How to purchase a Server!

How to locate a Dedicated Server!

So you have outgrown your shared host and time now to move on to the genuine stuff.

Yes we're discussing web site hosting, those byte crunching beasts. Working out every one of the options and services can be very confusing.

Dedicated Server


But No Worry!

I will make an attempt to present you with some suggestions and hopefully help guide your ideal server.

Let's quickly not waste any moment and initiate with first segment.

Exactly what is a Dedicated Server?
Server is really a single computer connected to a network (internet). This computer and every one of it's processing power is devoted to a single person or organization. And therefore your computer resources usually are not shared by someone else. You will find the full charge of the equipment and you are absolve to run any software you would like on that computer.

Generally web site hosting are used to serve website requests ( html, images, videos...etc) nevertheless they can be used as all kinds of other purposes at the same time.

Will i need several servers?
To simplify things we will divide using web site hosting in to these two groups:

 Full Website Hosting
 Specific Service Hosting (Database, email, httpd...etc)

Single Website Hosting
Hosting 1 or several web sites. In this sort of setup, each of the services/programs (http software, DB software, email software...etc) are installed and running one dedicated server. Sometimes these services/programs may also be referred as "servers" them self.

This is the common setup for small to medium trafficked sites since each of the necessary software required to run the site are located on one physical machine.

Benifit of of this setup could it be lowers the charge, but disadvantage is always that every one of the machine resources are shared by all of the software and procedures.

Specific Service Hosting
Hosting of merely one software or service on it's own dedicated machine. Every one of the resources on the machine are dedicated mainly for one sort of service or functionality. As an example, one might host only Database Software for the server to ensure that all the resources on that machine are only dedicated for processing of Database Queries. You may handle more queries, or deliver more pages.

Usually medium to high trafficked internet sites will run this kind of setup.

Traditional setup will consist of more than one server which will only handle web (http) request, the other or even more servers only handling database requests and perhaps several servers only handling processing of the emails. Theoretically there's no limitation for the amount of servers. As being a group family interaction these servers are used to process in millions of requests each day.

Which setup can you choose?
This naturally depends on how much requests and traffic that your site is going to be receiving. So to have the ability to answer this we must first understand tiny bit as to what services are expected to ensure how do people be accessed from the user.

Generally today's dynamic web sites require two main service types to offer a full working how do people the user's browser.

 WEB SERVERS / WEB SCRIPTS ( apache, IIS, php, perl, java )
 DATABASE SERVER (MYSQL, MSSQL, ORACLE)

Standby time with the word "servers" within the above text is talking about the application / software instead of to the physical machine. This is a common saying used to spell out the application.

Web server handles all of the initial requests through the browser and decides on where data through the Database is returned.
Database server handles requests from the net server in the type of queries. These queries retrieve data from the storage (hard disk) and return it to the net server.

As you can tell both web and database server work together to supply a final product (site) towards the user.

Usually server handles a lot of logic part so FASTER CPU and greater MEMORY are invariably in need of assistance more then Hard Drive speed.

While database server handles a greater portion of data retrieval so FASTER HD and bigger MEMORY are always short of funds more then cpu speed.

In any case more memory is always needed:)

You need to observe that each of the server software always uses some of the CPU, MEMORY and difficult DISK resources. Eventually they start fighting in the available resources.

A good way to stop this fight in the resources is to separate them onto each own dedicated server.

Another excuse to split up service types is is a lot easier to optimize your machine to own well first specific task then it is for all of the tasks.

For instance:

Since we now realize that Database needs faster Hard disks, maybe we use more costly faster Hard Drives in DB machine, and then leave the cheaper computer drives on WEB machines where HD speed seriously isn't important.

But maybe instead we use faster processors on WEB machines simply because they perform a lot of the logic.

Doing it like this we've got optimal performance without wasting resources and $$$!

These are simply general suggestions, and based on the internet site and it is functionality these configurations will vary.

Server Features and Components.
OK if you are understand what each (web, db) server is hungry for, how do you know what components to acquire?

Due to the sheer amount of various sorts and kinds of each component I'd must write several books only to cover that subject.

