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Dedicated Servers

In this guide, we’ll answer the questions we get asked most frequently about dedicated servers. This guide will cover everything you will need to know in order to make the right choices about your dedicated servers, from experts on the topic.

Last updated: January 15, 2024

What is a dedicated server?

A dedicated server is a single-tenant, standalone physical server allocated to one client or organisation for hosting their workloads.

Unlike shared hosting, where multiple users share resources on a single server, a dedicated server provides exclusive access to all of a server’s capabilities, such as processing power, memory, storage, and bandwidth. This exclusivity ensures top-notch performance, making it an excellent choice for websites, applications, or services that require consistent and reliable performance, even under heavy traffic loads.

What are the benefits of a dedicated server?

Dedicated servers offer several key benefits:

  • High Performance: With exclusive access to all server resources, dedicated servers provide excellent performance. This is crucial for resource-intensive applications, websites with high traffic, and tasks that demand substantial computing power.
  • Reliability: Since no other users are sharing the server’s resources, there is less risk of performance bottlenecks or downtime due to the actions of other users. This is particularly important for mission-critical applications.
  • Enhanced Security: Dedicated servers offer a high level of security. Clients have full control over security configurations and can implement stringent measures to protect their data and applications. With no other users on the same server, the risk of security breaches from other clients is minimised.
  • Full Control: With a dedicated server, organisations have complete control over their server environment. This control extends to system administration, software installations, and server management, empowering them to optimise their setup for maximum efficiency. They can choose the operating system, software, and hardware components, allowing for tailored solutions that align with their requirements.

For more information on the advantages and disadvantages of dedicated servers, hear what our experts have to say:

How to choose a dedicated server

Below is a list of the key factors that you should be considering when choosing a dedicated server to host workloads for your business, and in the provider who can facilitate this.

Security

Many businesses are becoming increasingly security conscious, which has led to a resurgence in the dedicated server market. Sectors requiring higher security regulations, such as finance or government, are choosing to adopt a dedicated server solution to host their websites, applications, databases and backups.

Performance & Storage

Dedicated servers are a fast and reliable hosting solution for high-traffic and resource-intensive websites or applications. It is important to consider what your performance requirements are – how many users are you expecting and how many servers will you potentially need? Hardware resources such as the amount of CPU, RAM and the set-up of your hard drives will influence your configuration decisions.

Database servers frequently read and write data to your hard drives, so increasing the speed at which data can be written and retrieved has a big impact on performance. At Hyve, our HPE 3PAR storage arrays provide the fastest I/O possible without the premium price tag, using a combination of SSD, Fast Class and Nearline SAS drive to provide your business with uncompromising performance.

An essential factor to keep in mind when making decisions on your performance requirements is the technology that you are working with – certain operating systems and applications will require a substantial amount of power, which will need to be accounted for in your hardware choices.

Network Quality

Choosing the physical location of your server is an essential part of the process. Where your dedicated server is located will have a significant impact on factors such as reliability, performance, compliance, and security – so it should be near the top of your list.

When deciding on the location of your servers, it is important to acknowledge the location of your end-user – if the majority of your customers are in a specific country or region, it would make sense to have the servers located nearby, to ensure low latency. With 35 global data centre locations across 5 continents, Hyve can offer data centres across different locations around the world, to ensure that servers are close to your end users.

High Availability

What is the impact of downtime for your business?. With a single point of failure in one server, it is important to decide if you are able to accept the possibility of downtime, or if you want to scale multiple dedicated servers to run High Availability (HA). HA means that in the event of a failure, such as a hardware fault, a website will operate continuously without error.

To setup HA with Hyve, you need to run a minimum of two servers, but to achieve top performance, we recommend that you run four. Two servers will be dedicated to your Web/ Application traffic, and two will be dedicated to your database with a fail over set up between them, creating a no single point of failure architecture.

For businesses with high-profile websites that encounter large spikes in traffic, HA is a necessity. Downtime can damage a business’s reputation as well as having financial repercussions, so it is critical to avoid any disruption to normal service.

Learn more about High Availability in our article which focuses on the topic: How do you run High Availability using dedicated servers?

Bandwidth

Bandwidth is the total amount of data that can be uploaded and downloaded from your website or application. Your bandwidth requirements will naturally relate to the predictability of data traffic, so if your online business is expected to consume a lot of bandwidth but with low predictability, it would be advisable to choose a host with a fair bandwidth policy.

We would recommend that you have up to 500GB outbound and unlimited inbound per month, but if you need more, that’s OK – there are no penalty fees or automatic service fee increases.

