Since there are many kinds of hosting plans in the market, one will come across semi dedicated hosting solutions as well. For the common man, these choices are quite baffling and he may find it very difficult to make the right choice for his site. To begin with, as a consumer, you need to understand each of these hosting plans and what they offer. A semi dedicated server is one such physical server which offers dedicated resources like the processing power, storage and memory which are divided between many hosted sites. So, a semi dedicated server will usually host about a dozen customers as compared to shared servers which may accommodate thousands of clients.
What is semi dedicated hosting?
In semi dedicated hosting the resources will be allocated to clients and monitored by the host. This is done to ensure that all hosted sites get resources. So, in a semi dedicated server, you will not be able to enjoy autonomy and control over your server; the only control you have is in terms of the resources you get to use. Because this term “semi-dedicated” is not really technical by nature, people tend to interpret it differently. Some say it is a mix of shared and VPS hosting, some say it is more reliable compared to shared hosting and so a better version of it, while still others consider it a hybrid version of dedicated and VPS hosting.
Benefits of choosing semi-dedicated servers:
1. In terms of costs, semi-dedicated servers are preferred as operating costs are cut down. This is possible as you split costs of one physical server amongst many sites. So, shared costs imply less per capita cost. Since resources are assigned to each client, you will not have to worry about others taking away your resources.
2. When you choose managed servers the provider maintains the servers. So, they look after hardware replacement, monitoring and application support. Semi-dedicated hosting will also cover some degree of server management. These servers get provisioned on mainly high-end hardware.
3. People are often skeptical about security aspects of such hosting solutions. But these semi-dedicated servers are not in any way less secure compared to fully-dedicated servers. All resources and security arrangements are provisioned by the host. So, your security arrangements will be separate from that of others. You may also install additional measures for greater security.
Disadvantages of semi-dedicated servers:
1. Besides these aforementioned advantages of using a semi-dedicated server, one should be aware of the shortcomings too. There are indeed some weaknesses in this type of hosting solution. The user will have to give up much of the control that he may enjoy in full dedicated server hosting. On its part, the host has to make sure that all hosted sites get guaranteed resources. So, some configuration options will invariably be limited to guarantee equality of access and consistency of services.
2.Just like in the case of VPS hosting and shared hosting, there are chances of you facing both scalability problems and migration related issues. Many hosts will offer a semi-dedicated server to work like a virtual private server in order to cut down on costs. This will however lock the application to a specific location and the clients may face downtimes when they need extra space.
Who can benefit from a semi-dedicated server?
Small and medium sized websites or dynamic sites can benefit most from such a hosting solution. These websites will need low to moderate disk space and will be handling less dynamic data. Sites which deal with huge volumes of dynamic data and high end processing need more resources.
A semi-dedicated site can handle traffic based upon multiple factors; ideally dynamic sites which have about 10,000 users or static sites which have about 50,000 users a month should opt for dedicated hosting. The semi-dedicated servers can run many processes like Apache or LiteSpeed and small databases like MS SQL or My SQL. So, in short, processes which do not need a lot of processing power may do well in a semi-dedicated setting. Those processes that need a lot of CPU should never be run on such servers; for instance, large databases will need higher CPU which exceeds capacity of semi-dedicated servers. High-end applications like intensive computing or financial trading in real time demand a lot of resources. When semi-dedicated servers are forced to process too many things at the same time, their performances are affected. So, semi-dedicated servers really act like hybrid hosting solutions. You must assess your hosting needs first before signing up for these. When choosing semi-dedicated servers from any host, you need to make sure it can give you 24×7 supports and scalability to encourage growth.