And so i am just likely to provide you with some general guides per sort of component, which whould help you on your next server purchase.

CPU Speed:
This can be a no brainer. More speed (Ghz) that processor contains the faster it could carry out the calculations and faster all pages and posts will get returned towards the user.

Some CPU architectures are acknowledged to perform better then others in server setups so I suggest you are doing some investigation on that subject.

Amount of CPU Cores / Processors:

Another no brainer. More cores or processors your server has, more taks it may do simultaneously. As most in the actions around the server are based on requests and each request usually spawns an outside process, you can view how more CPU Cores enables the server to deal with multiple requests simultaneously.

Level of RAM:
I think the thing is the pattern here "MORE". Needless to say more RAM your server has, more requests it may handle concurrently. Reason behind that is that all request requires certain quantity of RAM so that it may be processed. This amount would depend of various factors like: Software type, Os, Installed Modules...etc

For instance popular server software APACHE can take about 7mb to 15mb of RAM per request or process and that is not accounting for every other processes already running or just being spawned to enhance that all request.

Memory is most likely best investment you can create with your server.

Hard Drive RPM speed
Again the faster the disk spins, quicker it can get to the data on disk. Some popular Har Disk speeds are: 7200RPM, 10000RPM and 15000RPM.

Biggest performance increase by faster Hard disk drives will be seen by applications which connect to the Disk often. Some of the people applications are: Database servers, File Servers and Video Streaming servers.

SATA vs SCSI vs SAS
Had you been wondering what all of these acronyms are related to, those are the 3 most typical Hard disk interfaces found in dedicated servers.

Starting from left with SATA being the least expensive in fact not being the most effective performer. While with SCSI generally you get better performance then SATA but at higher cost and with much less disk space. With SAS you will get better performance then SCSI and yourself have more disk space.

Needless to say it is a lot more differences between these interfaces. Luckily there is certainly a lot of articles on the internet explaining everything. It is advisable to spend some time researching.

Generally unless you are running high Transaction DB server you might be fine with SATA. So if you are looking for best performance and also you don't value the fee then go with SAS.

To RAID you aren't to RAID
So yes we have been still tied to the difficult drives. If you notice a word "RAID" used in a server setup, this means that server has Two or more HD's joined in many forming one logical unit. Raid usually provides increased storage reliability through redundancy. There are numerous RAID setups and you've probably seen some: RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10...etc

Two most frequent ones you will observe in server setups are RAID 1 and RAID 5

What you should learn about RAID 0 is the fact that gives you some performance and increased total disk space but does not have any redundancy. If an individual drive fails, you loose your data.

RAID 1 provides redundancy through mirroring and in certain instances performance increase, but you do not get increased disk space. If one drive fails you could still continue operating and also switch the broken drive without loss of data. This setup requires two Hard disk drives.

RAID 5 provides redundancy and increased disk space. It will take minimum on 3 Hard disks. Maximum of disk space you'll have is:(Size of Smallest Drive) * (Quantity of Drives - 1). If someone HD fails you may still continue your operations.

RAID may be implemented via two common methods, via software or via hardware.

Software RAID uses Computer resources while Hardware RAID uses it's own dedicated resource around the card.

When you have an effective machine then performance among Hardware and Software RAID may be negligible

Generally it can be belief that if available Hardware RAID is a better choice.

In case you have a possibility to "RAID" your server, I say go for it, at least RAID 1. Servers are 24hr nonstop workhorses as well as any interruption as a result of single Harddrive point of failure might cause serious downtime for the web site.

Bandwidth
Bandwidth is the term used to explain the quantity of data that server will deliver over period of time. Contains can select to offer various pricing structures for expense of bandwidth.

But some of the largest ones are:

 Metered Bandwidth
 Unmetered Bandwidth

Metered bandwidth packages usually have specific amount of included bandwidth per month and if covering the included limit you happen to be charged certain fee per transferred GB ( GigaByte ) of data.

Unmetered bandwidth packages let you to transfer up to you are able to at it's peek included transfer rate. This maximum transferred rate is measured in Mbps ( megabits per second ).

Each costs type offers its very own advantages and drawbacks.

