Best Dedicated Server Hosting UK
Dedicated Servers: Types And Advantages
Many online and professional projects require the highest level of performance and customisation in their hosting environments. In these cases dedicated servers become the best alternative, but which one to choose? When is a better option than other alternatives? We reveal the keys to get the right choice.
Until a few years ago when we considered hiring a hosting service we had two options: either opt for shared hosting, where the same server was shared by many clients (sometimes hundreds), or a dedicated server, where we could count on the full power of a machine entirely dedicated to our project.
On the other hand, today the offer is infinitely wider. On the one hand, classic shared hosting services have evolved in most of the providers towards Cloud environments where server clusters serve all clients.
With this, providers can dynamically address the processing needs of shared environments, and even prioritise resources between the highest quality plans and low-cost personal use plans. On the other hand, we have a large list of dedicated solutions (VPS, Cloud, managed dedicated server, etc.) that we must know and take into account to make an accurate decision.
When Do We Need A Dedicated Server In UK?
The answer to this question is not always easy, but there are two key factors: level of benefits and customisation needs. In general, for online projects that need to handle a very high volume of traffic or processing capacity (eg for large databases), the ideal option is to hire a dedicated solution that allows us to guarantee a controlled environment where resources only be ours, and do not depend on other factors. The second option, also very common, is that we need customised functions or configurations for our projects that do not offer us a shared environment.
We must bear in mind that the shared environments of the best suppliers offer a high performance in general, and are capable of supporting high traffic or processing loads. However, in these environments, providers opt for security configurations, access control, versions of the different running services (eg PHP), backups, etc. adjusted to what they consider most appropriate. Thus, if our Web needs a specific database engine, a specific execution environment, a customised backup policy, or simply PHP-specific settings, the most logical option is to find a dedicated solution.
Of course, working with cheap dedicated servers we must assess that we will need yes or yes to have technical knowledge or internal / external resources to manage them. From the most basic and necessary security updates, to the control of backups, configuration settings and security control to protect them against hacking attacks. This last one is probably the most delicate point, because when we hire a dedicated server providers usually offer standard installation images for the operating system that we choose (Windows, or different Linux distributions). These installations, before putting the server into production, will force us to update components and secure / parameterise the server configuration to make it ready for use. It is more, since the most usual, advisable and economic thing is to opt for dedicated executing Linux, this set up is not available to all.
Dedicated Solutions Available
Knowing the above, comes the point of choosing the dedicated solution that best suits us. We will review the solutions that today can offer us any large Vox hosting provider, with its advantages and disadvantages but, in all cases, environments dedicated only to us. For this we have taken as a base the products of 1 & 1, one of the largest hosting providers in Europe, and that offers virtually all possible dedicated solutions available in the market:
1) Virtual Servers:
They are commonly called VPS (Virtual Private Server), and are nothing more than virtual machines running through a hypervisor such as VMware ESX, Xen (free) or Microsoft Hyper-V. In these cases, a real server simultaneously executes a certain number of virtual machines on the same real hardware.
The most interesting advantage of the VPS is that they offer very tight prices, which start at 5-10 € / month for the simplest versions. The main problem is that when running on the same hardware multiple VPS, however much they guarantee a certain amount of RAM or CPU cycles, as our VPS is on a real machine very overloaded or with “neighbours” squeezing their resources, the usual thing is that we find a very variable level of performance.
Therefore, they are basically recommended as experimentation and testing environments, or for small projects that require the advantages of a dedicated one, but do not need high performance or a guarantee of availability of resources.
2) Cloud Server:
It is a version of the previous ones, but with very important advantages. In this case it is also a virtual machine, but executed on a cluster of servers mounted on Cloud. This means that the workload is shared between multiple machines that manage their resources centrally and generally with high-performance associated storage systems.
The main advantage is that in a Cloud the resources are really guaranteed, the maximum reliability (the fall of a server does not make the Cloud come down) and especially the possibilities of expansion: we can create new Cloud servers in a very simple way, or resize the CPU / RAM / Disk of those we already have in a matter of minutes. This means that we can scale them (both upwards and downwards) according to our needs, adjusting the cost of the environment to our reality. Thus, in times of increased demand we can have a huge amount of resources and pay accordingly, and at the time of minimum activity reduce these resources and save money.
Their starting cost in general is higher, but we can have one from around € 30 / month, a figure that compensates widely if we consider their possibilities.
3) UK Dedicated Servers:
Here we are talking about real machines assigned to us exclusively, so it would be the “pure” dedicated solution. In suppliers like 1 & 1 we can get a single one from about € 20-30 / month, so the cost is not a problem. Its main advantage is that we can do exactly the same as with any server that we had in our table: install any operating system, and have 100% of the hardware for ourselves.
Now, as we said before, we will have to manage and maintain the machine in its entirety, its updates, and backup copies and make sure it works properly. Therefore, if the technical issue is not a barrier for us, a best dedicated server hosting is the best solution to get the best performance at a reasonable price or put into production projects where a high level of customisation is required.
Of course, as we would in the VPS, if we need more resources or increase aspects such as RAM or storage capacity, we will have to migrate to a new machine with a more powerful configuration.
4) Managed Server:
This is a variety of the above, and not all providers offer them (in 1 & 1 we can find them). It is a affordable dedicated server to which we will not have full access to the command line. In return, the technical team of the supplier will be in charge of updating, fixing and maintaining the machine in perfect operation. In this way we will be able to ignore management / maintenance to some extent, but enjoying complete resources and the possibility of requesting the installation of specific components and making adjustments tailored to our needs.
In these cases it is important to read the fine print, as there are aspects of the administration that are sometimes not included (eg. backup copies are usually an extra), so it is important to be clear that it is included and not so as not to bring us unpleasant surprises. What must be clear is that the supplier will apply at least a 10-20% increase in the monthly price in exchange for their management and administration work. In return, it is worth it, especially in case of machines with Webs in production, because in case of any problem the supplier will be in charge of repairing it with 24 × 7 service.