You’ve decided it’s time to move to a dedicated server – congratulations! We’re here to help you take the next step.
Every business is unique and knowing how to choose the best dedicated server for your needs is critical for future and present performance. We’ve broken down everything you need to think about – from understanding your performance requirements to choosing the right hosting provider – into the six most important things to consider when selecting a dedicated server.
1. Define Performance Requirements
Each company has unique performance requirements for their servers. How many users do you expect to have? What kind of services do you want to provide with your server? Defining these numbers will help determine how many servers you will need and the kind of hardware to use. Will your services be CPU, memory, or disk intensive? Knowing this will give you insight into hardware requirements. Choosing the right blend will significantly influence your server performance.
2. Consider Potential Downtime
What is the business impact if your hosting environment fails? One of the most significant benefits of a dedicated server is that you are not sharing your resources with anyone else. However, the downside is that one server always is a single point of failure. If you do not have the option to scale to multiple dedicated servers (in which potential downtime would be avoided), you need to determine how much potential downtime you are willing to risk.
3. Anticipating Bandwidth Usage
The requirements in bandwidth naturally relate to the predictability of data traffic. If you are going to consume a lot of bandwidth, but predictability is low, you could choose a package with your dedicated server that has a lot of data traffic included (or even unmetered billing). This is an easy way of knowing exactly how much you will be spending on the hosting of your dedicated server.
4. Test Network Quality
Network quality relies on the physical location of your dedicated servers and the quality of your hosting provider’s network. The physical location of your dedicated servers directly impacts your end-users. If your customers are in the Asian region, hosting in Europe might not be a sensible choice as data delivery will be slower.
Data delivery also depends on the quality of the hosting provider’s network. To find out more about network quality, check your potential provider’s Network Operation Center (NOC) page and test their network. Most hosting providers have an option to do this.
5. Consider Application Scalability
How well does your application scale? Is it easy to add more servers, and will that increase the number of end-users you can service?
Some applications are difficult to scale to multiple devices. Making sure a database is running on multiple servers is challenging since it needs to be synchronized over all database servers. It could be easier to move the database to a server that has more processing capacity, RAM, and faster storage. Moving to a cloud environment could also be a good option. This way, you can quickly clone a server to take part of the load and add it to the load balancer, thus balancing the workload over multiple servers.
6. Choose a Hosting Provider
The right hosting provider acts as a knowledge partner throughout your entire selection process. They involve their engineers and specialists to help answer your questions and have a strong customer base who, if asked, should be more than happy to provide you with a reference. The hosting provider should draw upon experience and expertise, showing commitment and dedication by treating your business like it’s their own.
Selecting a dedicated server may seem like a massive undertaking with many components to consider — but it doesn’t have to be. Define what you want to achieve as a company and partner with a trusted service provider to find the perfect solution and set your company up for long term growth and success.
Editor’s note: This blog post was originally published on 2 March 2020 and was updated on 31 October 2022.