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What is a dedicated server ?


What is concretely a dedicated server ?

This question is still often asked to our support team. In fact with the development of virtualization, Cloud computing, the adjectives qualifying servers continue to multiply (dedicated / shared / virtual / even “green”) and some of our customers just do not see things clearly.

Let’s begin with a bit of etymology. A server is a computer that performs operation at the request of other computers. For instance, an HTTP server provides web pages responding to a web browser. The server is therefore a function assigned to a machine ...

By definition, the dedicated server (or dedicated machine) is opposed to the shared server.
With a dedicated server, all resources available are allocated to a single user, allowing him / her to enjoy all the power of the machine.
On the other hand, with a shared server, several users share the resources of a single machine.
Now, when we say that a server (dedicated or shared) can be either physical or virtual, things could get a bit more complicated… But not that much in the end. A physical server means that the operating system is installed on the machine and the applications being installed on top of it (website, emails, business applications…). With a virtual server, a hypervisor (virtualization software such as Hyper-V) is installed on the machine, then, it is possible to create several virtual servers using and sharing the machine’s resources.

Dedicated servers and shared servers

The difference between dedicated servers and shared servers is still not clear for you ?

Maybe a metaphor could help you understand better. Let’s say that a server is a means of transport.

A dedicated server would then be a limousine, namely a machine intended for the use of a single user. A shared server would be a bus, therefore a machine used to transport several simultaneously. A virtual server, is quite simply a car transport truck, the truck being the machine and the cars the servers.