How To Choose Between A Dedicated and Private Server
As a business, you strive to make sure that your business resources and customer information is not only safe and secure, but easy for you to manage and get a hold of. Many businesses use computers, out of the 25% of computers sold exclusively to Europe 75% of those are sold directly to businesses (according to Statistic Brain).
In this article we’re looking at 2 of the most popular kind of servers for business, Dedicated Servers and Virtual Private Servers. We will be asking what each of them are, so you have a better idea of what we’re talking about, as well as looking at the various pros and cons of either server for businesses.
Virtual Private Servers
What is a virtual private server?
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A virtual private server (also known as VPS) or virtual dedicated server (also known as VDS) is effectively a virtual machine on a physical machine that appears as if it is dedicated to you, when in actual fact it is shared between multiple businesses/websites. So the hardware used to power the server is powering not only your own software/files etc, but also the software of others.
A VPS runs its very own copy of an operating system, whether that be Windows or Linux, giving the customer “superuser-level” access and the ability to install any programs/software that runs on that operating system. A single computer can have several operating systems on it for various servers.
You can also run multiple VPS’s on a single computer and on average you will be sharing your server with around 10 other businesses/websites. However, if you own multiple websites yourself, you can use a VPS to run them all (so you would only be sharing the server with yourself).
What are the benefits of a VPS?
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There are of course many benefits to having a virtual private server for your business, below are just a handful of them and why they benefit business:
Cost - Because you’re sharing a computer with other people, the overall cost is much lower than if you had your own dedicated server. This gives you more money to spend on your business.
Customisation - A VPS can be customised to meet your needs, so you get exactly what you want and need and nothing more.
Scalability - This kind of server allows smaller businesses to to scale up without having to pay for resources they do not yet need.
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More control - You’re given far more control over your server than you would with shared hosting. Perfect for looking after your business.
Being green - Sharing a computer with others means that you’re using resources more efficiently and being energy efficient/environmentally friendly.
Multiple domains - If your business owns multiple websites, you can use a VPS to look after all of them in one place rather than paying for multiple servers.
What are the downfalls of a VPS?
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Of course everything comes with their pros and cons, so below are a small handful of downfalls to using a VPS for your business:
Resource space - As with any server, there is only a certainly amount of space available. If you’re sharing with others you may find that your allocated space decreases due to others on the computer using too much space. It’s a rare occurrence and an easy fix, but certainly an inconvenience.
Less power - Naturally sharing a computer with others means that there’s less power to run everything at once. So it’s not suggested for businesses that send hundreds of emails or run resource heavy applications on a daily basis. It still runs perfectly for smaller businesses.
Uptime - VPS’s are difficult to manage, as you’re managing several servers running on different operating systems simultaneously. Uptime may be hindered as there is more maintenance and more frequent updates, bringing the servers down from time to time.
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So, virtual private servers are perfect for businesses looking for an affordable server that is not only environmentally friendly but gives you full control and is scaleable. They’re also fantastic for businesses that have multiple domains and want to fully customise their server.
They’re not so perfect for larger businesses or businesses that use a lot of recourses, but as long as you’re only sending the odd email and using less power hungry applications (such as Office 365) you’ll be absolutely fine to use a VPS.
What is a dedicated server?
A dedicated server, unlike a virtual private server, is a single computer that is dedicated to a single customer or task. Your computer will be one of potentially hundreds in a huge data centre network, managed by the business offering the servers. The computer, however, is entirely yours and not affected by others using the same data centre.
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Dedicated servers are aimed towards those that have high traffic going to their website and/or those using intensive applications and using lots of resources. The price you pay for a dedicated server is not only paying for the server, but also the renting of the computer being used and putting towards the work needed to keep the server running and up to date.
What are the benefits of a dedicated server?
There are an array of different pros to having your own dedicated hosting service for your business, below are a small selection of benefits of this kind of server:
Reliability - A UK managed dedicated server is more reliable as it has unlimited disk space and bandwidth. Not having to share the computer with others means that all of the processing power the computer provides goes straight to you and your business.
Speed - Having all that power also means that everything is much faster for both you and anyone who visits your website. This is essential for those with e-commerce/shop style websites or those that use financial transactions.
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Advanced support - As you are the only one using the machine to run your server, it makes support much easier and faster. It also means that the support you will get is increased, as you’re paying more than you would a VPS.
Safer storage - With the server being on your own rented computer, those who offer the server keep the computer safe from environmental changes such as extreme cold/heat or moisture. You also do not need to store it in your own office as they are stored in large, secure data centres.
What are the downfalls of a dedicated server?
As effective as dedicated servers are for business, there are still a select few downfalls to having one, here are just a few:
Price - Having all this extra space and more support of course means that you’re going to be paying a little more for this kind of server. It might seem expensive, but it is still worth it if it ultimately helps your business.
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Unmanaged hosting - If you haven’t chosen a package that is managed (don’t worry, all of ours are) you may find yourself having to hire an expert to keep it up and running. This increases overall costs and also consumes a lot of time.
Too much space - If you’re a larger business this won’t be an issue, but many businesses who have their own dedicated server are only using around 20% of the computer's capacity. This is wasting resources and is environmentally unfriendly.
So a dedicated server is perfect if you’re a larger business that sends lots of emails and/or uses power hungry applications on a daily basis. It’s also much more reliable and super speedy.
It may not perhaps be the best option for smaller businesses as the cost is fairly high and you probably wouldn’t need the amount of space you actually get. But certainly something to bare in mind if your business grows and becomes larger.
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We can only conclude that the best server for your business is more than likely a virtual private server, rather than a dedicated server. There are far more benefits to having a VPS, most importantly of all it’s more cost effective and fantastic for small to medium businesses.
Yes, you may risk some downtime every so often and you may have to juggle with computer space if something goes wrong, but it’s more than worth it for a budding or a growing business.
I’ll leave you with a short sobering fact. Did you know that there were 288.7 million computers sold worldwide in 2015? How many of those computers do you think were used to provide server services? Let us know what you think by commenting below or getting in touch via Twitter @XenaceLtd.