If you are looking to set up your own website, it is important to establish which type of server is best for your company. This is not the type of decision which you should make lightly – there are various ramifications which could severely impact your operations, were you to make the wrong choice.
The fact of the matter is that the number of hosting options from which you can choose from is seemingly endless; therefore, before you solicit the services of a server provider, it is wise to examine the pros and cons of them all, and how they work for you. Thankfully, this is where the assistance of the catalyst2 team can truly come in handy. As one of the leading suppliers of managed hosting services in the UK, we have a keen understanding of this field – this puts us in an ideal position to impart some wisdom unto you.
What Is A Dedicated Server?
Although the name may make it seem relatively obvious as to what this type of product does, allow us to elaborate somewhat. In case you were previously unaware, a server essentially acts as a unit which directs users to your website. Without this, you would not be able to run a website. It does not matter if they are using a mobile device, or are operating on a more traditional computer – the server is what connects them to your URL, via the Internet.
The dedicated server is in a league of its own when compared to some of the other servers which you can opt for. This is primarily due to the fact that, when you sign-up to a dedicated server plan, you are able to reap the rewards of unrestricted bandwidth. The amount of time that your audience has to wait when trying to load up your website can be the difference between success and failure, and therefore is not something that you want to leave up to chance.
In essence, then, entering into a managed dedicated server agreement ensures that you never again have to share the processing power of a unit with other companies. Whilst these may force you to spend a little more, the results more-than-justify your outgoing expenditure. There is a tendency for only larger corporations to take advantage of these types of servers, but the truth is that anyone with the necessary funds can utilise a dedicated server.
Are There Other Options Available?
Dedicated servers are certainly seen as a premium luxury that are only accessible to the biggest companies; however, it is important to note that there are other servers available to the general public. For example, a flexible server can be utilised in a variety of different circumstances. It could be that the UK data centre which typically acts as your server provider is down for maintenance – this leaves you with a dilemma, as you will undoubtedly be displeased if your website is offline for any prolonged period of time. Most flexible servers can be acquired on a contract of as little as a week. Whilst this is only a stop-gap solution, it is fantastic for those of you that are trying to source a short-term fix.
Anyone that has been taking note of the technical advancements which have taken place since the turn of the century will be aware of the spike in popularity that has been experienced by cloud-related operating systems. To those of you that are ignorant of this, allow us to shed some light on the matter. A cloud server does not have a physical base; instead, it utilises the connectivity potential that is exhibited by the Internet. This is typically an option which is of interest to small companies that do not have access to a vast quantity of capital. One of the most prominent reasons as to why cloud-based servers are popular is due to the possibility of expansion – you can simply pay for more processing power and memory as-and-when you require it.
The closest option that is remotely comparable to a traditional dedicated server is a VPS. Also known as a virtual private server, this is a remarkable piece of engineering which allows your website to be hosted by a shared server, yet still be provided with an experience which is unique to you. Whilst you are unable to install your own software on a shared system, a VPS hosting option gives you the opportunity to implement bespoke operating systems without affecting other firms that you are sharing with. This, then, can be considered a more economically-friendly alternative to the dedicated server.
What Sets Dedicated Servers Apart?
There are countless reasons as to why dedicated servers have been long-established as one of the most highly-regarded options available in today’s technical world. First-and-foremost, the ability to take advantage of your own unit without being forced to split resources is something which will forever change the way in which you operate. Many website operators have cited independence as the biggest contributing factor as to why they opt for a dedicated server. The knock-on effect of this is that you can enjoy a significant upturn in the security available – this means that if you routinely process transactions, and the transfer of sensitive data, this is the perfect option for you.
A little known fact about shared servers is that you are forced to share an IP address with the other webpages which are utilising that unit as a base. Conversely, with dedicated hosting, you are supplied an IP address which is independent to your website. This means that your ranking, in relation to search engine results, will not be affected by the results and operations of other companies. Say, for example, you were sharing with a site which offers explicit content, this could detrimentally impact your chances of achieving success.
Whilst you may not have realised it, there are some firms which believe that the most sensible move is to invest in a server which they operate from their own premises. Unfortunately, there are numerous hidden costs involved in this. You will be forced to pay for the upkeep and maintenance, which could certainly affect your financial capabilities in the future. By soliciting the services of a third-party, you can save your firm a lot of money over the years. This is because it is the duty of the provider to take care of the various overheads. Should the control panel, for example, suffer a malfunction, you will not face any extra charges in relation to repairs.
What To Look For In A Server Provider?
When you begin conducting your search for a server provider, there are countless requirements which you need to ensure that they meet, prior to making a firm decision. One of the most important is undoubtedly the reputation that they have within the industry – it is highly unlikely that the best dedicated server will be found at a relatively-unknown firm. Conducting in-depth research into the company that you are considering entrusting your business with is an extremely prudent move. This should, at the very least, entail reading through testimonials from past clients; this should offer some insight into what type of service you can expect.
There is no point in being able to access incredible connectivity speeds, should your website be down the majority of the time. You need to remember the fact that were you to gain a reputation for having a poor-functioning website, the level of business you will receive will be drastically affected in a negative fashion. As such, it is advisable to only engage with a server provider which can boast having, as a minimum, 99% uptime.
The chances are that when you are looking through the various hosting offers which you can take advantage of, you will not have much previous experience in this field. Subsequently, you will likely require some support in the future, particularly if you encounter difficulties. Therefore, it is wise to collaborate with a company which is able to guarantee round-the-clock assistance. Top-tier customer support is the earmark of any professional corporation which aspires to be regarded as the best in their area of expertise. Otherwise, you could be left floundering at a crucial time, which can once again be the difference between success and failure.
As a customer, you may be trying to source a company which not only supplies a dedicated server; you may, for example, be a start-up that needs some guidance on the best way in which to formulate and register a domain name. Before choosing a server provider, it could be worthwhile to determine whether or not their other services could prove to be beneficial to you later down the line.
As long as the provider is highly-regarded, and can offer you a price which is fair for the service, you will be able to enjoy a host of benefits for the foreseeable future. No longer will your loading times be impeded due to shared hosting with various other firms. Similarly, the CPU core which you are connected to will be solely focussed on enhancing your operations.
We are catalyst2 – regarded by many to be the home to the finest managed hosting solutions on the market, our mission is to enhance the technical capabilities of companies up-and-down the country. The security measures that come included in our packages will ensure that you need not worry about the nefarious intentions of cybercriminals. Not only this, but with a network uptime of 99.997% over the past 13 years, the chances of your website experiencing a blackout is extremely low – few firms can match this within the industry.
Aside from our technical capabilities, what allows us to stand apart from our competitors is the first-class customer service with which we have become synonymous with over the years. When you solicit our services, we want you to be able to call upon us for help whenever you so need it. The representatives that we have within the ranks here at catalyst2 are knowledgeable in all aspects of our business. This means that regardless of your question, they will be able to provide you with a thoughtful and insightful response which should solve your query. Should you need to speak to a member of our team, we ask that you follow the instructions found on our website’s contact page – we look forward to hearing from you soon.