permanently losing it. Regardless of what you decide to backup, you can be sure that dedicated servers with HDDs installed, will be the best choice for doing backups.
#7. Testing Applications
Testing is an integral part of the software development lifecycle and dedicated servers provide a secure, flexible and reliable place to carry out each step of the development process. Dedicated servers provide unmatched performance, compared to shared hosting, fast speed, great reliability and data protection.
#8. Hosting Internal Applications
Dedicated servers can be used for hosting internal applications, which would guarantee higher security level and options for internal customization according to the business needs.
#9. Storing Sensitive Data
Dedicated servers offer a high level of security, so their other common use is for storing sensitive data. Sensitive or confidential information can be encrypted, which would significantly reduce the chances of a data breach by preventing unauthorized access of information.
Why Use a Dedicated Server? 5 Essential Benefits
Choosing a dedicated server as a hosting option gives the opportunity for return on the monthly investment in the many ways. Let’s check out the top dedicated server benefits:
#1. Exclusive Use of Dedicated Resources
You have the exclusive use of the entire server – all the RAM, CPU and bandwidth, thus at peak times, you continue to get great performance. What’s more, you have root access to the server, you can configure settings and access the server logs. You can manage your website in a flexible, scalable and responsive way.
#2. Hardware Flexibility & Scalability
When you get a dedicated hosting server, you can upgrade or downgrade its hardware components at any time. Since you are not sharing the server with anyone, you get to make these changes at your convenience. And your hosting provider will be happy to assist you with an upgrade at any time.
This unique feature of dedicated servers also gives you room for scalability. You can reconfigure your server’s hardware to allow for growth as you are scaling up your web services.
#3. Improved Reliability and Performance
During periods of high volume traffic on your website, dedicated hosting servers ensure high reliability and peak performance thanks to the extra hardware resources they offer. The full power, storage, and bandwidth you get with a dedicated server contribute for an optimal customer experience.
Not sharing the server with other companies or websites is a big advantage, as you can be sure you are not sharing the same server space with a malicious website or a spammer.
#4. Enhanced Privacy & Security
Dedicated servers permit access only to you and its infrastructure includes firewalls and security monitoring. This means they provide greater security against malware and hacks and prevent denial of service attacks.
If you don’t want to manage your dedicated servers’ security directly (cause you don’t want to deal with the technical set up), you can just choose a dedicated server provider that offers managed dedicated servers.
#5. Improved SEO
A dedicated server comes with a unique IP address, unlike the single IP address that is shared between users of a shared server.
With a unique IP address, you can be sure that your search engine rankings won’t be negatively affected by your server ‘neighbors’ that might be posting spam or adult content.
Check out this comparison between the differences between a shared server vs a dedicated server to see which web hosting type is for you!
What to Look for When Buying a Dedicated Server?
If you have decided that a dedicated server is the best hosting type for your business, the next step for you is to select the best option on the market.
- Tip #1: You should first define your unique performance requirements in order to determine how many servers you will need and the kind of hardware to use.
- Tip #2: You should consider the following hardware specifications:
- Processor – do you need a powerful server or not?
- Storage Compliance – does your website handle sensitive data?
- Memory – do you need fast storage speed or high storage capacity?
- Bandwidth – how much traffic do you anticipate?
- Tip #3: Check which operating system will be best for your hosting requirements. You can consult your hosting service provider for more advice.
- Tip #4. Before deciding on the dedicated server, figure out how much potential downtime you are willing to risk, do you need technical support, technology advancements or backup services.
Want to read more? Check our guide with 5 more reasons why you need a dedicated server!
Dedicated Server Types FAQ
#1. Which Type of Dedicated Server Should You Choose?
If you are a small business looking to publish your website or web service, you can start out with a cheap, or a managed dedicated server. As you grow and scale up, you might consider paying more for a standard dedicated server.
However, if you are a big business dealing with lots of customers, or you need to process large amounts of information, you’d want to look into high performance or enterprise dedicated hosting servers.
#2. What Are The Pros and Cons of Using a Dedicated Server?
Some of the advantages of hosting on a dedicated server are high performance, improved reliability, advanced security,and full control over your server. Of course, there are some disadvantages, such as high prices, and required prior technical knowledge for setting up and maintaining the server, which can be avoided by choosing a managed dedicated server.
#3. Are Dedicated Servers Safe to Use?
Dedicated servers are safe to use and provide security against malware and DDoS attacks. They come with enhanced security levels, and features such as firewalls and security monitoring. With dedicated hosting, you’re completely in charge of your own security.
#4. Are Dedicated Servers Faster Than Cloud Servers?
Yes, dedicated servers are faster than cloud servers. Since they process data locally, they don’t experience a great deal of lag when processing information. Therefore, they are the preferred choice for companies that are looking for fast processing and retrieval of information.
Check out our full guide to cloud vs dedicated server hosting to learn more!
And that was a full overview of the different types of dedicated servers. Let’s summarize the key points we talked about:
- A dedicated server is a type of web hosting in which you have the exclusive use of an entire server.
- There are seven main dedicated server types: cheap, standard, enterprise, high performance, high bandwidth, unmetered, and managed dedicated servers. You should consider the advantages of each type and choose which one best fits your needs.
- Dedicated servers are used for many different types of hosting, such as: website, email, SaaS, internal apps, and mobile apps hosting, as well as for gaming servers, data backup, testing apps, and storing sensitive data. Dedicated servers provide a high level of security and a wide variety of customization options.
- Some of the essential benefits of using a dedicated server include enhanced privacy and security, improved reliability, and high performance.
- When picking a dedicated server, important factors to consider are the hardware specifications (such as processor, memory, storage, and bandwidth), as well as other features such as operating system, customer support, and pricing.