Monday, 24 October 2016

Dedicated Servers

Dedicated servers are the mainstay of any dedicated hosting service. This form of internet hosting allows the client (usually a business or an individual) to own the internet server that serves content online. This means that the service is flexible as you not only own the equipment, but you also have full control - in terms of hardware choice, selection of operating system, and scalability of the servers. You can also choose to perform server administration on your own, or you can pay the hosting provider to manage the server administration functions on your behalf.
Photo Credit: ihostname.com
Generally, dedicated servers are housed in a data center, which normally use redundant power sources to power the servers during blackouts. The data center also provides cooling and ventilation for the servers through its HVAC system.
Dedicated servers that are well managed do offer unique benefits, including high performance, email stability, load balancing, and a high degree of information security. Load balancing ensures that web traffic to the server is properly routed so as to avoid service outages that occur when large amounts of junk data are directed towards the server. It is therefore one of the most effective DDoS (distributed denial of service) protection mechanism that gives dedicated servers an edge over shared servers. On the downside, dedicated servers are relatively expensive to acquire and maintain, as compared to shared servers; and are therefore recommended for websites that handle large volumes of web traffic.
Flexibility in Pricing
Dedicated servers allow the owner to install whichever operating system that the owner is familiar with, as well as suits the tasks to be performed. Therefore, one can choose to install either proprietary or open-source operating systems. Most operating systems are distributed and contracted under an SLA (Service Leasing Agreement), and this influences the pricing of the dedicated server plans.
Understanding the various SLAs for operating systems allows you to choose the dedicated server plan that best suits your needs. Therefore, having a dedicated server allows you to choose a dedicated server plan whose SLA contract does not contain hidden charges. This ultimately reduces the overhead costs, and also allows you to obtain seamless connectivity to the internet. Accordingly, the return on investment can be comparably higher than those of alternative hosting service options.
Bandwidth Billing
The connectivity of dedicated servers is measured in terms of bandwidth. Bandwidth is the speed of data transfer (per unit time). Seamless connectivity ensures that data flows smoothly between the server and the internet-enabled devices. A higher bandwidth increases the upload speeds of the server. The upload speed is the rate of data flow from the server to the internet-enabled devices. A dedicated server allows you to determine, as well as control, the bandwidth allocated to the server by the hosting provider.
There are four models of bandwidth allocation for dedicated servers; bandwidth pooling, 95th percentile, total transfer, and unmetered methods. In the 95th percentile method, the data flow rate is measured for 5 minutes, and the measurements graphed. These measurements are repeated continuously. A cutoff is placed at the 95 percent mark, and the bandwidth value at this mark is used to price the bill. This form of billing is known as Burstable billing.
In the unmetered method, the hosting provider allocates a specific amount of bandwidth, for example, 20Mbits/s, to the dedicated server. This offers the advantage of fixed billing for bandwidth. However, it also has a key setback, as you cannot increase your bandwidth (speed) beyond the allocated limit, and this can result is service outages during instances of high traffic flows to the website and server. This setback is solved by the total transfer method where the billing process accounts for the total data volume that is trafficked through the dedicated server. This method does not cap the bandwidth, and you have limitless speed that ensures optimal operation of the server.
In bandwidth pooling, the bandwidth charges are bundled together with the server maintenance charges. This billing method is quite useful to businesses which have delegated server administration duties to the hosting provider, who now manages the dedicated server as well as allocates bandwidth to it.
Administration
Dedicated servers are suited for professional system administrators and web developers as they have the prerequisite technical knowledge to manage and operate the servers. Accordingly, there is lack of industry standards when it comes to dedicated servers, as each system administrator prefers to manage their dedicated servers as they see fit. Generally, fully-managed dedicated servers are administered through a web-based control panel. Nonetheless, the owner of the dedicated server can still outsource the functions of administrative maintenance to a third-party, which is usually the hosting provider. 

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