Category Archives: Dedicated Servers

Why Use a Dedicated Server? Five Reasons

Dedicated Server

Discussion of web hosting has become cloud 24/7, but using a dedicated server is still a completely reasonable choice. Let’s look at what a dedicated server is and the advantages of using one.

  • What is a Dedicated Server?
  • Access/Control
  • Security
  • Uptime
  • Your Own IP
  • Service Options

What is a Dedicated Server?

A dedicated server is a single server that is designated for the specific use of one company or individual. It typically includes a Web server program (such as Apache) and other basic applications, along with an Internet connection through the hosting service’s data center.

Dedicated servers are often used for websites with large amounts of traffic. The customer is able to control the server remotely from its own office. The cost savings include those for the router, security software, network administration, and web connection.

When a company gets a dedicated server package, they may have to use a particular operating system or might have a choice – typically Linux vs. Windows. Sometimes companies already have their own hardware or want to invest in custom equipment but still want a place to put it and to take advantage of the other benefits of data centers. In those cases in which the server is not leased but owned, the service is called colocation.

Generally, though, a customer rents a dedicated server, and the contract includes specific amounts of resources. Packages standardly include “a stated amount of memory, hard disk space, and bandwidth (… meaning the number of gigabytes of data that can be delivered each month),” explains Margaret Rouse of TechTarget. “Some hosting companies allow the renter of a dedicated server to do virtual hosting, in turn renting services on the server to third parties for their Web sites.” File transfer protocol (FTP), email, and domain name system (DNS) are usually automatic features. Sometimes a user-friendly interface is provided, the most common of which is Cpanel.

Now let’s get into why people decide that they want to have a dedicated server rather than shared hosting or cloud.

Access/Control

A significant part of computing is being able to do what you want, when you want. After all, Apple products are frustrating to many users because of Steve Jobs’ obsession with end-to-end control – which the Hollywood film Steve Jobs fascinatingly reveals emerged from Jobs’ adoption trauma as a child.

At your business, you obviously want to have control of everything you can even if you trust third parties to manage certain aspects. Having a dedicated server gives you the ability to install what you want and configure everything to your liking. “Being administrator, you can also choose to host multiple domains of your site on the same server,” says HostReview. “The admin access lets you closely monitor the resource usage and other utilization metrics of your server.”

Security

Dedicated servers really are the gold standard of security. These days you often hear that’s the case with cloud, but those arguments are based on the general advantage of having a third-party that specializes in security (the hosting company) watch over your network. When you use a service for dedicated hosting you can enhance security with additional layers. You are also using isolated equipment so you aren’t at risk of data overlap or other issues stemming from group use.

Uptime

Similarly, the uptime that you experience with a dedicated server should be second to none. Reliability is improved because there is no sharing of resources with other sites.

At Superb Internet, we give all of our dedicated customers 100% network uptime. In other words, our service level agreement (SLA) states that any amount of downtime is unacceptable. If there ever is an hour of downtime, you get a full day of credit.

Your Own IP

It’s a good thing to have your own Internet Protocol (IP) address. For one thing, it improves your clout with the search engines. In shared hosting, everyone is using the same IP, so you are vulnerable to performance problems created by other users. Someone with a dedicated server can really stand out, especially if they simplify their site and build backlinks better suited to their niche. You also have better security simply because your IP is your own so you are never collateral damage.

Service Options

Hosting services will give you a variety of management options. Basically, you can decide what aspects you want managed and what you don’t. “For instance, the fully managed services provide an option where the web hosting company undertakes all the technical maintenance and care of the servers,” notes Host Review. “Technical specialists with the know-how to handle servers handle your servers for you.”

At Superb, we offer the lowest prices on dedicated hosting with our Price Match Guarantee. Plus, we have so much confidence in our support that if we don’t deliver as promised, we will give you your next month’s service 100% free. Get started.

Image credit: Wikimedia user Victorgrigas

Xen vs. OpenVZ & Shoelaces vs. Velcro, Part 2

 

Xen Topology
Xen Topology (Photo credit: lindztrom)

At Superb Internet, we have virtual private servers (VPSs) as an alternative to dedicated or shared hosting. As you may be aware, the VPS solution lies between dedicated and shared. Essentially, it allows you a plot of server soil to call your own while not causing you to have to bear the upfront cost and maintenance expenses of an entire independent server.

In this article, we are looking at two potential platforms you can use to establish and run a VPS: Xen and OpenVZ. The comments of Scott Yang (HostingFu), VPS6.net (via HostingDiscussion.com), and Steven (The Linux Fix) all bolster our sense of the subject and provide a well-rounded picture. Note that our company works specifically with OpenVZ – and the reasoning for that is briefly provided at the conclusion of this three-part series.
Continue reading Xen vs. OpenVZ & Shoelaces vs. Velcro, Part 2

Choosing Colocation vs. Leasing Dedicated Servers & Landlord Appreciation – Part 3

 

Virtual Private Network site to site and from ...

