What is Dedicated Hosting?
Dedicated hosting is a hosting configuration in which a server is devoted to a single organisation or for a single purpose, such as a website. This is in contrast to shared hosting, in which a server acts as a host to multiple clients. A dedicated hosting service is sometimes referred to as a dedicated server and can be set up in-house or externally as a service from within a data center. Let’s have a look at some of the benefits.
Customisation – Dedicated hosting grants a certain freedom and control that other hosting solutions are unable to provide. The fact that the server is dedicated to one client and there are no cohabitants means that the server (and overall hosting solution) can be tailored to the specific needs of that client. This ensures that they can select and pay for the features that they require.
Uptime – In a world where convenience is everything and consumers aren’t used to waiting, it is vital to ensure that a website, for example, is functional at all times; site downtime could lead to customers moving on to competitors. Dedicated hosting allows for high performance and stability to ensure that websites and other business functions are operational virtually 100% of the time (usually upwards of 99.4%). To this end, providers should offer server monitoring and back-up facilities alongside support services (described below) to keep functions running as seamlessly as possible.
Congestion – Server congestion is much less of an issue with a dedicated server, especially when compared to shared hosting options. With the latter, you often run the risk of congestion due to the traffic and usage levels of other websites or applications hosted on the same server, competing for bandwidth, disk space and CPU usage. The very nature of dedicated hosting ensures that this isn’t an issue. It also works the other way; if the website in question is resource heavy then dedicated hosting may be the answer to ensure that other websites aren’t disrupted.
Security – Clients using a dedicated platform will be able to deploy security measures, such as anti-virus and firewall configurations, that are more tailored to their own functions; whilst also avoiding the security vulnerabilities that can otherwise be introduced by the activities of neighbouring clients on shared hosting platforms. In addition, dedicated servers located within data centers can benefit from the physical security measures that such facilities often put in place, including, for example, biometric authentication, security guards and mantraps.
Support – Some dedicated hosting services come with a certain level of support. This is important as a high percentage of dedicated hosting customers use the service to host mission critical or important computing functions or websites. Effective support ensures that site disruption is kept to a minimum. A fully managed hosting provider, for example, may offer support 24 hours per day, 365 days a year.
Details of support levels, as well as information regarding reliability statistics can usually be found in the service level agreement (SLA). These documents can often provide an insight into the quality of a particular service and should be consulted carefully when going through the process of choosing a provider.
If opting for a dedicated service that does not come with any support, it is important to ensure the presence of the necessary knowledge to manage and maintain a server effectively.