A dedicated hosting, also known as dedicated server, is a computer, rented or owned, that is hosted inside a Datacenter. It is 100% dedicated to one customer only, that’s where the name comes from.
It’s is often used to host web pages, but it can host any kind of information actually, same as the shared hosting. Instead of sharing CPU, RAM, Disk and Bandwidth resources with lot of customers in the same server, a dedicated server dedicates all its resources to one single customer and all their websites.
Dedicated servers are perfect to provide cPanel Web Hosting with a very big number of websites hosted inside. cPanel and WHM allows you to manage and control your dedicated server easily from a friendly web interface.
Dedicated servers are often used by Reseller Hosting providers, who rent a dedicated hosting to start reselling space easily.
On shared hosting plans, clients are sharing the same hardware and software with other customers from the same company.
In case you are using a VPS, you are hosted sharing the same machine at hardware level, but not at software level, each VPS will have their own resources, unlike on shared hosting.
However, on dedicated server the whole server and its resources belong to the owner, the one who paid for it.
Types of Dedicated Hosting
Web hosting companies sell different dedicated hosting packages, from low pricing to high pricing, low hardware and network resources to high traffic servers. Prices can be very different from one company to another, depending on the type of hardware, technical support included, and network / bandwidth transfer offered.
When we talk about System Administration services, there are two basic types of dedicated servers: managed hosting and unmanaged hosting. Let’s explore each one of them to discover their differences, advantages and disadvantages.
Managed Dedicated Servers
A managed dedicated hosting is the one that includes 24×7 technical support. This means you will have full technical help from your web hosting provider to fix any problems that you may have on your operating system or services running on it.
Some providers include a limit on the number of tickets you can create per month, others limit the time of system administration hours used by each customer. This type of managed dedicated servers are often called ‘semi managed dedicated hosting’, because they don’t offer full 24×7 technical support.
Unmanaged Dedicated Servers
This are often very cheap servers, because no system administration services are included. This is useful if you want to manage the server by your own.
Unmanaged dedicated servers are used by technical people, often web & app developers, systems engineers, system administrators and people related to it. In order to manage a dedicated server you don’t have to be a full nerd, you just need to know about operating systems, services and networks.
Hardware issues are always responsability of the web hosting company, and they must provide the necessary parts when something is broken like motherboard, cpu, disks or ram memory, this is even on unmanaged dedicated solutions.
Plain Servers and Control Panel Dedicated Servers
There are other types of Dedicated Servers determined by the software you run on it.
On the web hosting industry you can find many times people calling ‘plain’ servers, and this means it has no control panel installed on it. A plain CentOS or Ubuntu installation can be declared as ‘plain’ OS. While other type of servers who use a control panel like cPanel can be called ‘contro panel’ based servers or just cPanel Servers.
Do I need a Dedicated Server?
That depends on two things, technology and money.
If you have enough budget, it’s always useful to have a fully managed dedicated server vs a shared hosting plan, as you will get privacy, security, fast response times and the flexibility to install and manage all kind of web hosting & OS system services that your app may need.
If you have a simple HTML corporate page, it simply doesn’t worth it to buy a dedicated server, you’d better go for a good shared hosting provider, as your app / website technology doesn’t need to much, and you will not get full advantage of using a dedicated server.