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How To Know If You Need A Dedicated Server

Vikas Agrawal, @Infobrandz

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With over 1 billion websites online today, the odds are at some point you will operate a web project for your business or personal use. The two most important factors when working with web properties is maintaining up time and having the necessary flexibility your websites require. This means that your website is online and available at all times and flexible enough to deal with a high flow of users at any given time. This is achieved by using the right type of web hosting.

There are 3 main types of web hosting currently available. These include shared hosting, virtual private servers (VPS), and dedicated hosting.

  • Shared Hosting
Shared hosting is the cheapest option available and is very good for first-time web owners and start-up organizations. Shared hosting consists of multiple people sharing the same hosting resources on a server. This includes CPU time, memory, and disk space. The downside is that what other users do can affect your websites directly. They can even cause downtime for your websites.
  • VPS Hosting
With VPS hosting people are allotted resources that are not shared by everyone. The CPU time and memory are shared across all accounts but portions of each are dedicated to specific accounts. This does allow for more power and flexibility than shared hosting options. However, VPS hosting is not a dedicated server. It is still a shared resource. This means the actions of one user can affect another.

A very busy website can dominate the server's CPU time and memory causing performance issues with other users on the server. One user could also compromise the server causing downtime for every user on the server.
  • Dedicated Servers
Dedicated hosting allows for complete access to all resources available on the machine. No one else's account resides on the machine so no one else can tap into the resources. Dedicated servers are the best at providing you flexibility with user flow and server management.

It can be hard to understand when the right time is to move up from one hosting solution to the next. These are some ways to determine if you need a dedicated server or not:
  • Do you Need a Dedicated Server?
If you are a mid-sized business a VPS might be enough for you. They provide extended features at a reasonable price. However, depending on your requirements, and comfort level, VSP might not be right for you.

You should spend some time tracking the growth of your websites over the last 6 months. You can use this information to project how many users will visit your websites over the next 6 months. This baseline data and forecasting will help you to better understand if a shared plan or VSP has the capacity to meet your upcoming needs. If they do not provide enough resources then a dedicated server may be your best option.

You also should look at the flexibility and security you require, and see if the lower level hosting options meet your needs in this area. Is it acceptable to you that a person not affiliated with your website could crash your server causing your website to go down? If it is not critical that your website is up every second of the day, you might feel this is an acceptable trade-off for the decreased price. Otherwise, a dedicated server may be a better option for your needs.

You should also remember that moving to a new host could be time-consuming and even frustrating. This makes it even more critical to make sure that you move when necessary, ensuring that you do not have to deal with headaches down the road.
  • Advantage of Dedicated Servers
When you own your own dedicated server you can do anything you like with it. You can install the OS you need, install as many add-ons as you like, install widgets, and use any control panel you prefer. Most importantly you will receive increased capacity and extensive security.

Not sharing a server with other people makes your web projects more secure. You never need to worry about getting blacklisted or blocked due to what someone else does with his or her websites. This is why most web hosting companies offer dedicated servers as their top hosting solutions. This means that they include additional features and priority support with their dedicated servers. This is another benefit of using a dedicated server.

Of course, the biggest benefit is freedom. With a large server capacity, you do not need to worry about the amount of traffic you are receiving or disk space. You can also make any adjustments you need. You do not need to worry if your webmaster has particular requirements for database management. It is your server and changes can be made at your discretion.

It is clear that dedicated servers have the best benefits and features. However, it really depends on your project needs. You should constantly be monitoring your projects to ensure you are using the solutions that are right for you.

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