With Hyve, if you do tend to go over your monthly allowance regularly, we will contact you to discuss an increased allowance. Any fee increases are always agreed in advance, and we will never charge in arrears for bandwidth already consumed – ensuring there are no nasty surprises when it comes to billing.

Deciding on the right dedicated server solution for your business

Arguably the most common concern regarding dedicated servers is the cost. Whilst a dedicated server can be more expensive than a shared cloud solution, you have to weigh up the cost with the benefits for your business.

Another cost-effective option to configure dedicated servers is by using a hybrid cloud. An example of this would be to connect your on-premise dedicated servers to a public cloud. This allows you to run some workloads on your dedicated servers and run others in a private cloud or public cloud for lower workloads.

Compromising the quality of your servers should not be an option for your business, and if you are looking for a quick migration, you can’t afford to compromise on time either. If your site gets a lot of traffic, or you simply want full control over your resources, dedicated hosting could be the right choice for your business.

Management

Choosing a reputable managed hosting partner is an important consideration for your dedicated servers. Not all businesses will have the knowledge, expertise or resources to manage such complex servers themselves, which is essential if they opt for a ‘do it yourself’, unmanaged model.

A managed dedicated server provides all-inclusive services such as server setup, installation, maintenance, hardware upgrades, software installation and upgrades, and monitoring.

For example, our fully managed dedicated server solution gives you the peace of mind that our 24/7/365 team of experts is here to support your platform – up to the application layer. This means that when there is a problem, it will be resolved by your dedicated technical support engineer, who will be ready to help you immediately. Our team of experts will also be able to offer you professional advice in areas such as load balancing and clustering – a service you would not have access to with an unmanaged model.

Unmanaged vs Managed dedicated servers

Unmanaged server hosting is where you and your internal IT team have complete responsibility for the management and maintenance of the hardware and software. A managed dedicated server however will have the full breadth and width of the server management and maintenance taken care of by a provider 24/7/365.

So what are the benefits of each approach?

Managed dedicated server benefits

Expertise

A managed service provider will be able to offer specialist help to scope out a bespoke solution. With years of management experience and know-how, they will be able to tackle most problems with ease. When it comes down to it, finding in-house staff who have the credentials and know-how to be trusted with setting up a dedicated server can be difficult and costly.

Free up your resources

An MSP can free up your team and resources. If you are confident that you have the in-house expertise, you may then have the problem of allocating staff resources towards maintaining and managing your server. Adding this responsibility will most likely pull them away from their other duties, meaning you may have to expand your team. An MSP, on the other hand, provides peace of mind for your team by taking care of this process for you

Customer support

Combining expertise and company resources leaves you with our third main advantage of management, customer support. With a managed provider, changing requirements or answering questions is just a call away.

Unmanaged dedicated server benefits

Lower Cost

When working with a managed provider you will incur costs for their services and expertise. However, you may consider it insurance, as you will pay a lot more down the road if your solution isn’t configured properly or if something goes wrong.

Flexibility and Customisation

With an unmanaged dedicated server you will have full control of your specification such as RAM, CPU usage, and applications. Some lower tier providers can offer fixed plans which can lock you into certain specifications, even if you want to change them.

Avoid Bloated Features

Some managed providers, who don’t offer a bespoke solution, might include extra features like security or monitoring that you don’t require for an additional cost.

Is a managed dedicated server solution right for you?

In conclusion, management services can provide a large advantage to businesses who don’t have in-house expertise, resources, or confidence to tackle the responsibility of self-managing their dedicated servers. This does come at a cost, though often a worthwhile one. To learn more about how a managed dedicated server solution could benefit your business, speak to one of our experts today.

Bare Metal Servers

You will hear the term bare metal server discussed a lot in reference to hosting, but what actually is a bare metal server and how do they relate to your dedicated servers?

Choosing a secure and effective IT infrastructure for your business can be a challenging decision, especially as the web hosting options available are continually advancing and changing. From public cloud to private cloud and dedicated servers, there are endless options when it comes to choosing which hosting infrastructure best suits your business. More recently, using bare metal servers has become an option for many businesses, but what is a bare metal server?

What is a bare metal server?

A bare metal server is a physical server dedicated to a single tenant (a user or business). As a bare metal server is designed for only one user or business, the tenant can optimise the operating system and the server according to their specific performance, security, and efficiency requirements, without impacting other users.

How do bare metal servers work?

While the terms ‘bare metal’ and ‘dedicated servers’ are often used interchangeably, it is important to note that these are not the same, as they differ across some key operational features. The most prominent difference lies in their setup. On a bare metal server, the tenant will install the necessary operating system directly onto the server, customising it to meet specific requirements. This architecture eliminates unnecessary layers between the user and the physical hardware, increasing efficiency and performance.

