A dedicated server is a single computer in a network reserved for serving the needs of the network. For example, some networks require that one computer be set aside to manage communications between all the other computers. A dedicated server could also be a computer that manages printer resources. Note, however, that not all servers are dedicated.

In some networks, it is possible for a computer to act as a server and perform other functions as well. In the Web hosting business, a dedicated server is typically a rented service. The user rents the server, software and an Internet connection from the Web host. Servers are often dedicated, meaning that they perform no other tasks besides their server tasks. Different servers do different jobs, from serving email and video to protecting internal networks and hosting Web sites.

Server Types

This list categorizes the many different types of servers used in the marketplace today.

Proxy Server
A proxy server sits between a client program (typically a Web browser) and an external server (typically another server on the Web) to filter requests, improve performance, and share connections.

Mail Server
Almost as ubiquitous and crucial as Web servers, mail servers move and store mail over corporate networks (via LANs and WANs) and across the Internet.

Server Platforms
A term often used synonymously with operating system, a platform is the underlying hardware or software for a system and is thus the engine that drives the server.

Web Server
At its core, a Web server serves static content to a Web browser by loading a file from a disk and serving it across the network to a user’s Web browser. This entire exchange is mediated by the browser and server talking to each other using HTTP.

Application Server
Sometimes referred to as a type of middleware, application servers occupy a large chunk of computing territory between database servers and the end user, and they often connect the two.

Real-Time Communication Server
Real-time communication servers, formerly known as chat servers or IRC Servers, and till sometimes referred to as instant messaging (IM) servers, enable large numbers users to exchange information near instantaneously.

FTP Server
One of the oldest of the Internet services, File Transfer Protocol makes it possible to move one or more files securely between computers while providing file security and organization as well as transfer control.

Collaboration Server
In many ways, collaboration software, once called ‘groupware,’ demonstrates the original power of the Web. Collaboration software designed to enable users to collaborate, regardless of location, via the Internet or a corporate intranet and to work together in a virtual atmosphere.

List Server
List servers offer a way to better manage mailing lists, whether they be interactive discussions open to the public or one-way lists that deliver announcements, newsletters or advertising.

Telnet Server
A Telnet server enables users to log on to a host computer and perform tasks as if they’re working on the remote computer itself.

Open Source Server
From your underlying open source server operating system to the server software that help you get your job done, open source software is a critical part of many IT infrastructures.

Virtual Server
In 2009, the number of virtual servers deployed exceeded the number of physical servers. Today, server virtualization has become near ubiquitous in the data center. From hypervisors to hybrid clouds, ServerWatch looks at the latest virtualization technology trends.

How to Get a Dedicated Server

What is the process of deciding whether or not a dedicated server is right for you? If you are already on a VPS and your website application is outperforming your wildest expectations, then an upgrade to a dedicated server is for you. Normally if this is the case, you would have had a talk with a system administrator and they would recommend a dedicated server plan for you.

Look Past the Hardware Specs
While hardware specs are important, it is also important to know if there is a support team ready to assist you. It does you no good if the server goes down and there is no one to talk with to help resolve an issue. Having an expert support team, in this case, an expert systems administration team at the ready can help you tackle some of the challenges you might come across.

What Guarantee Do They Offer?
Watch for companies that do not have a money back guarantee. Otherwise, you could end up signing up with a hosting company and realize 2 weeks in that your website is inaccessible 20% of the time. With a guarantee, you can check out the service first hand at no risk to you.

What Level of Server Access Do You Get?
With root access, you can install a slew of applications or platforms or make modifications to services such as php and apache.

Why is this important?
Simply because you can modify the server to meet your demands when you make them. Without root access, you are hindered by how fast a system administrator can handle your request, if at all. Worst, you may charged for additional support.

Is Advanced Support Offered?
Does the hosting company offer advanced support? Do they offer assistance with scripts or script installs? Or help troubleshoot server issues that may have been caused by a plugin you installed? This is where advanced hosting support can help. Though there is usually an extra fee associated with this, so be sure to double check the features to gauge whether or not advanced hosting support is right for you.

Talk to a Sales Representative
To get a better understanding of what you need, talk with a sales representative. They are trained to answer your questions and can talk with a system administrator to see if what you want is doable. Also, it never hurts to ask if there is a promotion running.

Be Upfront About Your Goals
It is important to let the sales team know what you plan on doing with the server. This way, they can give you an honest assessment of their hosting abilities. This will save a good amount of time spent talking with a sales agent who isn’t able to give you what you need.

These are some general tips and should serve as a good starting point to help assist you in finding the right hosting company.

Keeping Within Budget
It’s easy to go over budget on servers. This is especially true if you are given a ton of features to look over. What has the most influence on your web hosting budget?

Web Traffic
You should definitely take into consideration the amount of visitors per month you are expecting. If you are expecting a lot of visitors, then selecting a hosting package with a high data transfer limit would be the obvious choice. This would help guarantee that your website will remain online and you staying within budget by not getting charged data transfer overages.

Application Processes
The more processor intensive your application is, the more processing power you need. To stay within budget, you should estimate the processing power of your application, and then plan some space above that limit. So if your application needs grow, your server won’t unexpectedly slow down.

Hard Drive Disk Storage
Will you be running a file server for your company, or hosting many websites? This factor will influence how much disk space you will need and ultimately which hosting plan you would be choosing.

To keep within budget, it is best to stay with what amount of storage that is given for a specific plan. However, to get the most for your money if you do need more disk space, then see if you can add more storage to an existing plan. To do this, get a hold of a sales person who can try to make it happen for you.

Talking With Sales
As mentioned above, a sales representative is your best resource when it comes to staying within budget. They can work with you to get you the dedicated server you need at the right price.

What You Should Know When Purchasing a Dedicated Server
If you are a first time buyer of a dedicated server, the process can seem a bit daunting. Some questions you might have could be: Where do I begin? What do I need? Who do I talk to? Hopefully this article can give you a starting point and put you on a path to buying your first dedicated server.

Where to Begin
So where do you begin. First you should write down what you plan on using the dedicated server for. This will help narrow down what you need in terms of hardware specs or specific software packages.

Contacting a Sales Person
The next step would be to contact a sales person. Review with them what you want to do and what your expectations are. If you have any special request such as custom hardware needs, please let them know upfront. Sometimes, they will be able to cater to your needs. Also, it never hurts to ask.

This is an important step because it gives you an opportunity hear your expectations from a technical expert. Maybe you didn’t need that quad core processor and 16GB or RAM after all.

But during this process, you shoud also go over any software packages you’re looking to install. Or if you plan on running scripts and other intensive processes, review it with your sales representative.

Researching
After talking with the sales representative, you should do some research to see how they rate in terms of customer satisfaction, reliability, and professionalism. The worst situation you want to be in is to have signed a contract and realize after it’s too late that their support team is closed on the weekend.

Purchasing
If all the specs match up and the hosting company is able to provide you with a solution, then you should also ask to see if there any ongoing promotions. Also, be sure to check the pricing versus sign up terms. Often times, you will get a price break if you sign up for specific lengths.

Some dedicated server providers

1. Hostingsource

2. NetShop Internet Services

3. Webline Services

4. Steadfast

5. Hosting and Designs

6. InMotion Hosting


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