With metered bandwidth you usually get access to faster connection so that your speed can burst to the hosting provider's maximum bandwidth capabilities. This enables the person to download the file quicker if capable. Since you are charged per quantity of data, you're only limited to the pace of your uplink port.

With unmetered bandwidth you are limited (capped) to particular speed of the connection (10Mbps, 50Mbps, 100Mbps...etc). Volume of data you transfer isn't measured. In nutshell service provider says now is your max speed so you put it to use to the max speed or otherwise not, you're charged one predetermined fee for your speed.

With metered bandwidth actually need sure amount of data transfer useage included monthly can in fact be delivered over the included uplink port.

For instance: Let's imagine together with your server you get 6,000 GB of outbound transfer monthly your uplink port speed is 10 Mbps.

With this type of uplink speed if you were to continuously transfer for starters month at it's peek speed of 10 Mbps you'll simply be capable to transfer 3,240 GB of information. So to fully be able to utilize all in the allowed transfer usage you'll need to upgrade to higher port speed.

Main system
Usually contains offer several unique forms of Systems, but many turn out grouped into Linux/Unix based and Windows Servers.

OS X Server is an extremely rear breed to discover on hosting.

Choosing an operating method is mostly dependent on the requirements of software, libraries and applications you may be running on the server.

Certain software is positioned on both Linux, Unix and Windows, and some are simply designed for specific OS.

Linux based Operating Systems have become popular choice because most of them are free and in most cases require less resources to own then windows.

Cpanel
Control panels enable easy treatments for web site hosting. They allow you setup new virtual hosts, domains, emails accounts along with other tasks that may without having a user interface be vary tedious and difficult to put together.

Many are free and open source but for many you spend. Usually paid ones come with more features and support.

Most popular paid ones are: Cpanel, Plesk, DirectAdmin.

Most popular free ones are: Virtualmin GPL, W

If you are a novice with server colocation along with your web server is unmanaged by the webhost however would recommend having some type of cpanel installed. Whenever they your server management simple and it is possible to pay the nights actually sleeping as opposed to racking your brains on why your apache server is returning "500 Internal Server Error":)

Something to note is that submit Panels dominate your OS and embed them self so deep together with the OS it can easily make doing setups and installs not based on the user interface difficult.

Website hosting Support and Management
Managed or Unmanaged?
The majority of the Dedicated Server packages be "Managed" or "Unmanaged".

With unmanaged servers it is a personal responsibility to deal with the server. And thus installing and configuring any software about the server falls on you. Unmanaged servers usually are less costly and when you don't have any "System Administration" go through it can be tough to handle the server.

One option is to have some kind of control panel that make the management of the server less difficult.

With managed servers responsibility of managing in the server falls about the webhost. Should you be very a new comer to this all or perhaps you don't have time for you to manage it your self next the can be your best bet. Usually managed servers are much more expensive. Managed services have different levels of management. Ensure that you discover what exactly is in the management of your server, some tasks or software may not be covered and you will probably get charged hourly support rates.

Remote Reboot
Is described a choice that allows that you instantly Hard Reboot your machine. Rise done via web interface which is useful since will give you the control to restart the server at your command. Every now and then something may happen using the OS or software about the server then it crashes or freezes.

This involves the hard restart from the machine (cutting the energy off and away to the machine, and starting again).

If remote reboot is not available, you are able to usually issue a contact ticket or call the hosting company them self and they can perform this in your case. Issue is that sometimes support team might not arrive at your ticket in a while, which is the reason remote reboot is useful.

Support
Things do fail and they also usually happen when you least expect. Servers crash, Hard disk drives fail, Processors can burn out along with what should you do then? You are possibly a huge number of miles away from the server as there are nothing you'll be able to personally do. You're in hands of tech support.

There's all types of hosting companies on the market, from those operated by one individual to those operated by countless skilled technicians. Some offer 24/7 manned phone, chat and email support, even though some have only limited email support. Be cautious when selecting your host, pay good focus on the level of support they supply and discover repairs are covered. For support that's not covered within your plan some contains charge all the way to $150 each hour. Ensure you read their SLA (Service Level Agreement) to find out if they have any guarantees for just about any quiet time too

Dedicated Server