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Dedicated servers, to do what?

serveur dedié

A dedicated server resources. Unlike shared servers, which resources are shared by several users.

Dedicated servers have various uses for companies or individuals and could fit any type of project.
In this article, we are first going to define what is a dedicated server, then, we will analyze the different types of dedicated servers. Finally, we will cover the multiple uses of dedicated servers.

What is a server?


To better understand what is a server, we will rely on the definition given by the "Journal du Net" (French) (JDN) :

"The term server refers to a hardware device intended to provide services to clients. These services usually are website hosting, email solution, storage & backup, databases or e-commerce."

In concret terms, a server is made up of several essential components just like the computer you have at home (Processor, RAM, hard drive…). The server requires an OS to be used (very often a Linux distribution or Windows Server), and to install the different services you need for your project. The main difference with your desktop or laptop is the type of operation the machine supports. For instance most of servers are not made to run graphic calculations. Moreover, servers are mainly more powerful than average desktop as it needs to run more operation (and are often used by several users).

More than 400 millions servers are used today in the world, and that number tends to increase consequently in the coming years. Indeed, new Data Centers are built every year all over the world to match the growing computing power needs.

Several types of servers exist regarding the need. For a better space optimization, professional hosters will prefer «rack» format. Their shape allows them to be arranged in «baies». So machines could easily be stacked. Rack servers are also easy to access in case of technical intervention or maintenance.
However “tower” servers also exist. It looks just like your desktop at home. Tower servers are mainly used for small internal uses is small or medium companies.


To do what?

Today almost every company have at list one server to match very various needs.
First of all, when a company wishes to develop its online presence, having a domain and a hosting package is mandatory. For a simple showcase website with low traffic, a shared hosting may be enough. However for an e-commerce website for instance, or for a high traffic website, it is essential to use a dedicated server. You may benefit from all the resources and be able to manage the machine as you wish. It is therefore strongly advised to work with an expert who can help you to build your infrastructure and support you on the technical part.

But a server has many other uses than hosting a website. Metaphorically, this would only be the tip of the iceberg.
Then, we can look at other uses of dedicated servers that may be less obvious.

First of all, database hosting, essential for almost every company. If the hosted data are very sensitive you may choose to host them internally but trusting a hosting expert gives you backup options, redundancy and hardware warranties.

Then, servers with a very specific use. For instance, NAS servers (Network Attached Storage) are perfect to save data. Like an external hard drive, the NAS allows you to store or backup important volume of data. NAS servers are recommended with a sufficient bandwidth to ensure good upload and download speeds.

To match certain needs, some servers are also equipped with specific components. Among other things, we can underline GPU servers, which include a graphic card (GPU) in addition to a conventional processor CPU. That type of servers are mostly used for video processing or crypto mining.

Note : A universal trend, crypto-asset mining has proven to be an uncomplicated way to make money. In reality, this activity remains very greedy in resources, energy and remains very correlated to the different currencies.

Nevertheless some hosting actors provide servers specifically made for crypto. The chosen solution allow you to get free to technical problematics related to infrastructure. This solution allow you to benefit from equipment that is always up to date in addition to an efficient support service..

GPU servers are also essential for graphic tasks such as video editing, Youtubers for instance, who create their own content. They require a reliable and good bandwidth in order to upload their video, which is why they very often choose to use a server hosted in a datacenter.

Gamers will also be cautious about the choice of their server. Indeed, many online games offer you possibility to have your own server. For instance, on Minecraft, you can host you server locally (i.e on your own computer) but this solution requires an important bandwidth and resources to host many other players. This last solution may be cheaper but does not ensure the quality of service which is more than essential to provide a good gaming experience to players. Choosing a professional hosting provider will be more expansive but guarantee a continuous and asynchronous bandwidth (upload speed = download speed)..

In conclusion, we can analyze even more specific uses as Disaster Recovery Plan or Disaster Continuity Plan. In a nutshell, DRP is equipment redundancy to ensure business continuity in case of failure. DRP are essential to avoid any stoppage of your activity. The secondary equipment takes over automatically when a failure occurs, this solution is strongly advised for a high traffic e-commerce website or a critic use.

The list we have seen today is of course not exhaustive but covers a lot of ground, we have tried to illustrate the very wide variety of uses for dedicated servers.