About Dedicated Servers
Let’s start with a few definitions from www.dictionary.com:
What is a server?
- A computer that makes services, as access to data files, programs, and peripheral devices, available to workstations on a network.
- A computer that processes requests for HTML and other documents that are components of web pages.
- A computer that manages centralized data storage or network communications resources. A server provides and organizes access to these resources for other computers linked to it.
- A program which provides some service to other (client) programs. The connection between client and server is normally by means of message passing, often over a network, and uses some protocol to encode the client’s requests and the server’s responses. The server may run continuously (as a daemon), waiting for requests to arrive or it may be invoked by some higher level daemon which controls a number of specific servers (Inetd on UNIX).
- There are many servers associated with the Internet, such as those for HTTP, Network File System, Network Information Service (NIS), Domain Name System (DNS), FTP, news, finger, Network Time Protocol. On Unix, a long list can be found in /etc/services or in the NIS database “services”. See client-server.
So to the rest of us a server is simply a computer used to host some sort of data that will be connected to by other servers and personal computers. This can be used for millions of different purposes, and of course we each have our own unique desires for a server.
What is a server used for?
This is where I put my foot in my mouth, hypothetically, and regret saying there are millions of different purposes for a server. Pretty much a server is used to share resources and data across great distances. This includes web hosting, application production, game hosting, blog and forum hosting, E-commerce, e-mail control, SPAM (virtual wave of the finger to all spammers), shoutcast and video streaming, and all sorts of communication.
Where have you seen a server?
You see them everywhere. If you visit a website you see a server. Every site is hosted on a server somewhere. Any time you must request data from another source, you are visiting a server. Anytime you look at MySpace, Facebook, or even Layeredtech.com you are visiting a server. Ok – you caught me – I am only referencing web servers right? Not quite… When you log into MySpace or Facebook you have to access a database server to verify your credentials. When you order from LT you have to access an ecommerce server to place the order and verify payment. You can even access an email server from some of these sites. Google’s G-mail, Hotmail, and even yahoo are some of the larger email servers out there. And yes… you are correct. You are viewing data that is being stored on a server somewhere right now.
Why do I need a server?
So now that I have marveled you with the magnificence of a server why would you need one??? Well, do you want to host a website, or 100 of them? Do you need to run a large database for your company, that you want access for all of your employees around the world? Do you need to run an application and allow all your users to access it? Then you need a server!
(Shameless Sales Blurb) I tell you what… if you even think you may need a server, give the good ‘ol boys and girls down at LT’s CSR group a shout (firstname.lastname@example.org) and they will be sure to find out if you need a server or not.
How can dedicated servers help my web hosting business?
If you are hosting right now and you are running on shared resources, I am sure you know what it feels like to have one of your server buddies eat up all the resources and destroy your hosting space. It doesn’t have to be this way I promise! You can go the dedicated route. Dedicated server space guarantees you full resources and full access to your own network space and port uplink. No more suffering when someone else eats up the entire pipeline (bandwidth).
Don’t let this section fool you into thinking that web hosting is the only field that demands dedicated servers. I would hope the first few sections proved that to be a nasty lie. It’s just here we see more people suffering in the web hosting business than the other industries with the need for dedicated servers.
In closing I hope this sheds some light on the purpose and use of dedicated servers. If I missed anything by all means please provide your input. You ladies and gents take care…