How to purchase a Server!

How to purchase a Dedicated Server!

So you have outgrown your shared host and it is time how to begin the true stuff.

Yes were talking about web site hosting, those byte crunching beasts. Figuring out every one of the options and services can be very confusing.

Dedicated Server

But No Worry!

Let me attempt to provide you with some suggestions and hopefully self-help guide to your perfect server.

How about we not waste whenever and start with first segment.

Just what is a Server?
Server is often a single computer associated with a network (internet). This computer and every one of it’s processing power is devoted one person or organization. Meaning that your computer resources usually are not shared by someone else. There is an full power over the equipment and you really are liberated to run any software you want on that computer.

Generally hosting are employed to serve web page requests ( html, images, videos…etc) but they can be used for many other purposes as well.

Will i need several servers?
To simplify things we will divide the use of hosting in to these two groups:

Full Web site Hosting
Specific Service Hosting (Database, email, httpd…etc)

Single Internet site Hosting
Hosting of a or several sites. On this form of setup, each of the services/programs (http software, DB software, email software…etc) are installed and running on a single dedicated server. Sometimes these services/programs can even be referred as “servers” them self.

Here is the common setup for small to medium trafficked internet sites since each of the necessary software needed to run your website can be found on a single physical machine.

Advantage to on this setup could it be lowers the price, but disadvantage is always that every one of the machine resources are shared by each of the software and procedures.

Specific Service Hosting
Hosting of a software or service by yourself dedicated machine. Every one of the resources for the machine are dedicated mainly first type of service or functionality. By way of example, one might host only Database Software around the server to ensure that all of the resources on that machine are just dedicated for processing of Database Queries. You’ll be able to handle more queries, or deliver more pages.

Usually medium to high trafficked web sites will run these kinds of setup.

Traditional setup will consist of more than one server which will only handle web (http) request, the other or more servers only handling database requests as well as perhaps a number of servers only handling processing from the emails. Theoretically there isn’t any limitation about the volume of servers. As a group participating these servers are used to process in millions of requests every day.

Which setup does one choose?
This naturally depends upon the amount of requests and traffic that the website is going to be receiving. In order to be capable of answer this question we should instead first understand tiny bit as to what services are essential in order for web site to be accessed by the user.

Generally today’s dynamic websites require two main service types to offer the full working web site to anyone’s browser.

WEB SERVERS / WEB SCRIPTS ( apache, IIS, php, perl, java )
DATABASE SERVER (MYSQL, MSSQL, ORACLE)

Technique word “servers” from the above text is talking about the applying / software and not to the physical machine. This is a common saying used to describe the kind of application.

Web server handles all of the initial requests from the browser and establishes where data through the Database is returned.
Database server handles requests on the internet server inside a form of queries. These queries retrieve data from your storage (harddrive) and return it online server.

As we discussed both web and database server come together to offer the last product (site) on the user.

Usually server handles a lot of logic part so FASTER CPU and bigger MEMORY will almost always be in need of assistance more then Hard Drive speed.

While database server handles really data retrieval so FASTER HD and greater MEMORY are invariably short of funds more then cpu speed.

In any case more memory is obviously needed:)

It is critical to be aware that every one of the server software always uses many of the CPU, MEMORY and difficult DISK resources. Eventually they start fighting on the available resources.

One way to stop this fight within the resources is always to separate them onto each own server.

Another excuse to part ways service types is always that is a lot easier to optimize your machine to operate well first specific task then it’s for the tasks.

For instance:

Because we now know that Database needs faster Computer drives, maybe we use more costly faster Hard disk drives in DB machine, leave the cheaper hard drives on WEB machines where HD speed isn’t as important.

But maybe instead we use faster processors on WEB machines because they perform a lot of the logic.

Carrying it out like this we now have optimal performance without wasting resources and $$$!

These are just general suggestions, and depending on the site and functionality these configurations vary.

Server Features and Components.
OK you now know what each (web, db) server is hungry for, can you be sure what components to acquire?

Due to the sheer level of differing types and models of each component I’d personally must write several books in order to cover that subject.

And so i am just going to provide you with some general guides for every form of component, which whould enable you to on your own next server purchase.

CPU Speed:
It is a no brainer. More speed (Ghz) that processor gets the faster it can perform the calculations and faster the web pages will get returned towards the user.

Some CPU architectures can perform better then others in server setups so I suggest you are doing research on that subject.

Quantity of CPU Cores / Processors:

Another no brainer. More cores or processors your server has, more taks it may do simultaneously. Because most in the actions about the server provide requests each request usually spawns another process, you can view how more CPU Cores enables the server to deal with multiple requests at the same time.

Quantity of RAM:
I do think the truth is the pattern here “MORE”. Naturally more and more RAM your server has, more requests it may handle simultaneously. Basis for that is that all request requires specific amount of RAM so it could be processed. This amount would depend of numerous factors such as: Software type, Operating System, Installed Modules…etc

For example popular web server software APACHE will take about 7mb to 15mb of RAM per request or process which is not accounting for every other processes already running or being spawned to go with that many request.

Memory is probably best investment you can create within your server.

Hard Drive RPM speed
Again the faster the disk spins, quicker it might arrive at the data on disk. Some popular Har Disk speeds are: 7200RPM, 10000RPM and 15000RPM.

Biggest performance increase by faster Hard disk drives will likely be seen by applications which connect to the Disk often. Among those applications are: Database servers, File Servers and Video Streaming servers.

