For most website owners, a dedicated or shared server is always needed as well as other connectivity services like IP transit. Cheap dedicated servers are steadily becoming popular for web hosting needs. Those in this industry long enough know these terms by heart but for those who are just starting out, all this technical jargon can be confusing. In an effort to make these terms easier, here are the main differences between dedicated and shared servers.
A shared server, as the name implies, is a shared resource among multiple users. On a shared server, a website sits in its own partition that ultimately detaches it from other websites on the same server. Many opt to put their websites on a shared server as this is the most economical in terms of cost. However, this is only a good solution for beginners, individuals, small businesses and organisations that have sites that expect little traffic, require low bandwidth and disk space. Services such as maintenance, security updates and software installation, just to name a few are provided by the website host.
A dedicated server on the other hand is one that solely serves one client. There are two kinds of dedicated servers namely managed and unmanaged servers. Unmanaged servers are configured and managed by the client. Managed servers on the other hand normally include a wide range of services such as operating system and application updates, various system monitoring packages and so on.
Let us breakdown where the two really vary so one who is confused between the two can make an informed decision whether a shared or dedicated server is what he or she needs.
Traffic issues can be a problem on a shared server. When another website on the same server gets a huge amount of traffic, your website can experience slow response time or even downtime. This does not happen on a dedicated server. However, if you really do not expect a lot of traffic to come your way, a shared server is a good option.
Cost can also be a deciding factor. Obviously, shared server costs are a lot more affordable than that of a dedicated server as the costs can be ten times more expensive than shared server costs.
Disk space and bandwidth are important factors. This makes a lot of difference if you expect your website to grow. With dedicated servers you will have all the disk space and bandwidth you can possibly need unlike on shared servers. It is easy to run out of space when you have a growing website. In this scenario, you will have to keep adding space and bandwidth to accommodate your needs.
Security is always going to be an issue. On a shared server, the IP address is also shared. This only means that once one of the sites on the same IP address is banned, yours can get banned too. Websites are usually banned through the IP address instead of their domain name. Also, a website on a shared server can get hacked into by other webmasters. This simply does not happen on a dedicated server.
Preference for operating systems and software can also be a deciding factor. On a dedicated server, you have the option of using your operating system of choice. This can be anything from Windows to Mac to Linux. Of course you will want to choose the operating system that your people will most be comfortable with. This goes the same for applications. On a shared server, these are aspects that you will have to adjust to.
So, depending on the factors above, you can now make an informed decision as to which is it that you really need. It is really up to personal preference and your computing needs whether shared servers or dedicated servers are the choices you should make. If you do want to use a dedicated server but are afraid of the expense, there are reputable providers that offer cheap dedicated servers and also other services like IP transit at an affordable rate. It is all a matter of knowing where to find them.