Definition of dedicated server

An essential term in the web hosting landscape, the dedicated server is a computer server exclusively intended for a client or for the performance of a service. It is opposed to the shared server, whose resources are simultaneously shared between different users. The uses of dedicated servers are multiple and appeal to a large number of professionals.

What is a dedicated server?
A dedicated server is a computer server made available to a client exclusively, or available for the performance of a service or a specific task. This server is a physical computer without screen or keyboard, on which an operating system (Linux, Windows, etc.) is installed. Many services are installed on this operating system: web server, databases, messaging, etc. The number of programs is unlimited. A single server can thus simultaneously host a messaging service, web access and a website.

Generally speaking, these servers are located in a computer data center (datacenter) and are contained in large computer cabinets called “racks”.

While the dedicated server is used in many areas, shared hosting remains more widespread. In the context of a shared server, the resources and services offered are shared between several clients. This type of web hosting is therefore more economical. On the other hand, due to the pooling of resources, users are not free to install the applications of their choice. The shared server is therefore therefore less flexible.

  • Dedicated to a client
    When the server is dedicated to a client, the hosting resources are intended for the exclusive use of the latter. They are no longer shared with other users, so that the beneficiary of the server is free to install the programs he wishes on it. In return, the cost is higher.
    Dedicated hosting is generally chosen by websites that generate a lot of traffic and data, such as web communities or e-commerce sites. It is also a preferred option for companies who do not wish to share their sensitive data with other users.
  • Dedicated to a service
    The server can also be dedicated to a service. In this case, the hosting is intended for the performance of a specific and unique task: database server, web service, e-mail service, video games, etc.
    Hosting is generally dedicated to a service when an application is not compatible with other programs and must therefore be hosted on a full-fledged server. In addition, some services only use a single server.

What are its characteristics ?

  • A dedicated server is a computer with the following:

    • - A processor or CPU: this is the computer brain of the hosting. The more powerful the processor, the more efficient it will be and able to perform technical tasks
    • - Random access memory or RAM: this is the computer memory of the server in which all the data processed by the computer device are recorded. The greater the memory capacity and the faster, the more efficient the server;
    • - A hard disk: it is on this disk that all the data are stored (files, mails, etc.);
    • - A network card: this is the element that connects the web server to the Internet using a network cable;
    • - A RAID card: this card allows data to be distributed between several hard disks in order to improve either server performance, security or even to prevent data loss in the event of a failure.
    • In addition, dedicated hosting often consists of bandwidth provided by the host. It connects the server to the Internet and corresponds to its speed expressed in Gigabits per second (Gb / s) or Megabits per second (Mb / s). Thus, the more efficient the speed, the faster the information is sent.

  • Dedicated server and VPS: what are the differences?

    The dedicated server is a physical computer device installed in a data center and equipped with a certain number of components (RAM, processor, hard disk, etc.). On the contrary, the VPS (Virtual Private Server) is a virtual server. It is made up of its own characteristics and its own operating system, but it is not a computer in the physical sense.
    In terms of performance, the dedicated server offers more important characteristics than the VPS and is therefore more efficient from this point of view. However, the VPS has significant advantages: speed of processing, capacity to increase memory or processor, etc.
    Another determining criterion, the cost of the VPS is more accessible than that of the dedicated server. Indeed, while the server requires the intervention of a service provider for its hardware configuration, the installation of a VPS is done through virtualization software.

  • What are the uses?

    Today, companies are turning more and more to dedicated servers. Indeed, to ensure their online presence, companies must acquire a domain name and hosting. When the website generates low traffic, a shared server is sufficient. However, sites with high traffic prefer dedicated hosting. They thus have all the resources of the server and are free to control it as they wish.
    Professionals appreciate dedicated servers because of the many uses they offer: web service, e-mail service, website hosting, video game programs, etc. The dedicated server is also an excellent hosting solution for businesses. who wish to store and protect their sensitive data. These are effectively contained on a server over which the company has exclusive control.
    More specifically, the dedicated servers are aimed at the following users :

    • - Creators of e-commerce sites: Online stores generally have a large number of products for sale and generate high traffic. They must therefore have efficient accommodation guaranteeing them maximum security. In addition, the uses of the dedicated server can be adapted to the needs of the company;
    • - Website creators: a website receives and transmits a large amount of data and must therefore have a server adapted to the large volume of information;
    • - Social networks: sites with a strong community must use a dedicated server to manage the intense flow of visitors and information sent and received.

How to administer a dedicated server?

The management of a dedicated server is done remotely, thanks to various means of connection. The host assigns a public IP address to the server which allows the user to connect to it.

If the user can control the dedicated server himself, this requires technical knowledge. In the absence of sufficient skills, it is advisable to use a service provider to administer dedicated hosting.

When the management of the dedicated server is entrusted to an external service provider, the term “managed dedicated server” is used. The service provider ensures the maintenance of the hosting, security updates, relations with the host and monitors the availability of the server.

Outsourcing services are generally billed by the hour of intervention, or as a flat rate. However, sometimes the cost of managing the server is much higher than the cost of renting the server itself.

What are the advantages ?

The major advantage of the dedicated server is that all of its resources (power, memory, connection, etc.) are made available to a single site. It thus offers better performance in the event of heavy traffic or intense data flow. This reduces the risk of slowing down or breaking down when traffic is high. This is the reason why this type of hosting is perfectly suited to e-commerce sites, social networks or forums.

De plus, l'exclusivité du serveur permet d'ajuster ses performances en fonction du projet web. Le locataire bénéficie en effet d'une liberté d'utilisation totale en ce qui concerne l'installation et la In addition, the exclusivity of the server makes it possible to adjust its performance according to the web project. The lessee benefits in fact from total freedom of use with regard to the installation and configuration of the software. In this sense, the dedicated server is a much more flexible hosting solution than shared hosting.

Another advantage lies in the security offered by the dedicated server to its user. Indeed, all the data is kept on a server available for the client only. Sensitive and confidential data is not shared with other tenants and is thus protected.

What are its disadvantages?

The aforementioned advantages have a counterpart: the price of a dedicated server is much higher than shared hosting which does not offer the same guarantees of performance, reliability or even security. Exclusivity does come at a cost.

In addition, managing a dedicated hosting requires technical computer skills. Only tenants who can prove knowledge of system administration can manage their server themselves. In the absence of such knowledge, users must call on external providers offering outsourcing services. However, when it is entrusted to an expert, the management of the dedicated server is relatively expensive.

To summarize, the main drawback of the dedicated server is its relatively high cost, in particular when the tenant delegates his administration to a specialist.