Does the best dedicated server mean the best price aside from all else?
Or does the “best dedicated server” mean the best price-to-performance solution that most closely matches your specific web hosting requirements? I think I’d go with the latter.
A myriad of variables come into play of which could be whether you need managed services, DDoS protection, dual CPUs, a specific amount of RAM, the type and size of drives, backup considerations, RAID solutions, port speeds, the provider’s infrastructure, IPMI access, enterprise class hardware (including the MOBO), provisioning timetables, average support response and resolution times, intuitive billing panels, terms of service, acceptable use policies and bandwidth limitations.
When you opt for the lowest price, you generally give up specs on many of those just listed. Obviously, the first to go would be managed services, then high performance CPUs, and the amount and type of RAM. The quantity, size and type of drives would follow.
Enterprise class hardware? This isn’t normally found with budget providers, but why is this important anyway? Very simply, dedicated servers undergo significantly more stress than their desktop counterparts. Enterprise class means lower time between failures which translates into fewer trips to the parts department and consequently, less downtime.
How critical is your web presence?
If a company’s web presence plays a critical part in their business operations, then the quality of the dedicated server hosting that site (and its provider) weighs heavily on which server would be the best dedicated server, specifically for them. Just as signage and location is critical for local mom and pop shops, business websites can be a company’s storefront.
First impressions are lasting impressions, so an under-performing server or provider’s network can have a degrading or even devastating effect on that company’s operations. Whatever hard dollar savings you realized short term by going with a budget provider could be lost to soft dollar issues like abandoned shopping carts, prolonged or frequent down-times, lack of support or straight up customer churn.
Versus cloud hosting
While cloud hosting services are trending and many contend are the wave of the future, dedicated server hosting continues to serve industries that require very specific applications like HIPAA compliance.
For right now, Linux dedicated servers comprise the bulk of servers racked at data centers globally, followed by Microsoft servers. They are essentially the backbone of the Internet, and have grown to that dimension because they’ve proven their ability to perform under stress 24/7/365.
When you’re researching which would be the best dedicated server for your project, business or organization, it really comes down to an optimum combination of enterprise class hardware, superior network performance, and competent, professional responsive support from the provider – all within the parameters of your budget.
How to narrow down prospective providers
Narrowing down prospective dedicated server hosting providers is no easy task as it seems there are thousands upon thousands of providers to wade through. Go to any web hosting forum and check out their respective Marketplace sub-forums, and the offers will blend together like sugar and water.
When prospects ask who the best dedicated server provider is or what is the best dedicated server, the answer on every web hosting forum generally is that there is no best dedicated server or provider, only the one that is best for you – and that’s absolutely true.
What works for your specific application may be a disaster for another company. All course all of this is relative to the resources that you project as necessary to sustain your company’s or organization’s operations.
If you’re streaming live events, your requirements will be substantially different than say, a business selling patio equipment. The same if you’re hosting games versus a company featuring sunglasses. With some applications, you’ll need more processing power. With game servers, you’d be looking for best CPU speed and latency. Other applications may require a clustered configuration.
Ask the right questions
I see far too many OPs (original posters) on the forums asking generalized queries and expecting informed recommendations. When you’re performing research, and asking questions of prospective providers, it’s best to know as much about the resources you’ll require upfront, and then match those to each prospective provider, taking into account projected growth.
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