Before committing yourself to a dedicated hosting environment, you must check if it is really feasible for your company. There are many reasons for putting your clients on dedicated servers.
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The most prominent ones are these three:
Performance is perhaps the most important reason why people like to opt for dedicated servers. Performance has many motivating factors. If your application to be hosted is very large and needs extra reliability then you might want to go for a dedicated server to ensure the performance of your critical applications.
With shared web hosting, you get a lot of control over the server, but there are many server configurations that might conflict with the restrictive environment of shared web hosting. Thus dedicated hosting is a good option in this case.
When you use shared web hosting, actions of other applications might lead to security breaches in your own applications. With dedicated hosting, there are no other applications running on the same server.
After considering all these reasons to shift towards dedicated server hosting, you must contemplate on the hardware you have. Here is a brief server hardware checklist if you are seriously considering dedicated server hosting:
To begin, it is recommended to get server hardware that can meet your requirements for at least 12 months. This is important because upgrading costs can sometimes exceed deployment costs. Since every application is different, the loads they put on the server are not easy to estimate. Hits, pages, data transfer, and visitors can serve as guides, but load variability differs significantly from one application to another.
Nearly all dedicated severs come with an initial data transfer grant. This varies generally from 5GB to a few Terabytes depending upon the location of hosting providers. You must determine your needs before you jump and get a bigger-than-needed or not-quite-adequate package. High bandwidth is not always the best choice as it might attract other clients as well, which causes congestion on the network.
Here are some server hardware factors to consider:
You can select between single or dual supplies. You might need a chassis change as you upgrade. With power supply failures, your server will go offline, but it doesn’t affect your data. A dual supply will make sure that the power is available consistently.
When you upgrade your CPU, it will take only a few minutes. There will be no effects on the operating system. CPU failure will make the server go offline, but it won’t have an effect on data.
The server motherboard should have ECC support. This is usually found in high end servers. ECC memory gives added level of protection against corruption of data on servers. This is what makes it an essential component of servers.
You can either get an internal hard disk or a hot swap. Hot swap disks are generally used on high end servers. They allow for quick removal and substitution of hard disks. With hot swap, you do not have to shut down your server as you swap the hard disk, and it reduces the downtime due to failed hard disks.
Another comparison of hard disks arises when deciding if you want SAS or SATA. SAS gives more input-output capacity than SATA. This generally needs high end server hardware. I/O intensive applications like database servers should use SAS drives, though a SATA drive offers more cost effective storage capacity. If it is supported by the chassis, upgrade to SAS from SATA.
Keep the RAID configuration in mind as well. The chassis should have enough capacity for the number of drives that you have selected for RAID. RAID 1 is the minimum recommended one for data protection during drive failures.
After you have checked all the necessary hardware, make sure you keep the pricing in mind. You would have an idea of the initial costs. But to get a feel for the extra costs that come with upgrades, keep the following points in mind:
- Hardware upgrades, including CPU, Hard disks and RAM
- Time spent in upgrading
- Other costs for change in configuration
Apart from these considerations, also make sure you select the right hosting company. All the best!