If you have been looking for a suitable web host for your website, you may have noticed three hosting categories offered by nearly every major web host – shared hosting, virtual private server (VPS) hosting and dedicated server hosting. Let’s take a look at dedicated hosting and what distinguishes it from shared hosting and VPS hosting.
What is Dedicated Hosting?
Dedicated hosting involves the allocation of all resources on a physical server to one client. This differs from shared hosting plans where the server’s resources are split between hundreds or thousands of clients. It is also unlike VPS hosting where, though each client is assigned their own virtual server, there may be dozens or hundreds of virtual servers on one physical server.
Dedicated server hosting ensures you benefit exclusively from the machine’s storage, processing power, RAM and other server assets.
Advantages of Dedicated Hosting
Raw machine performance – No sharing computing resources as is the case in a shared hosting plan. No performance loss due to the virtualization layer in VPS hosting taking up precious computing resources that would otherwise be devoted to the website itself.
Customization freedom – You do what you want with the server as long as it is legal and is within the limits of the web host’s permitted usage policies. Enjoy the leeway to customize the server in ways that are beyond the reach of shared hosting and VPS hosting.
Privacy and security
– Unlike shared hosting and VPS hosting, there is a much lower risk of another customer of the same web host accessing your data
on the dedicated server.
Disadvantages of Dedicated Hosting
Expensive – You are being granted complete control of a physical server and will not share the computing resources with anyone else. So as expected, dedicated hosting costs substantially more than shared hosting or VPS hosting.
Technical expertise – The task of server administration falls on you and that requires technical expertise. If you do not possess the requisite technical knowledge, you have to hire someone else to manage the server for you.
Bear the security risks – With freedom comes responsibility for outcomes of whatever actions you take or fail to take. If you unknowingly install malware and do not have a good antivirus, the consequences are on you. You cannot accuse the web host of shirking their responsibility.
When is it Right for You
Dedicated hosting may be your best bet if:
- You anticipate exponential growth of your website traffic.
- You want to improve your site’s performance such as page loading time.
- You want full control of your website’s and data’s security.
- You want to customize the server in line with your unique needs.
- You own multiple medium-to-high traffic websites and want them all running on one server.
- You are in a highly regulated industry such as healthcare and financial services.
Before you opt for a dedicated hosting plan, make sure it aligns with your website and data needs. Also check that the service provider adheres to best practice standards of uptime and customer support.