So you’re thinking about whether a dedicated server is right for you. Most people tend to move to dedicated server for a couple reasons, either that they’ve outgrown their shared hosting or VPS environment, they require more power than a VPS can provide or they want complete isolation for their hosting environment.
At the end of the day the two biggest benefits of a dedicated server are Performance and Security however lets touch on some of these benefits in a little more detail.
Most VPS providers will let you scale your RAM to 16GB, some of them more however there is always a limit. With a dedicated server you have the ability to scale much further up to 512GB in some cases.
Like with Disk I/O CPU cycles are also shared between all the users on a shared or Virtual environment. If you’re finding your VPS is maxing out the CPU cycles even when you have multiple cores it’s probably time to look at an upgrade. A dedicated server gives you with complete access to the cores provided with your server and therefore a lot more processing power.
With most VPS offerings you are limited to the disk space provided with the package you have purchased, some providers do however allow you to scale your disk space but you will start paying per GB for storage and for those that have high storage requirements this isn’t the best value for money. Most providers allow you to choose the size of your drive when purchasing your dedicated server and with options for up to 3TB’s per disk there is going to be an drive to suit your needs.
Within any shared or Virtual environment you are sharing the Disk I/O with the other users. What this gives you is limited IOPS and therefore limited performance. With a Dedicated Server you get complete access to the I/O available from the drive or drives that you have in your server. If you need faster disks you can also choose from SAS 15,000RPM disks to SSD (Solid State Drives) additionally you can increase the performance by using RAID which I will touch on next.
If you’re going to move forward with a dedicated server this is an absolute MUST. There are multiple levels of RAID (0,1,5,10,50,60 etc) and each offer their own benefits and downsides, without getting too deep into the options available to you here is a basic breakdown of the two RAID types that we recommend to our customers.
RAID 1 – minimum 2 disks and it mirrors your data, there is little to no performance benefit however if a drive fails your data is secure.
RAID 10 – Minimum 4 disks, this is a combination of RAID 0+1 so you get the performance benefits of RAID 0 (Striping) and the redundancy that RAID 1 offers (Mirroring).
Unlike shared or Virtual environments your server is completely isolated from the other services; this can be a key factor when choosing which service is right for you. And If you’re hosting sensitive data it’s really a no brainer.
All of these benefits do however come at a cost, a dedicated server is a single point of failure and will cost more than a VPS. The thing is you really do get a lot more for your money.
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