In short, no. Their value in the age of the Cloud may be much debated but the unparalleled power and control you attain with a dedicated server ensures that they remain the ideal option for certain businesses and certain workloads.
Dedicated servers are physical servers, owned or rented in their entirety. They are commonly used by those who require the highest security for their data assets and those with constant and predictable high server demand. Many businesses find that undergoing significant growth requires them to take another look at their hosting needs, and may find that dedicated server adoption is the best solution for their growing needs.
For database clusters, apps in containers, and I/O heavy uses (for instance Big Data platforms), we recommend dedicated servers.
Unique Benefits of Dedicated Servers
Unparalleled Access, Control and Customisation
A dedicated server is fully allocated to you and you alone, over which you have full administrative access and control. This gives you full control over configuration, the OS and the application software that runs on it.
Possible Performance Benefits
Performance cannot be affected by “noisy neighbours”. The benefit will be felt more by those who deal with heavy workloads, perhaps most notably when an application needs to perform very high volumes of read and/or write actions.
The Height of Server Security
With a good data centre, all options should be incredibly safe and secure hosting choices these days. However, knowing that your server is yours and yours alone, provisioned to your specifications for your workloads, and that only you (and data centre staff) can access it can add an extra level of peace of mind. Dedicated servers and private cloud are particularly recommended for your most sensitive and critical workloads.
Unique IP Address
If you are hosting a website on a shared platform, you may have to share your IP address with a large number of other users. Should even one of these neighbours be running spam or adult material, it could negatively impact upon your site’s ranking.
Is a Dedicated Server a Good Choice for Me?
Your choice of hosting solution is a very important decision and one worth spending a good deal of time and research on. This quick checklist should help you determine whether a dedicated server might be a good solution for your needs.
You might consider moving workloads to a dedicated server if:
- You want complete control over your server
- Security is of the utmost importance to you
- You need to increase uptime
- You are undertaking a significant project and require additional storage
- You receive steady traffic volumes
- You want the benefits of a unique IP address
- You need to run I/O heavy applications
A dedicated server may be a more expensive option than, for instance, a virtual private server – but this won’t always be the case, and some businesses, usually those running traffic intensive services, actually find that moving from the cloud to dedicated servers greatly reduces their costs. Even where costs do run higher, you may well find that it is worth it for the increase in control and security.
Managing a dedicated server requires technical skills, usually including understanding of Linux and server admin knowledge, however choosing a managed dedicated hosting option gives you the benefits of a dedicated server without having to deal with the configuration and maintenance yourself.
The fact that there are unique benefits offered by both dedicated servers and shared hosting means that for many businesses the best option may be the “best of both worlds” choice of hybrid cloud. We talk in detail about hybrid cloud and its benefits in this recent blog post.
If you are considering your hosting and storage options during a period of growth, we recommend downloading our guide on how to scale up your infrastructure and avoid the growing pains.