For those not involved with network configuration or server hosting, the Internet may conveniently remain a mysterious thing consisting of a “series of tubes.” However, to anyone who wishes to make a living, or have a hobby, online, how the Internet works is of utmost importance, and a little confusing at first. That being said, for anyone starting up a website, who fears the complexities and expenses of running a server on their own, there is good news. Hundreds of companies have properly anticipated such fear or reluctance and offer dedicated server hosting for anyone willing to pay. A dedicated server provides autonomy, custom configurations, added support, and better traffic handling for serious web-developers.
Shared vs. Dedicated Hosting
There are many differences between shared and dedicated hosting, but the primary ones come down to server partitions and hardware. A partition is essentially a space on a server that remains isolated from other software or systems, and shared hosting services will keep a number of partitions, or customers, on a single server. Customers will have autonomy from other websites, and will pay lower premiums than dedicated hosting, but in this they sacrifice customizing the operating system or hardware of the server. A dedicated server will be an entire server that, you guessed it, is dedicated to a single client. While this is considerably more expensive, it is also more expansive, and far more customizable. People don’t know it, but websites can run on any number of operating systems, from free Linux distributions, to commercial server systems, to ones that are custom built. A dedicated server will be more worthwhile to someone expecting to generate larger traffic to their website.
The choice of operating systems will come down to the programmer and client preferences, but with a dedicated server at your disposal there should be little difficulty getting exactly what you want. Most companies will provide Linux or Unix distributions free of charge, or offer professional ones such as Red Hat or Microsoft Windows Server on the basis of a monthly subscription. The fees included for supporting these operating systems will often include updates, management, and security services.
Choosing What is Right For You
A shared hosting plan may be enticing at first, and for the website hobbyist is probably the better choice. But if you are someone with network experience, launching a startup or anything with the hope of generating a lot of traffic, then focusing on future autonomy and network customization should be a real goal. Web sites run on shared hosting services will find difficulty in switching to dedicated later on down the road, and as their popularity and experience index grow, they will often become frustrated by the restrictions placed on their shared server configuration. It is never desirable to find yourself confined by the cheaper, weaker option later on, and that is just one of many reasons to consider dedicated server hosting for your website or business.