Why use bare metal servers?

As bare metal servers are completely customisable, they are perfect for meeting the specific needs of their users. Organisations can employ bare metal servers for a variety of uses. Some of the most common include:

Big data processing: Bare metal servers provide businesses with reliable and efficient computing capabilities required for large data collection and processing.

High-security environments: The dedicated nature of a bare metal server is ideal in situations where a business may be processing highly sensitive data or information.

High-performance computing: Bare metal servers allow for maximum performance, which is important for organisations using resource intensive workloads such as artificial intelligence or machine learning.

What are the benefits of using a bare metal server?

Like any single-tenant piece of infrastructure, bare metal servers have several distinct advantages:

Full control

Bare metal servers provide users with the ability to control all elements of the server that other IT infrastructure solutions simply cannot provide. As bare metal servers are dedicated to a single user, organisations can scale, manage and turn on or off the servers at any time.

Furthermore, if users choose to install a hypervisor, they can create virtual machines within a bare metal server. By doing this, users can virtualise workloads into separate virtual machines and further benefit from increased flexibility and control.

Customisation

A bare metal server provides the user with the ability to customise the server however they like. An organisation can choose its operating system, application and configuration from the ground up, depending on its specific requirements.

Increased security

As no one else is using or sharing the bare metal server, an organisation’s servers will be as safe and secure as possible from external manipulation.

Cost-effective

While IT infrastructure continues to move away from traditional on-premise hosting and towards managed hosting providers instead, businesses have the option to rent a bare metal server on an hourly, daily or monthly basis, potentially saving thousands of pounds in unused resources.

Bare metal servers vs dedicated servers

In terms of technical specifications, bare metal and dedicated servers have many features in common, including similar levels of security, complexity, and control. Users are also able to deploy their own operating systems, hypervisors, and applications to achieve a fully customised hosting environment.

So what are the differences between bare metal and dedicated servers? While both types of servers are single-tenant, physical machines with resources that are not shared with other users, they do differ on a number of core components.

The main difference between the two is the flexibility and cost-efficiency of the bare metal server. Bare metal servers can have all the performance of a standard dedicated server (and often more) but with increased operational flexibility. As bare metal servers arrive almost as an ‘empty shell’, they provide the user with the ability to customise and install the relevant operating systems and applications when needed.

Bare metal servers with Hyve

As a fully managed hosting provider, Hyve can provide your business with a range of bespoke bare metal or dedicated server solutions, tailored to your specific needs. If you’re interested in finding out how our bare metal servers could work for you, speak to one of our cloud experts today.

The importance of SLAs in dedicated server management

What is an SLA

A service-level agreement (SLA) is an agreement between a service provider and a customer that outlines expectations relating to products or services which must be met. Concerning a dedicated server, our SLA covers replacing a server within a cluster in 20 minutes or less in the event of a failure.

Do I need SLAs for my dedicated server?

At Hyve, we understand that downtime can be detrimental to your business operations. Having strict service level agreements (SLAs) in place is crucial for maintaining uptime.

Using only the best hardware, the fastest storage available, and a rapid 20-minute hardware replacement SLA, we can mitigate the risk of downtime. If using a managed service provider we would strongly recommend they provide fast and effective SLAs.

20-minute hardware SLA

Hardware replacement SLAs often refer to the time to respond to a customer service ticket, rather than actually resolving the issue and replacing hardware. Many hosting companies will offer a 20-30 minute SLA. However, this refers to the time in which they respond to the ticket, rather than actually resolving the issue.

We are proud to offer a 20-minute hardware rapid replacement SLA. This means that any problems that may occur with your dedicated server blades will not only be identified but also rectified within a maximum of 20 minutes.

This is possible due to our uniquely architected platform. If you’d like to know more information about the process, please get in touch with one of our experts.

100% power uptime SLA

We guarantee that when you host with us you will benefit from 100% power uptime. Our data centres all offer multiple layers of redundancy for power. This means that if one source of power was to fail, we would have multiple sources to fall back on. For example, if a workman cuts through a power supply accidentally, our other sources will ensure that there is no drop in service.

We have invested heavily in power redundancy in the data centres we work in, to ensure that each data centre has its own sub-station, and multiple generators, and each rack has its own UPS to ensure smooth transitions between power feeds.

100% network uptime SLA

Our network is built with a ‘no single point of failure’ architecture. This means that your dedicated server is connected to multiple diversely routed tier 1 networks, therefore if one network was to fail, your server would continue to run on a backup network. This multiple redundancy allows us to guarantee 100% network uptime.

To hear more about how our 20-minute SLA helps customers hear from one of our technical experts, Leo, on the subject here.

What is RAID?

RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks. Using RAID with dedicated servers increases redundancy and performance by using multiple hard disk drives to store and access data. RAID uses two or more disks and copies data onto them at the same time.

Using RAID on a dedicated server for redundancy

Dedicated servers are a popular choice for businesses that need reliable, high-performance servers. RAID arrays are a common method of distributing data across multiple storage devices for improved performance on dedicated servers.

RAID is used to create an exact copy (or mirror) of all of your data on two or more disks. If you had a drive failure on one of your disks, the other disk(s) would still be able to operate. This ensures that your data and server are protected and downtime is avoided. RAID can also improve your server’s performance by providing data on your hard drives more quickly.

RAID levels

There are several RAID levels and users can choose different levels based on performance or fault tolerance.

Software RAID supports fewer levels than hardware-based RAID. Hardware RAID is also dependent on the type of controller that you have. Different controllers support various levels of RAID to dictate the kinds of disks you can use in an array, such as SAS, SATA and SSD.

RAID benefits

Two of the most popular types of RAID levels are RAID 1 and RAID 5. They offer a cost-effective balance of redundancy and performance.

RAID 1 is a common RAID level that mirrors data across two separate storage drives for redundancy. If one drive fails, the other drive holds the identical data. This ensures that users can avoid data loss and maintain availability, even if hardware fails. The only downside is that you need to have double the amount of storage space.

RAID 5 is the most common RAID configuration. This RAID level provides better performance than mirroring as well as fault tolerance. With RAID 5, data and parity (additional data used for recovery) are set across three or more disks. It uses a technique called ‘data striping’ to ensure redundancy by distributing data across all of the drives in the array. If there was a storage failure, the affected data could be reconstructed based on the information held on the other drives.

Securing your dedicated servers

Dedicated Server Security

Choosing a hosting provider that puts security first is crucial to your business. With data security at the heart of our mission, we understand that it is essential for your data and your clients’ data to remain safe.

A dedicated server solution with Hyve guarantees that your physical hardware is protected in a controlled data centre – removing the cost and increased security risks of maintaining equipment in your own office space or facility.

Our strategic data centre partner, Equinix, guarantees all locations are Tier 3 enhanced and are ISO 27001:2013 certified. With stringent physical security measures in place, such as 24/7 CCTV, biometric scanners, card readers, video monitors, and mantraps to prevent unauthorized access, our data centres are incredibly secure.

Complete Control

Choosing single-tenant architecture lends itself to businesses that may need to meet strict security regulations or compliance requirements. Dedicated servers are well-suited to specialised sectors, such as finance or government, as they are given full control over the resources, and do not have to share with anyone else.

Dedicated server hosting gives you the autonomy to decide what is, or isn’t allowed on your servers. By isolating your data from other users and creating a private environment, you are able to reduce general performance issues and limit the opportunity for malicious behaviour.

At Hyve, we acknowledge the increasing threats that malicious hackers pose – and we act accordingly. Our security suite is designed to mitigate the risk of an attack, with the following protection in place.

DDoS Defence System

A Dedicated Denial of Service (DDoS) attack involves overloading a website with web traffic from multiple source IPs, leading to downtime, and potential financial loss. As security is the backbone of Hyve, we also include 1GB DDoS protection with every solution, at no additional cost – a service that many hosting providers will charge for.

Our leading DDoS defence system is used to detect and divert harmful DDoS attacks. This specialist device identifies floods and large numbers of connections by blocking them. The system can also deal with new threats as opposed to just known ones.

Firewalls

Firewalls are network security devices that prevent unauthorised access to your network by monitoring incoming and outgoing traffic. The firewalls decide which traffic to block or allow based on a set of rules, placing a layer of security between your organization and the internet. Inbound data traffic flows to a firewall, which filters traffic based on your specified requirements, detecting and deflecting unwanted attempts to penetrate your server security. Hyve can provide either hardware or software-based firewalls, or a combination of both.

Virtual Private Network

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a connection method used to add security to both public and private networks, such as WiFi Hotspots and the Internet. Mostly used by corporations to protect sensitive data, the VPN encrypts all traffic between two internet points, providing secure communication channels for individual users, user groups, contractors, vendors and remote offices.

SSL Certificates

A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate provides authentication for a website and provides an encrypted connection between a web server and a browser. Our SSL certificates ensure that your website is secured, and encrypts all sensitive information such as usernames and passwords. For superior security, SSLs are vital for all websites, but in particular, sites that take card payment information.

Hyve is proud to offer 24/7/365 support, alongside monitoring, scanning and vulnerability testing to ensure superior security for your managed dedicated server solution.

Keep your business secure with our managed dedicated servers solution.

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