Unlike the typical shared hosting arrangement where all customer sites are stored on a single server, a dedicated server is made exclusive to one customer.  As the name implies, the machine is dedicated solely to your usage, providing you with 100% of the vital server resources.  This includes disk space, CPU, memory and bandwidth.  A dedicated server provides enhanced security and increased performance, as you are not impacted by the traffic and activities of other customers.

Advantages of Dedicated Servers

When investing in a dedicated server hosting plan, you are actually leasing the hardware from the provider.  While the machine is maintained in the company’s data center, it is typically configured to your liking.  What you get is an internet connection, dedicated IP address and usually an operating system or control panel.  The biggest advantage of a dedicated server is control.  With root access, you get to choose the services you want to run and also have the ability to install your own software applications.  These are luxuries you simply don’t get on a shared server.

How to Decide

A dedicated server can be useful in a wide range of situations.  You may require this type of hosting if you meet one of the following:

1.) Have a need to run mission-critical business operations.

2.) Anticipate a high level of website traffic.

3.) Have comfortable familiarity with server administration.

The latter is very important, as a dedicated server calls for tremendous responsibility on your part.  For example, you are responsible for ensuring that the system is protected by reliable security software and updated with the latest patches.  If you lack these abilities, you should strongly consider a managed hosting solution where a provider handles the operation of your dedicated server.