There may come a time when setting up a dedicated server for your business makes the most sense. This could be because your eCommerce site is growing and it needs to be able to handle an increase in traffic. Or you want to boost your ability to protect your business’s proprietary and customer data. In any case, having a dedicated server helps ensure that your IT infrastructure is always available and remains optimal.
But how much does a dedicated server cost? Generally, you will be looking to spend $1,000 to $2,500 per enterprise-grade server hardware only. You will also need to factor in the costs of installing the server on-site, configuring security and redundancy measures, and hiring server administrators — all of which can easily mount up to six-figure sums.
So how can your business take full advantage of your tech without burning a hole in your pocket? The answer is server hosting.
Why do I need server hosting services?
It’s easy to think that running your own dedicated server will pay for itself, but that’s only if you put considerable effort into maintaining it. Taking into account the costs of the initial setup, regular maintenance, and hiring in-house IT staff, the option of having a dedicated server becomes infeasible for a small business.
Instead, you can turn to server hosting services. By paying a hosting service a monthly fee, you can reap the benefits of having a full IT infrastructure without needing to keep server resources on-site. You also don’t have to maintain the hardware, manage its upkeep, or troubleshoot it when it breaks. The hosting provider takes care of everything to ensure your server is always available when you need it.
With server hosting, you not only eliminate up-front hardware costs, but you also get access to higher-end machines and experienced IT professionals. What’s more, a hosting provider goes to great lengths to ensure the security of your data and systems. They operate data centers with heavily restricted access and multiple redundancies in place to protect servers against physical and virtual threats.
What are the different types of server hosting?
There are many types of server hosting solutions. Their differences lie in their storage capacity, server speed, level of control, and technical knowledge requirements. The six types of server hosting you will most often come across are the following:
1. Shared hosting
Shared hosting is perfect for entry-level site hosting. Essentially, your site is stored on the same server as multiple other sites, and you all share the same server resources such as memory (RAM) and CPU. This is why the cost of shared hosting solutions is relatively low, ranging from $5 to $20 a month. But because you are sharing the server with multiple other sites, surges in usage can affect your site’s performance.
2. Virtual private server (VPS) hosting
VPS hosting offers the advantages of a dedicated server but at the cost of a shared server. Each site is hosted within its own space on a shared physical server. While this type of hosting provides you with more customization options and storage space, a VPS is still not able to handle spikes in usage or incredibly high traffic levels. This means that the performance of your site can still be affected by other sites on the server.
Most VPS hosting plans cost between $50 and $200, depending on the guaranteed RAM and CPU you get.
3. Dedicated hosting
Dedicated hosting gives you the most control over the server that houses your site — and that’s because it’s the only one stored on it. By renting an entire physical server, you have full root and admin access, which allows you to control everything from the operating system you run to the security measures you implement.
But all that control comes with a price — a dedicated server costs $100 and up. It is the best option if your site gets a lot of traffic, but traffic is not your only consideration. You will also have to consider the high level of technical expertise required for the installation and ongoing management of the server. And that can raise costs significantly.
4. Cloud hosting
Cloud-based hosting, or simply cloud hosting, works via a network of hundreds of individual servers that use combined computing resources so that they operate like one giant server. This allows you to consume computing resources like a utility, which means you can employ as many resources as your site requires and pay only for what you use.
5. Managed hosting
Most hosting solutions found online are likely to be managed. That is, a hosting provider offers a variety of services, including hardware and software setup and configuration, maintenance and hardware replacement, patch and update implementation, and technical support and monitoring. They also take care of the day-to-day management of the hardware, operating systems, and standardized applications.
The price of managed hosting varies depending on the type of server hosting you need the provider to manage for you and how much support you will require.
Instead of renting out a server or keeping one in-house, you can rent a space in a data center and bring in your own server hardware. The data center then provides the power, cooling, internet uplink, and physical security that your server requires. You get access to higher levels of bandwidth at a much lower cost with colocation, but you're entirely responsible for your hardware, software, and services. So if your server breaks down, you are expected to take care of replacing it and getting it back up and running.
A data center usually charges a monthly fee for colocation hosting, and it includes a set amount of bandwidth and IP addresses. The average cost of server space can range anywhere from $45 to $300 per month.
What type of server hosting is best for my business?
Considering what your needs in a site are will help you choose the right option for your business. Keep in mind the type of site you have, how much traffic you expect, the resources you need, and your budget. Don’t forget to consider any growth or new projects you expect to take on in the next 1–2 years. Ultimately, the solution you choose will impact the performance, security, scalability, and management level of your site.
If that sounds like too much work, your best bet is to enlist the help of professionals like Data Cube Systems. We will get to know your budget and goals before recommending the most suitable option for your Orlando business.
Call us today to learn more about our flexible plans and how we custom-configure your servers to perfectly fit your unique specifications.