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What is a Dedicated Web Server?

For many, a dedicated server is the ultimate Web hosting solution. It combines the advantages of the Web host's technical support with dedicated connectivity, sole use and precise control over your Web sites server. Monthly plans keep startup costs comparatively low in comparison to owning an in-house server and offer professional data and hardware security. The superior connectivity of your host is maximized, because, unlike shared (or virtual) hosting programs, you and your site visitors are the only users of the server. For enterprises with extensive sites it is a great way to enhance efficiency while reducing monthly costs.

Introduction to advanced Web hosting dedicated servers

Servers come in all different shapes and sizes and run on numerous platforms; FreeBSD, LINUX, Windows NT, Solaris and Macintosh OS. The platform you choose depends on the skills of your technical team matched against the purpose of your site -- what kind of applications you must run and so forth. In fact most large Web hosting companies have a variety of servers and may even oblige your specific needs on long term contracts.

What at first may seem to be peripheral considerations like where your server is located, what hardware and data security measures protect it, the speed of your Web host providers network and proficiency of their technical support, are as important as the qualities of the server the web host provides. In these aspects the choice of Dedicated Server packages are guided by the same principals as those surrounding colocation services.

The question is: Does your company need a server dedicated specifically to your Web presence? Your decision depends on a number of factors including your bandwidth usage, storage requirements, IP address needs, root access, performance and security requirements.

Bandwidth and Data Transfer

A Dedicated Server package allows you to maximize the bandwidth potential of your site. If you are upgrading from shared server, your site will no longer be one among many sites accessing the file systems of the server that it is hosted on -- only you and your web site visitors will be calling on your web server. This means that you can take best advantage of the high-speed network provided your Web host. Overall this will mean that Web page download times are faster. When running an E-commerce site this will mean faster service to your customers and ultimately greater income.

Network and Location

The high cost of purchasing a dedicated server package obliges the purchaser to do significant research when choosing a Web host. As in server collocation the environment and network connections such as Ethernet switches, T1/T3 lines, routers and backbone can play a significant role in the decision making process. As well, the insured location and fire, theft and data loss protection of your Web hosts server facility can greatly enhance the safety of your Internet venture.

Storage

Most dedicated server plans offer upwards of 4.3 GB storage space as opposed to an average of 100 MB disk space offered with shared hosting plans - a huge jump in storage. This translates into more flexibility in allocating space to graphic intensive content, multimedia applications, and other storage hungry programs. Another big advantage of abundant storage space is the ability to archive extensive log files.Unlike shared server environment, log files do not have to be deleted constantly to confront to disk space constraints.

IP Addresses

Having access to multiple Internet Protocol (IP) addresses will enable dedicated server users to host multiple sites with unique IP numbers. The biggest advantage of assigning one IP per domain as opposed to one IP for multiple domains, is that all of these unique IP addresses will be listed individually by search engines. When utilized properly, access to multiple IP addresses can also make analyzing web traffic through large sites more efficient and effective.

Superior Administration

With a dedicated host, your hosting company will let you make significant changes to the Internal file structures of the server, with programs such as PC Anywhere, FTP Daemon, or Telnet. As well, administrators can create special programming to work with your Web site(s), thus allowing features that function specifically for your site (s). Most Web hosts will not allow this on shared servers as your programming changes may interfere with the other sites that reside on that server.

Summary:

Along with the obvious strengths, Dedicated Servers have some obvious weaknesses. Not every developer can jump right in with a Dedicated Server. The user must have a solid working knowledge of the server, the chosen operating system, and networking. This can take many years learn. It is either that or the developer must hire an experienced and pricey network wizard.

Moving the responsibility for the expensive -- not mention time consuming -- aspects of maintaining an in-house server can significantly streamline your technical operation. For E-businesses, which need to focus on products sales not hardware, this can be a great boon to internal organization.

Outsourcing to a dedicated server is one of the best ways to achieve maximum flexibility and access speedy networks, while at the same time keeping immediate overhead costs low. For an enterprise that thinks it needs a large scale web presence, but is not sure of its long term viability, a Dedicated Server package is a good way to test the water -- without immediately investing a large amount of capital in hardware. In the long run, by adding RAM and hard drive space, the storage advantage of a Dedicated Server can be enhanced way beyond it initial configuration - yet another big bonus for companies who are on the web for the long haul .

 

What to look for in a Dedicated Host.

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