Like every other website, you also probably started with shared hosting. Not to mention, it is the cheapest option out there and budget is the ‘deciding-factor’ at the start. Soon enough your website may outgrow the cheap shared host and demand a more versatile platform like the VPS.
A VPS would work fine at the start but for burgeoning businesses, you’d soon find that a VPS is a turn off as well. After a while, you would run out of resources on your VPS too and that will embark you on a new journey featuring “dedicated servers”.
Dedicated Server is the Ideal Solution
Dedicated server hosting is the “thing” for those looking for control and flexibility but it does not come without its cost.
That is to say, you will have the best features available in the entire hosting industry but at the cost of an SUV.
Before we discuss what you can do to combine dedicated servers with other technologies, we’ll take a quick look at what dedicated hosting is in the first place.
Dedicated simply means your website has access to the entire resource of the server. So, inevitably, there is power, control and performance on a dedicated host. This might sound as alluring but your thoughts would surely take a U-turn if I’d tell you that dedicated hosts cost 10 times as much as shared hosts.
Why businesses choose dedicated hosting if shared hosts get the job done
Sure, shared hosts get the job done satisfactorily but if you want to stand out in the competition, your websites need to perform extraordinarily in all aspects. As a business you cannot let any ends loose, be it service level, customer support or on-site experience.
Shared hosting isn’t for serious and big businesses. If you have a plethora of customers and channel them through your website, you are feeding your business venom instead of elixir.
Start with Shared hosting and gradually move to dedicated hosts
We aren’t telling you to kick-off business directly with a dedicated server. That way you’d have more liability and less time to take care of your business. Our aim here is to help you identify when it is time to move to a dedicated server.
- Start with Shared hosting
- If your traffic grows over time, move to a basic VPS plan.
- Continue scaling your VPS until possible
- Move to a dedicated server eventually
Disadvantages of other hosting services – why dedicated servers are eventual?
Shared Hosting –
Shared servers are touted to have all the disadvantages that could possibly exist in the hosting industry, except for the cost. Downtime, control, security, or performance – name an attribute and your shared host probably lacks in it.
Virtual Private Server –
Things get a little intriguing at VPS. It has several downsides but somehow also have none. Here’s the catch.
- A VPS is more affordable than a dedicated host, but also more expensive than a shared server.
- Its downside is the level of control which isn’t at par with its dedicated counterpart. The advantage being, it offers better control over shared servers.
- The added flexibility (over shared hosting) is advantageous to some but is nowhere near to what dedicated servers offer.
Cloud hosting –
The cloud is a newcomer; we haven’t yet introduced you to the virtual server technology (more on clouds later). Here are some downsides you need to know –
- Cloud servers lack the control of any level. Since the entire service is third-party procured, there isn’t a lot of things to dabble with on cloud servers.
- Security is an issue with clouds. Several organizations do no readily host data on third-party cloud servers due to concerns surrounding privacy of the organization.
- You cannot install frameworks, applications of your choice in some cases.
Let’s face it, if dedicated servers had no disadvantage would you ever look for alternatives in the first place? No, you wouldn’t, nor would any of us.
The truth is, dedicated hosting is teeming with drawbacks, given its cost and manpower requirements.
- Your IT workforce needs very good technical skills to manage dedicated servers. You will have even more trouble if you choose to buy an unmanaged dedicated server for your business.
- Cheap dedicated servers are nowhere near as cheap as a VPS. That is to say, you are likely to invest a lot no matter what you do.
- Dedicated hosting not only takes an enormous sum to maintain, but it also takes an equally enormous amount of time.
- If you choose to hire a professional you will have to bear with the expenses.
- Despite paying such a huge amount, you will never have the physical access to your server. You will always be dependent on your hosting provider for maintenance and hardware troubleshooting.
- You can choose to collocate your dedicated servers to a data centre but this too shall come at an added cost. You can trade off some extra money for accessibility and added control.
- There aren’t many free scripts and applications available on dedicated servers like shared servers. If you want apps on your server, you will need to pay for it. Though there are numerous free apps, none will perform the way paid apps do.
How to eradicate the disadvantages associated with dedicated servers
To tell you the truth, you will never have a server that will be perfect in every sense possible. There are bound to be downsides in every hosting solution. So, you need to figure out what characteristics do you need on your server and what are the parameters that you can live without.
Combining dedicated hosting with other solution
By smartly combining dedicated server with other technologies, you can outweigh the disadvantages of dedicated hosting. Here’s how you can do it –
If you think dedicated servers cost way too much, you can pair it with a cloud server. While the crucial corporate files would reside in the physical server, you can easily backup files to cloud server.
This way, you would neither strain your bank balance nor compromise the performance of your server.
Workforce & Difficulty in Management
You can change/adjust your sails but not the winds.
If you are planning to commit yourself to a dedicated hosting agreement, you cannot help escape from server management, although you can minimize the amount of efforts you need to put in it.
To do so, you have three – maybe just two – options:
- Buy a managed dedicated server for your organization. Though, note that this will come at added costs but not too much to bother you.
- Choose a Windows dedicated server and hybrid it with Clouds. Cloud servers are easier to manage and the time you would save with cloud computing can be utilized in learning server management with all its intricacies.
If you are planning to reduce the amount of time you spend on your server, –
- Always choose managed servers. Windows should be the preferred choice, though it is not a necessity as such.
- Aim for hybrid cloud-dedicated deployment with more focus on the cloud. Majority of your files should be on cloud servers. You can backup files on a dedicated server but make sure that you only rarely work on them.
Accessibility and Maintenance
Safekeeping and maintenance are customer pain points. I am yet to come across a client who is happy with the maintenance being done at the data centers. If you happen to be a similar species, consider availing a colocation service in India. Here are your options –
- Setup your own server rack and cabinet and maintain that in-house. This will involve some upfront payments but the server will always be available for you to tinker with.
- Co-locate your servers to a nearby data centre and when you do so, ask your provider to strike-off maintenance charges because you’d do that on your own. This won’t save you much but at least you could “see” where all your data is going.
You may have, by now, understood that choosing a server isn’t as easy as it first seems. Though not very daunting either, you should bear a few things in your mind –
- The expensive host isn’t always the best
- Choose a web server that best fits your requirements
- Trade-off only those things that you deem as unnecessary. Never compromise on security and performance.
- You do not need an expensive host to carve a niche so choose a web server that caters to all your needs.