Dedicated servers, what are they used for?

serveur dedié

As its name suggests, a dedicated server is a machine in which you have full control, responsibility), and access to full resources. By definition, it is opposed to a shared server, where resources are shared between several users.

The uses of dedicated servers are extremely varied. Professionals and individuals are increasingly requiring machines.
In this article, we will first try to define what a server is, then we will study the different types of servers. Finally, we will try to cover more in-depth the multiple uses of a dedicated server.

What is a server?

To better understand the term server, we provide the definition given by Journal du Net (JDN) :
"In computing, the term server refers to a hardware device intended to provide services to clients. In summary, these services are Web service, the collection of emails, storage, consulting databases, or e-commerce."
In concrete terms, a server is composed of several essential computer components just like the computer you have at home (processor, RAM, hard disk...). An operating system is then installed on the machine (very often Linux or Windows Server for certain uses), then services are installed according to your needs. The main difference is the calculations that the machine supports, for example, a server does not run video games, so it is not optimized for graphics calculations and may not even have a graphics card. Moreover, a server is more powerful than a desktop machine because it needs to perform operations requested by several users.

Today, more than 400 million servers are active worldwide, and this figure is projected to grow very significantly in the coming years. There is a growing number of Data Centers around the world as hosting needs increase.
A server can take many forms, for reasons of space optimization, hosts will prefer a flat format called "rack". Indeed, their shape allows them to be placed in "bays". So the hosts can easily stack the machines. Also, this format facilitates interventions when technical teams must intervene in clean rooms.
However, you can very well opt for a "tower" server that will look just like the CPU you may have at home. These machines are preferred for small internal use in small businesses for example.


What is it for?

Today for all businesses to have a server is almost mandatory. The uses are many.
First, when a company wants to have an online presence, the acquisition of a domain name and hosting is imperative.
For a simple site with a low traffic storefront, shared hosting may be sufficient. However, for an e-commerce site, for example, or when your business generates significant traffic, it is essential to equip you with a dedicated server. Thus, you will enjoy the entire resource, and you will be free to manage the machine at your leisure. It is strongly advised to turn to a professional who can advise you accommodation in terms of infrastructure and support you on the technical aspects.
But a server has other utilities than just hosting a website. Metaphorically, it is only the visible part of the iceberg.

Then, we can look at the other uses of dedicated servers that may be less obvious.
Firstly, a dedicated server will be used for hosting databases, and this is essential for many companies. You can choose to internalize your hosting if the data in your database is critical, but once again, we advise you to entrust the management to a professional.
We will now look at servers for very specific uses.
For example, NAS (Network Attached Storage) servers are ideal for storing data. A bit like an external hard drive, the NAS allows you to do networked storage. This type of server is very practical as long as you have enough bandwidth to ensure good upload and download speed.
To meet certain needs, some servers are also equipped with specific configurations. Different from a classic processor (CPU), we would like to mention GPU servers, which have a graphics card (GPU) for several reasons. To undermine active crypto (Bitcoins) or for audio or video processing.

Note: A universal fashion phenomenon, crypto-active mining has proven to be an uncomplicated way to make money. In reality, this activity is still very resource- and energy-intensive and remains highly correlated to the exchange rate of different currencies.

Some hosting providers have offers to undermine these crypto-assets. The solution you have chosen will avoid problems of maintenance and management of the infrastructure. Thus, this choice allows you to benefit from up-to-date equipment, functional configurations, and proactive support.

GPU servers are also essential for performing graphics tasks such as video editing or computer-assisted drawing. It is especially true for YouTubers, who often have to edit their video. Besides, they also require a wide bandwidth to upload their videos. This is the reason why they often choose to use a server hosted in a Data Center to couple a GPU server and guaranteed bandwidth.

Our gamer friends will also be particularly sensitive to the choice of their dedicated server. In fact, many online games offer the possibility of having their own dedicated server. This is for the case of Minecraft, extremely well known in the world of video games. You can choose to host your server locally, that is on your computer. Be careful of this choice, you need to be sure that your bandwidth and the resources of your machine are sufficient to support several players. Besides, for activating your server, your computer must be on all the time. This solution is inexpensive. However, from the aspect of server quality, it is important to switch to a host. It will be costly but the hosting providers will guarantee the quality of servers, for continuous use and asynchronous bandwidth. (Upload speed equal to the download speed).

To conclude, we will look at some even more specific uses. This is for example the case of PRA (Business Resumption Plan) or PCA (Business Continuity Plan). In a nutshell, a PRA is equipment redundancy to ensure business continuity in the event of an outage. A PRA is essential to avoid any shutdown of your activity. Thus, redundant equipment takes over automatically when a failure occurs on the main equipment, this type of infrastructure will be used in the case of an online store with high traffic, for example.

Of course, what we have seen in today's list is not exhaustive, but it covers a considerable number of areas. We tried to illustrate the various usage of dedicated servers.

Add new comment