When it comes to finding hosting options for your business, you'll come across a plethora of terms which can make it confusing as to which is right for you. For years we have been told to “go to the Cloud”, but upon research you're seeing options for “Dedicated Servers”, and “Virtual Private Servers” as well as a multitude of cloud offerings. Let us make things a bit clearer in this post.
What is a dedicated server?
In choosing a dedicated server for your business, you are giving your website its own individual server. The importance of a dedicated server compared to other types of hosting is that you do not have to share the same resources with other websites or applications.
What can this help you achieve? For a website with intensive traffic demands, your end user will get a more consistent and reliable experience. The dedicated nature gives you total control over the configuration down to the RAM, the storage, the CPU and much more.
What is a virtual private server?
Also known more commonly as a VPS, a virtual private server uses virtualisation to split a single physical server machine into multiple private server environments that all share the same resources.
Whilst you do get your own dedicated space within a server, performance, resource allocation and security are definitely a more of a thumbs up for a dedicated server. However, a VPS gives you scalability whilst a dedicated server will essentially have you at your maximum already. It's also a lot cheaper!
How do these differ to the cloud?
Cloud hosting will spring to mind when you think “private”, or “public”, or “hybrid” cloud.
The difference in comparing cloud hosting to web hosting (dedicated server, VPS) is that you aren't renting space on a single physical server. The whole thing is virtual. Cloud hosting will run all of your usual web hosting services like storage, email, FTP etc. on many different servers simultaneously. This has its progressive advantages for scenarios such as say, a cloud server already reaching peak traffic, so it will automatically route the query for the specific website to an idle cloud server in the cluster.
|Virtual Private Server
|Monthly or Hourly
|Multiple Data Centres
What are the key components of a hosting server?
When it comes to choosing your type of hosting, you'll often be given a plethora of options for your server. Let's take a look at the considerations:
Easily one of, if not, the most important component of your server. Having a powerful CPU alone will not get the most of our of your performance - you'll also need an increase in RAM to make the most of that power.
Available in most servers is DDR3, DDR4 and likely very soon, DDR5 RAM. Being able to scale these types of RAM will allow you to leverage the full power of every other component in the server - no different to the situation you'd have with your iPhone or your laptop.
We'll discuss CPU next, but alongside this and the RAM, storage is a key component when knowing the amount of storage space you'll need on your server hosting.
Some companies offer HDDs which are cheap, but SSD are catching up price wise and offer so much more as a storage option for a server. Ranging from around 240GB usually up to 7TB+ with some hosting providers, SSDs have zero moving parts, meaning they offer huge reliability. What's more the latest NVMe storage is the fastest performing SSD on the market and usually part of a decent hosting package.
Simms are also specialists in SSD for server environments. We work with industry leaders (Micron, Solidigm and Kingston) to take their latest SSDs to market including NVMe, SATA, and all in a variety of form factors.
CPUs will shape your server and its more than likely you'll find yourself choosing an Intel or AMD CPU, both whom are making huge innovations in this component area.
Both speed and performance will depend on your CPU and how your RAM balances with this. Whilst it is easy to add more and more RAM, this will ultimately come down to your choice of CPU and their limits to accommodate the memory.
CPUs will have many differing elements including number of cores, clock speed, cache and host bus speed.
Use cases for types hosting, workloads and storage
Let's take a little look at the best use cases for each hosting option:-
|Virtual Private Server
|Yes if you want higher-level hardware resources
|Yes if you need an extra boost in shared resources
|Cloud hosting is ideally for applications but web can be hosted here equally
|Ideal for online gaming and e-sports - DDoS protection normally included
|Ideal for gaming with friends, less resources - no DDoS protection though
|Ideally go for dedicated or VPS over cloud hosting for gaming
|You need a large amount of resources to run applications
|Virtual Private Server
|Absolutely - DB options need high availability and performance is key
|Deploy MySQL, MongoDB etc. on major cloud hosting platforms
|AI and ML
|Go cloud for specific deployments
|Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can be delivered from the cloud
|Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)
|Perfect for managing colleagues work ecosystem
For those running hosting servers, choosing the right type of SSD storage is imperative to match your customers needs. Choosing the right type of flash for specific workloads to match your hosting options will go along with to desired performance and reliability. Check out which type of flash SSD is best for each workload:
|What is it
|QLC (NAND Flash)
|QLC stands for quad-level cell. With this kind of flash, four bits of data are stored per cell. This is the highest capacity of SSD storage on the market.
|Write heavy workloads - displacing HDD drives, where read, reliability and low power performance are key like big data, analytics, video and object storage.
|TLC (NAND Flash)
|TLC flash is a type of NAND flash memory that stores three bits of data per cell. TLC can store 50% more data than MLC.
|General databases, CRM & ERP, software tools and general HR and finance applications.
|NVMe is a fairly new storage access protocol, delivering the highest throughput and fastest response times.
|TLC style use cases as well as AI, ML, big data and DevOps.
If you're a hosting provider offering dedicated servers, virtual private servers, or cloud hosting - speak to Simms today about working with us as a trusted partner for your SSD & RAM. We work with hosting providers navigating them through new technologies, an up-and-down supply chain and ensuring they maximise the performance of their server estate for great customer outcomes via our dedicated experts.