There are many different types of dedicated servers to choose from today that it can be overwhelming to select one. There’s everything from cheap dedicated servers for individuals and startups to enterprise and high-performance dedicated servers for scientific computation, rendering and big data analytics processing. How do you know which dedicated server is right for your business? In this article, I will discuss the different types of dedicated servers, explain the differences and what to look for in terms of type, capabilities and budget.
Cheap Dedicated Servers
Dedicated servers have been around forever in the hosting world. In the beginning, there was shared web hosting, dedicated servers and then virtual private servers (VPS). Dedicated servers were born out of that era where the first basic websites were created, and webmasters built their traffic to levels where shared hosting was no longer an option. Cheap dedicated servers were the answer to performance issues that webmasters faced with shared computational, storage and networking resources found in shared hosting services.
Today, cheap dedicated servers are a great option for individuals, startups, developers and small to medium-sized businesses that need greater reliability and performance than that offered by shared website hosting providers. You can purchase a cheap dedicated server for as low as $49 per month. Some dedicated server providers offer low monthly prices like the example mentioned above on either a month-to-month or annual basis.
You can purchase cheap dedicated servers at most hosting company websites like GoDaddy, HostGator, SiteGround, Bluehost and IONOS. What kind of specs does a cheap dedicated server have? Here’s a typical build for an entry-level, cheap dedicated server from Bluehost for $79 per month:
- 4 cores @ 2.3 GHz
- 500GB (Mirrored) Storage
- 4 GB RAM
- 5 TB Bandwidth
- 3 IP Addresses
Standard Dedicated Server
A standard dedicated server offers a slightly high-quality build and more performance than a cheap dedicated server. Standard dedicated servers are best suited for startups and small to medium-sized businesses that have either outgrown their shared hosting environment or anticipate the need for greater performance and dedicated resources when they launch their website or application.
You can find standard dedicated servers at a business-class data center and cloud companies like Rackspace, PhoenixNAP, Amazon’s AWS, Microsoft, INAP, ZenLayer and more. You can expect to pay anywhere from $89 to $109 per month for dedicated servers in this category. The difference for these types of servers is in the underlying hardware, data center facility, networking infrastructure and support. Dedicated server providers in this category typically offer their hosting services Tier III data center facility. Tier III data centers offer N+1 redundancy for critical infrastructure such as power feeds, cooling systems, network paths, uninterruptable power supply (UPS) and backup diesel generators. This amounts to 99.982% with only 1.6 hours of interruption a year.
What are the specs on a standard dedicated server?
- 64 GB ECC DDR4 RAM
- 1 TB NVMe (PCIe SSD) Hard Drive
- 15 TB Transfer (1 Gbps Uplink)
- /29 IP Allocation (5 Usable IPs)
- CentOS 7.x 64 Bit Operating Systems or Other
Standard dedicated servers are usually configurable to your requirements. You can often increase the RAM and hard drive, bandwidth allocation and operating system. You can also add additional hard drives and operations like RAID. In addition, many dedicated hosting providers offer managed or unmanaged options, migration services and more to support your account.
As a quick sidenote, standard dedicated servers are typically the last version. This varies based on the dedicated server provider, but it is definitely something to consider.
Enterprise Dedicated Server
Enterprise dedicated servers are great for all businesses from small and medium-sized businesses to large global enterprises. These servers are business-class and feature similar hardware to what an IT department would purchase for their databases and applications. They are also typically the latest versions for top manufacturers like Dell EMC, HPE, Cisco, SuperMicro, Lenovo and others.
Enterprise dedicated servers are built for maximum reliability, availability and performance. They are also very customizable in terms of CPU, RAM, RAID and SDD/HDD. Depending on the provider, you may also have numerous options for connectivity including blended or dedicated internet access (DIA), IP addresses, cloud direct connects, firewalls and more. Instead of a monthly transfer rate, you may be charged by the internet circuit whether 100 Mbps, 200 Mbps, 500 Mbps or 1 Gbps.
What are the specs for an enterprise dedicated server? Here’s an example of what you may see in a basic or entry-level, enterprise dedicated server:
- Intel® Xeon® Silver 4214
- 3.2GHz Turbo
- 24C / 48T
- Up to 1 TB RAM
- Up to 50 TB Hard Drive
- LSI MegaRAID 9271-8i with 1GB CacheVault Flash Cache
- Up to 25 TB Data Transfer or Dedicated Internet
- 15 IP Addresses
- Remote KVM
- cPanel + WHM
You can expect to pay anywhere from $399 to $899 per month for an enterprise dedicated server. However, this figure can go up based on your customizations.
Enterprise dedicated servers are perfect for applications, databases, analytics processing and more. You can also get bare metal servers which are built for virtualization and private cloud deployments. These are closely related to enterprise dedicated servers.
High-Performance Dedicated Servers
Why buy expensive hardware for high performance computing (HPC) when you can lease and run a dedicated server as needed? High performance dedicated servers are perfect for scientific computation and big data analytics. This category of dedicated servers includes everything from GPU dedicated servers to standard high performance servers.
High performance dedicated servers are built for artificial intelligence (Ai) and machine learning (ML). This category of dedicated server hosting includes specially configured GPU hardware from top manufacturers like NVIDIA and AMD. If you were to purchase GPUs directly, it could cost several thousand dollars for each GPU or well over $100,000 dollars for the top of line GPU. Universities and Government Agencies turn to GPUs for help with processing and analyzing data for research projects – ranging from curing cancer to landing on Mars.
What are the specs for a high performance GPU dedicated server? Here’s an example of a common configuration:
- Xeon Scalable: 2 x 2.2GHz 10-Core 4210 Xeon Silver
- NVIDIA: 1 x Nvidia Quadro P5000
- DDR4: 64 GB
- SSD: 960GB SSD
- 100 TB Monthly Transfer (1 Gbps Port)
- 10GB of Cloud Storage
The cost for the above GPU, high performance server is $809 per month. You can expect to pay anywhere between $199 per month for a basic, entry-level GPU server to $100,000 per month for a huge, custom build.
Need Help Selecting The Right Dedicated Server?
Do you need help selecting the right dedicated server? At Datacenters.com, we work with all of the top dedicated server and bare metal providers – ZenLayer, PhoenixNAP, Colocation America, INAP, Equinix Metal, and more.
Contact me for a free dedicated server consultation. I have over 15 years of experience in the data center industry helping small to medium businesses and large global enterprises with their colocation, dedicated server, cloud computing, interconnection and connectivity requirements.