The Host With The Most: Understanding Your Server Options


It’s just about impossible for a business to run with some sort of server behind them, in the modern world. Responsible for storing data, keeping websites online, and even doing background number crunching, these machines are incredibly important, but it isn’t always easy to know exactly what you’re going to need. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the different server hosting options you have available, along with some of the key benefits and downsides which come with them. With this in mind, it should be a lot easier to make sense of all of the packages which are on offer.


Dedicted Servers


Not so long ago, dedicated servers were just about the only method available to a business without the resources to buy their own machines. This sort of system is very clear cut and easy to understand, with the only real limits you face being bandwidth and the speed of the hardware itself. You will be in full control of the operating system your server is running, along with being able to access the server from several different levels, giving you access to a host of different settings. Most apps, websites, and video games with use systems like this to make it possible to create dynamic content.


How Does It Work? When you first buy a dedicated server package, you will usually be asked what sort of operating system you’d like to have on it. This will be installed for you, and the server will have its DNS settings properly assigned for you, but the rest of the work will be in your hands. If you want to use CPanel, for example, you will need to set up a package installer on your dedicated server, followed by manually adding the software you’d like to use. While this may sound like a lot of work, companies will often choose options like this because they offer very good security.


The Pros: The main benefit of a system like this is the freedom you will have with it. Instead of having to follow the rules of a large company, you will have the chance to dictate exactly how your server space is used, making it easier to handle complex and unusual jobs. Along with this, our server will be complete separate from other machines which are being used by other customers. This makes it easier to keep everyone’s servers secure, as there won’t be any back doors which can be used to access them. There are few server options which can be scaled up and down as much as a dedicated one.


The Cons: While you get a lot of freedom from a server like this, you will usually have to pay for it, with even the cheapest options being far out of reach of a lot of small businesses. Along with this, it will take a huge amount of work to get your systems running, and you may have to do some learning to be able to manage them going into the future. This can leave companies paying for something which they aren’t using correctly, when they should have been working with one of the options below.


Shared Servers


As time has gone on, hosting providers have realised that not everyone needs access to an entire server to handle their online work. Instead, with smart resource management and very tight security, businesses like this have been able to make things more digestible. Instead of being in control of your own server, you will have your own virtual server which is being run alongside those which other customers have bought. You won’t have choices when it comes to operating system and software, but you also won’t have to do a lot of the work which comes with a dedicated server, making it worth looking seriously as this option.


How Does It Work? Getting your hands on a shared server which is going to handle your website correctly is nice and easy. If you already have a website, you will probably have some idea of how much bandwidth you will need. If not, though, it’s best to guess low, scaling your service up in the future if you find that you don’t have enough. Everything will come pre-installed on your server when you buy something like this, making it nice and easy to get started on making your website. There are few easier ways to get yourself online faster than using a shared server.


The Pros: One of the key benefits of using a system like this will always be the price. As you will only be paying for exactly what you use, pricing on options like this tends to be a lot more reasonable than dedicated servers. Along with this, you won’t have to deal with any of the trouble which comes with installing software on a system like this. Being able to get your website up and running on the same day that you buy your hosting is simply impossible with the other options on the market, making this a very promising choice for those who are in a hurry to get their job done.


The Cons: Of course, while they are easy to use and come in at a low price, hosting services like this can also come with some downsides. For example, as you will be sharing a server with loads of different people, you will need to learn some shared service center best practices if you want to keep your system secure. Along with this, you will also often be limited by stange metrics, like the number of files you have on the server. This can make it challenging for normal people to understand what they will use or need for their server, especially when they are first getting started.


Compute Servers/Super Computers


Over the last decade or so, the sort of data which businesses are working with has changed fairly dramatically. In fields like medicine, research and development, and engineering, a huge amount of time can be saved when machines are able to work through the information at hand. You won’t be able to host a website on a machine like this, though that would be a waste of resources, anyway. Instead, you will probably know when you need to use a supercomputer, and will simply have to find one which meets your needs before you get started. There are several governments around the world working to provide this sort of resource.


How Does It Work? While you won’t be able to host a website on a service like this, you will still need to be able to access it over the internet, as this will be the easiest way for you to send and receive data. In extreme cases, where there is too much data to be sent over the web, companies will ship drives to the location of the server to make it quicker. These services are usually bespoke, and this means that everything can be set up for you, making it possible for you to simply get started on using all of the number-crunching power you have available to you. This sort of task never used to be anywhere near as easy as this.


The Pros: The fact that something like this exists in the first place is a fairly major benefit. Without investing huge amounts of money, companies wouldn’t be able to access computing performance like this on their own, making supercomputer leasing invaluable in the modern world. Of course, along with this, you won’t have to set any of it up for yourself, and this is something which most people will be very concerned about when they first started thinking about using a tool like this.


The Cons: While your business may have little choice when it comes to using a supercomputer, you will still feel the hit when it comes to the price of this sort of option. With the machines, power, and everything else costing a small fortune in a place like this, it makes sense that customers would have to pay a premium to gain access. Along with this, supercomputers are often tailored to specific workloads, and this means that you may be limited in your choice by the sort of work which you need to do.


On-Site Servers


Finally, as the last option on this list, it’s time to think about a server type which is very rarely found in the modern world; on-premises systems. In the past, companies had little choice by to invest in these machines themselves, spending a small fortune in the process. Nowadays, though, there are enough hosting options on the market to avoid this sort of route entirely. When you consider the work which has to go into something like this, it will probably be a relief that you’re simply paying a monthly fee.


Hopefully, with all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to make an educated choice when it comes to choosing your servers. If you need more help with this, most modern hosting companies are very open about their user’s needs, making it possible to get advice which isn’t designed to get as much out of you as possible.