If your company relies on any sort of server for its operations, you know how important it is to make sure the server is able to handle your workload and stay fully operational at all times. While some businesses have their server equipment housed in their office space, most businesses choose to hire a hosting company that maintains the server equipment in a remote network operating centre. Outsourcing your server operation and maintenance to a hosting company allows you and your employees to focus on your industry. You also avoid the cost of keeping server equipment and in-house technicians.
There are two main categories of server hosting: shared hosting and dedicated hosting (a.k.a. managed hosting service or dedicated server). Shared hosting is where a client leases time on a server that is shared with other parties. This type of service is generally less expensive than dedicated hosting. In a dedicated hosting situation, the client does not share the leased server with anyone else. While dedicated hosting is usually more costly than shared hosting, it offers several benefits that are not possible in a shared hosting environment.
Benefits to Choosing a Dedicated Hosting Service
There are many advantages to be gained by choosing a dedicated hosting company to manage your business’ or website’s server. A dedicated server offers high performance and a level of flexibility unmatched by a shared server. One of the benefits of a dedicated server is the opportunity for you (the client) to choose the operating system of your server. Most servers run on either a Windows or Linux operating system (OS), and you can determine which one will work best for you.
Choosing to hire a hosting company means you can have all the reliability of high-quality hardware without paying for that equipment and storing it in your office space. Hosting companies operate out of large network operation centres where they keep all the server equipment under strict security and specifically managed environmental conditions. You don’t have to bother with hardware, software, or the security concerns. One other advantage to using a dedicated server is the stability of service. Hosting companies are entirely focused on maintaining servers, so their facilities are optimised in every area. There are connection and power redundancies built in, as well as a dedicated support staff of highly trained professionals.
Why You May Want to Consider Hybrid Hosting
A more advanced option in terms of dedicated hosting is called hybrid (or hybrid cloud) hosting. This is where a server is set up to be a combination of physical and virtual servers. The hybrid hosting solution offers the best parts of both types of hosting to create an extremely powerful and flexible server solution. If you are interested in a server solution completely customised to your business, hybrid cloud hosting may be the best option. Hybrid hosting can be an incredibly complex operation, and it’s a job best left to professionals. If you are considering a hybrid hosting situation, it’s prudent to hire a company with plenty of experience in that area to set up and maintain your server.
Services Included with a Dedicated Hosting Service
Every hosting company is different, so there will be some variation in the services offered with any dedicated hosting agreement. You can choose a company or plan that has the services you feel are necessary for your business, and avoid paying for those you don’t need. One of the first decisions you’ll have to make is whether you want to pay the hosting company to manage the server for you, or if you want to manage it yourself. Even if you choose to manage your own server, most hosting companies will perform standard maintenance on the server, such as monitoring performance and applying security patches.
Another service that might be included with your hosting agreement is upgrading the hardware. Some companies provide upgrades to the server hardware at a specified frequency, for example, every year. Security is another benefit, as network operations centres are built and monitored to be as secure as possible. Technical support is also an advantage of hiring a hosting service rather than hosting your own server. If anything goes wrong, or you have questions about your service, you can talk to emergency support professionals and trust them to find solutions immediately. This means you don’t have to be an expert in server issues, nor do you have to keep an expert on staff at your company.
Things to Consider when Choosing a Dedicated Hosting Service
It’s important to research several companies when setting up your dedicated server. Finding out everything you can about all the available options allows you to make an educated decision about which service is the best for your company. If ultra-high performance is a requirement for your business operations, you may want to find a hosting company that offers storage on Solid State Drives (SSDs).
Cost is definitely an important factor in the decision. It’s important to verify the cost of service: not only the hosting fee, but any additional charges as well. Some hosting companies will charge you a data migration fee when you move all your existing data to your new server, whereas other companies include this in the overall cost of the hosting agreement. Another important detail is whether there is a limit on data transfer. Some companies offer unlimited data transfer, and others set a limit after which an additional fee is imposed.
Bandwidth is another vital consideration. Data transfer is both the job and the lifeblood of a server. When you are considering which hosting company to hire, be sure to ask about the data transfer rate, or bandwidth. Bandwidth is described in terms of bits per second or, more accurately, megabits or gigabits per second. Make sure your dedicated service has a bandwidth that meets your requirements.
Switching to a dedicated server can be a significant improvement for your business. Whether you choose to manage your server yourself or leave that job to your hosting company, you should hire a hosting service that displays a high level of reliability, service, and performance. Once your dedicated server is functioning properly, you can continue operating your own website or business with confidence.