Even in an era of cloud computing, the dedicated hosting market is teeming with life. Whether it’s for the security, control or customizability, many organizations choose to rely on dedicated hosts for their websites, apps, databases and backups.
Which is to say, every host is different. It can be pretty difficult to choose the correct host, so here I am, to help you out.
If you have never used a dedicated server before, you will find this guide especially helpful. So, with key things on our mind, we have compiled the most comprehensive and precise list possible on a few things you should consider while selecting a dedicated server.
- Quality of hardware
Once you have carefully ticked off your requirements (memory, storage, power, etc.), the next thing you should look at is the quality of hardware provisioned by your hosting provider. While this might look like being too sceptic, it should be the number one thing on your list. The hardware quality, after all, determines how reliable the system will be.
Look for features like SSDs, dual power and cooling. SSDs are faster and more advanced than conventional hard drives so you can have a major performance surge with SSDs. Dual power makes sure that the entire system is up and running when one of the power sources has malfunctioned or failed.
While SSDs are definitely better and faster than HDDs, not all cutting-edge hardware will deliver a massive performance improvement. My point is, although important, hardware should not be the only factor to shape your decision of the right host.
- Managed vs unmanaged servers
Another key factor that you should consider is whether the host is offering managed or unmanaged hosting. Some hosts – most hosts – offer both, so it is up to you which one you are most comfortable having.
A managed service most often includes security updates, patches and management tools like cPanel and extraordinarily high level of support from the provider. As tempting as it might sound, not all managed services are worth it. Customers opting for this model should ensure that the support is easy to access and rapid. Ideally, there should be no hoops to jump through and your host should be able to resolve most things in no time. If not, the added fee of managed service is just not worth it. The next time you renew your subscription, change to unmanaged service or look for another host.
- Quality of support
Whether managed or unmanaged, your server needs support from your vendor for key issues that might surface over time. Dedicated server hosting, being one of the premium services, should have a decent quality of support included with it.
Customers that choose to go down the managed route are more concerned with cost than with the quality of support. You should have a direct line of communication with the technical staff. There is a lot of value in being in direct touch with people who resolve your queries. First, you get access to easy support. Second, it saves a hell lot of time.
- Quality of data centre
The quality of a data centre is one key thing that is given less than due credit. The place where your data centre sits will eventually determine service quality. That’s a strong enough argument already on why data centre quality should be somewhere near the top while considering hosting dedicated servers.
If the data centre happens to be in a prime location, it will have access to continuous power and also a diverse carrier list. This, in turn, will ensure that the customers will have less outages on the server and experience better connection speeds.
There’s an unsaid rule in the hosting market “try before you commit”. Take a piece of advice from someone who has been in the hosting industry for over a decade – always take a demo of the service before you pay. There is no dearth of providers who promise something in the beginning and later cheat on their customers with hidden costs. Trust me, you would not want to find yourself locked up in an agreement that is no longer beneficial for you. Better be sceptic than be gullible.