A dedicated server is the way to go if you want to provide the highest quality web services. Whether you are running a business online, hosting a website, or looking into game server hosting, your users will appreciate the stability, power, and security of a server that exists only to serve you without sharing resources with other hosts.
Yet, when the time comes to upgrade from a shared server to a dedicated server, or if you choose to leap straight into a higher-quality home base from the get-go, you have a crucial decision: which dedicated server is the correct choice for you?
Not to worry – we will explore the most important criteria for choosing your dedicated server to ensure that you and your users enjoy the best experience possible.
First and foremost, you want to analyze how much performance you can squeeze out of your server since dedicated servers exist primarily to service high-traffic and data-intensive web services. You will need to consider how powerful the CPU is, how much RAM the server has, how much bandwidth is available, and what the storage options are. These significant elements determine how well your website or other online commodities will perform on the client’s end.
Nothing is more detrimental to your enterprise than if users experience lag, errors, or extended downtime, so you need the proper tools to limit problems such as these. To make the most informed decision for server performance, perform a series of projections and collect analytical data or estimate how much traffic you expect to have and how much your web service will tax bandwidth and resources.
Dedicated servers can be expensive, but you do not have to purchase the premium hosting plan to offer a quality experience. Use your best judgment, and if your service begins to push the capabilities of your current server, you can always upgrade to a more sophisticated option or even run multiple servers to balance resource usage.
Once you have a basic idea of what kind of performance your dedicated server needs, it is time to consider the hosting location. How close the server is to your primary client base can play a role in several factors, including how well your service performs on the user’s end.
Hosting services may offer servers worldwide and multiple servers within a country. However, the further your main user base is from that server location, the more likely they will experience latency, reliability, and even security problems.
For example, you run a multi-player, first-person shooter game on your server. In that case, latency is of the utmost performance because action games require pinpoint accuracy and precision for aiming and movements. Latency causes freezing or lag, which can significantly interfere with player performance, especially in competitive matches. In some cases, your game may become unplayable if enough players are online simultaneously.
To reduce this kind of interference, try to extrapolate the location of most of your player base and find a game server as close as possible to this area.
3. Mitigating Downtime
Of course, no matter how well your service performs for the user when running, everything comes to a grinding halt if it crashes or goes offline. With a dedicated server, this can occur more frequently than with many shared host providers because they often run multiple servers to provide more effective stability.
Research host provider options that fit your performance parameters to determine the risk of downtime and what plans are in place to ensure that when downtime occurs, it only lasts a short duration. There are software options and other precautions that hosts can take to reduce downtime, so seek one that offers a 99.99% uptime guarantee for the best results.
If you are worried about downtime and have the capital to sustain a second server, that is another option that can increase the stability of your services.
The internet is dangerous, and there are always those seeking to disrupt your server performance or steal sensitive data. Clients and users want to know that their data is safe, especially if your service involves inputting personal information or engaging in transactions.
One advantage to having a dedicated server over shared hosting is that security is already improved because you do not have to worry about your server “neighbors” engaging in shady practices or doing things that might cause a security breach on the server. However, there are still hosting factors that can determine how protected your server is against cyber threats.
Research what precautions potential candidates offer to ensure the safety of your service, including how often the host performs data backups. This process can be vital to ensure that valuable information is secure during a crash or other general malfeasance. Evaluate what measures they have to protect against malware, DoS attacks, stolen passwords, and other security issues, then compare these precautions to other hosts to find your safest choice.
As you narrow down your options, you should also plan for the future. While a host server may meet all of your current requirements, providing excellent features to manage the concerns described in the sections above, that may not always be the case.
Suppose your website, business, or other service grows and enjoys significantly greater traffic and usage that begins to tax your server’s capabilities. Does your host have upgrade options available so that you can meet this new level of demand? If not, you are maxed out and will have to come up with another solution, perhaps even a transfer to an entirely new host.
Evaluate what scalability solutions your host offers and determine how easy (and expensive!) this transformation will be and how it will affect your user base as you decide which dedicated server is best for you.
The Bottom Line
Users expect online services to provide a quality experience with minimal service interruptions; the best way to do that is to find a dedicated server. However, each option is different, so it can be challenging to determine which host is best for your needs.
When deciding, do your diligent research, discovering what level of performance is necessary to meet your needs and what security measures are in place to protect your clientele. Seek a location as close to your primary user base as possible and seek solutions that guarantee the highest level of uptime while allowing you to improve your technology as your web services grow.