In essence it is a complete server ( 1 system) devoted to a single client or single website. Dedicated hosting especially for larger companies can span multiple clustered servers. Some organizations will have multiple web sites and so renting a dedicated server can be quite economical. This scenario is quite different from a virtual server that is really a single system carved up to look like a non-shared service.
A dedicated hosting service, dedicated server, or managed hosting service is a type of Intenet hosting where the client leases an entire server not shared with anyone. This is more flexible than shared hosting, as organizations have full control over the server(s), including choice of operating system, hardware, etc. Server administration can usually be provided by the hosting company as an add-on service. In some cases a dedicated server can offer less overhead and a larger return on investment. Dedicated servers are most often housed in data centers, similar to colocation facilities, providing redundant power sources and HVAC systems. In contrast to collocation, the server hardware is owned by the provider and in some cases they will provide support for your operating system or applications.
Providers often bill for dedicated servers on a fixed monthly price to include specific software packages. Over the years, software vendors realized the significant market opportunity to bundle their software with dedicated servers. They have since started introducing pricing models that allow dedicated hosting providers the ability to purchase and resell software based on reduced monthly fees.
Microsoft offers software licenses through a program called the Service Provider License Agreement. The SPLA model provides use of Microsoft products through a monthly user or processor based fee. SPLA software includes the Windows Operating System, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SharePoint and shoutcast hosting, and many other server based products.
Dedicated Server Providers usually offer the ability to select the software you want installed on a dedicated server. Depending on the overall usage of the server, this will include your choice of operating system, database, and specific applications. Servers can be customized and tailored specific to the customer’s needs and requirements.
Other software applications available are specialized web hosting specific programs called control panels. Control panel software is an all inclusive set of software applications, server applications, and automation tools that can be installed on a dedicated server. Control panels include integration into web servers, database applications, programming languages, application deployment, server administration tasks, and include the ability to automate tasks via a web based front end.
Most dedicated servers are packaged with a control panel. Control panels are often confused with management tools, but these control panels are actually web based automation tools created to help automate the process of web site creation and server management. Control panels should not be confused with a full server management solution by a dedicated hosting provider.
To date, no industry standards have been set to clearly define the management role of dedicated server providers. What this means is that each provider will use industry standard terms, but each provider will define them differently. For some dedicated server providers, fully managed is defined as having a web based control panel while other providers define it as having dedicated system engineers readily available to handle all server and network related functions of the dedicated server provider.
Server management can include some or all of the following:
Operating System updates
Simple Network Management Protocolhardware monitoring
DDoS protection and mitigation
Backups and restoration
DNS hosting service
Software installation and configuration
Dedicated hosting server providers define their level of management based on the services they provide. In comparison, fully managed could equal self managed from provider to provider.
Administrative maintenance of the operating system, often including upgrades, security patches and sometimes even daemon updates are included. Differing levels of management may include adding users, domains, daemon configuration, or even custom programming.
Dedicated server hosting providers may provide the following types of server managed support:
- Fully Managed - Includes monitoring, software updates, reboots, security patches and operating system upgrades. Customers are completely hands-off.
- Managed - Includes medium level of management, monitoring, updates, and a limited amount of support. Customers may perform specific tasks.
- Self Managed - Includes regular monitoring and some maintenance. Customers provide most operations and tasks on dedicated server.
- Unmanaged - Little to no involvement fromm service provider. Customers provide all maintenance, upgrades, patches, and security.