As we learned in the first two parts of this miniseries comparing colocation to dedicated server leasing, the difference between the two is owning versus renting. You can’t always lease or rent a product. For instance, ice cream cones can only be rented in Arkansas, South Dakota, and Hawaii. Larger items such as cars or homes can be rented worldwide, though; the same is true of dedicated servers (colocation versus leasing).

We are assessing ideas pertaining to the debate between the two options from several advice sites, primarily Webhostingfreaks.net, ITworld, and About Colocation. We started with a general rundown of the differences between the two, then moved into stronger arguments. Both of the arguments, from the latter two sources above, side with colocation – which notably gives you more control but has additional upfront expense.

Our main concern is with web servers, but we also wanted to provide pluses and minuses related to home ownership and rental. Let’s explore the subject of pets with regards to housing. Pet owners love renting especially because it is an opportunity to prove to themselves how much they love their animals. If you can find the right landlord, you may be able to pay upwards of $1000 for security deposits for your two Irish setter-bloodhound-chihuahua-St. Bernard mutts. Your dogs don’t understand money, but that doesn’t mean they won’t chew through one of the walls or attack your appliances.
Continue reading Choosing Colocation vs. Leasing Dedicated Servers & Landlord Appreciation – Part 3

Choosing Colocation vs. Leasing Dedicated Servers & Landlord Appreciation – Part 2

 

¿Qué es el Web Hosting?

As discussed in the first part of this series, choosing whether to own or rent is sometimes a challenge to determine. With some products, you have to buy. For instance, underwear only comes as a rental in Belgium, South Korea, and Nauru. More sizable and sophisticated products, though, are available to lease or own worldwide. Dedicated servers are one example of the latter, with the options to use colocation (at a datacenter or web host) or to lease with a hosting service.

This series looks at colocation versus leasing, using thoughts from Webhostingfreaks.net, ITworld, and About Colocation. The first installment focused on the basics. This part and the next one get a little more opinionated, with both of the perspectives I’m citing arguing for colocation (which is an easy argument because you get to build the server, but the investment and expertise required to do so may not be for you).

Beyond dedicated server leasing and colocation, we are also assessing different ways to approach housing: renting versus owning. One great thing about owning a house is that you get to do the yardwork. Yardwork is fun, no matter what your immediate instincts might tell you. For example, you might think, “I have better things to do than pick up sticks and leaves all day,” or “I am horribly allergic to my yard.” You know what, though? Being active by walking around with a rake in the hot sun is healthy.
Continue reading Choosing Colocation vs. Leasing Dedicated Servers & Landlord Appreciation – Part 2

Choosing Colocation vs. Leasing Dedicated Servers

 

Amsterdam servercluster in its own rack

With many products and services, we have the choice to go between owning and renting. For some reason that is not true of paperclips or underwear; but it is true of houses, cars, and other large items. Servers are no exception. Because hosting can be expensive, there is a wide range of possibilities for website owners. These possibilities range from power and quality of equipment to financial relationships with equipment.

Two options for servers are colocating one or leasing one from a hosting company. The two options are more similar than they are different. In both cases, you have your own dedicated server. In both cases, you can take advantage of the datacenter expertise of the hosting service’s personnel and physical parameters (climate control, disaster recovery plans, etc.).

Deciding between these two options can be a little confusing, so let’s look at their differences to see what option might be best for you. We will look at three perspectives, from Webhostingfreaks.net, ITworld, and About Colocation. Keep in mind, a couple of these perspectives are very colocation-friendly. Colocation, though, is more complicated to set up and manage, simply because you are the owner of the equipment. You must pick out what to buy, and it is more of an investment.
Continue reading Choosing Colocation vs. Leasing Dedicated Servers

How to improve your ecommerce server security & love yourself

 

SSL

Server security is one of the first things we should consider when we get ready to go into online business, and it’s a factor of the market that should be regularly reviewed. PCI compliance is one thing, but it’s a little obtuse and complicated when we’re taking initial steps to “harden” (enhance the protections of) the server.

Also we must love ourselves. Sometimes everything looks bright and sunny. Sometimes, it looks blue (that’s not a happy color). Sometimes it looks dreary and gray. When we start seeing colors that make us want to cry, we must grab all of our stuffed animals, line them up in a row, and have them sing the Hallelujah Chorus to us (don’t worry, all stuffed animals know it by heart).

We’ll look at a number of different issues in this series: SSL, perimeter security such as firewalls, passwords, site backups, policies, authorizations, etc.. Our general overview will cover the first two parts, and then the final part will focus specifically on passwords – the simplest form of protection but also the simplest, in some ways, to penetrate.
Continue reading How to improve your ecommerce server security & love yourself