SATA vs SCSI vs SAS
If you’ve been wondering what these acronyms are based on, these are the 3 most popular Harddrive interfaces found in web site hosting.

Beginning from left with SATA being the most affordable truly not the best performer. While with SCSI generally you receive better performance then SATA but at greater cost with much less disk space. With SAS you receive better performance then SCSI so you have more disk space.

Needless to say there is a lot more differences between these interfaces. Luckily there’s tons of articles on the internet explaining everything. It is advisable to spend some time studying.

Generally if you’re not running extremely high Transaction DB server you happen to be fine with SATA. And if you’re looking for best performance and also you don’t love the charge go with SAS.

To RAID or otherwise to RAID
So yes we have been still tied to the difficult drives. If you see a word “RAID” used inside a server setup, this means that server has 2 or more HD’s joined in a wide array forming one logical unit. Raid usually provides increased storage reliability through redundancy. There are several RAID setups and you’ve probably seen some: RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10…etc

Two most typical ones you will see in server setups are RAID 1 and RAID 5

What you should find out about RAID 0 is the fact that gives you some performance and increased total disk space but doesn’t have redundancy. If an individual drive fails, you loose important computer data.

RAID 1 provides redundancy through mirroring as well as in some instances performance increase, but you do not get increased disk space. If one drive fails you can still continue operating and then switch the broken drive without loss of data. This setup requires two Computer drives.

RAID 5 provides redundancy and increased disk space. It takes minimum on 3 Hard disks. More disk space you can have is:(Height and width of Smallest Drive) * (Amount of Drives – 1). If an individual HD fails you could still continue your operations.

RAID can be implemented via two anxiety disorders, via software or via hardware.

Software RAID uses Computer resources while Hardware RAID uses it’s own dedicated resource for the card.

In case you have a strong machine then performance difference between Software and hardware RAID may be negligible

Generally it really is belief that if available Hardware RAID is a better choice.

When you have a possibility to “RAID” your server, I believe that do it now, no less than RAID 1. Servers are 24hr nonstop workhorses as well as any interruption because of single Hard Drive point of failure might lead to serious downtime on your site.

Bandwidth
Bandwidth will be the term used to describe the amount of data that server will deliver over time period. Website hosts can pick to supply various pricing structures for tariff of bandwidth.

However some of the most popular ones are:

Metered Bandwidth
Unmetered Bandwidth

Metered bandwidth packages usually have certain amount of included bandwidth 30 days if going over the included limit you happen to be charged certain fee per transferred GB ( GigaByte ) of information.

Unmetered bandwidth packages enable you to to transfer up to it is possible to optimized included transfer rate. This maximum transferred minute rates are measured in Mbps ( megabits per second ).

Each charges type offers its own advantages and disadvantages.

With metered bandwidth you typically get access to faster connection which means that your speed can burst to the hosting provider’s maximum bandwidth capabilities. This permits the consumer to download the file quicker if capable. As you are charged per level of data transfer, you are only limited by the pace of the uplink port.

With unmetered bandwidth you might be limited (capped) to particular speed of your respective connection (10Mbps, 50Mbps, 100Mbps…etc). Amount of data you transfer just isn’t measured. In nutshell hosting company says now is your max speed and that means you put it to use up to the max speed or otherwise, you’re charged one flat fee to the speed.

With metered bandwidth you really certain quantity of bandwith included 30 days can actually be delivered over the included uplink port.

By way of example: Shall we say with your server you will get 6,000 GB of outbound transfer 30 days but your uplink port speed is 10 Mbps.

Perform properly uplink speed if you were to continuously transfer for starters month optimized speed of 10 Mbps you’d just be in a position to transfer 3,240 GB of data. To fully be able to employ all of the allowed transfer usage you’ll need to upgrade to raised port speed.

Operating-system
Usually serves offer many different kinds of Os’s, but most are grouped into Linux/Unix based and Windows Servers.

OS X Server is an extremely rear breed to locate on web site hosting.

Choosing a practical method is mostly determined by the requirements software, libraries and applications you will end up running in your server.

Certain software program is on both Linux, Unix and Windows, and some are only designed for specific OS.

Linux based Os have become popular choice since most are free and in most cases require less resources to own then windows.

Cp
Control panels permit easy management of server colocation. They allow you setup new virtual hosts, domains, emails accounts and various other tasks that will with no user interface be vary tedious and hard to arrange.

Some are free and free but for many of them you make payment for. Usually paid ones feature more features and support.

Most popular paid ones are: Cpanel, Plesk, DirectAdmin.

Hottest free ones are: Virtualmin GPL, W

If you are a novice with web site hosting as well as your web server is unmanaged through the webhost i then would recommend having some form of cp installed. Every time they visit your server management simple and you’ll be able to pay the nights actually sleeping rather than trying to figure out why your apache server is returning “500 Internal Server Error”:)

Something to note is that some Control Panels take control your OS and embed them self so deep with all the OS it can easily make doing setups and installs not backed up by the user interface difficult.

Web Hosting Support and Management
Managed or Unmanaged?
Almost all of the Dedicated Server packages come as “Managed” or “Unmanaged”.

With unmanaged servers it is a personal responsibility to handle the server. Meaning that installing and configuring any software on the server falls giving you. Unmanaged servers are usually less costly if you do not have any “System Administration” go through it can be hard to handle the server.

One choices to get some kind of cpanel that will make the treating of the server easier.

With managed servers responsibility of managing with the server falls around the hosting company. If you’re very not used to this all or else you don’t have time for you to deal with it your self next the can be your best bet. Usually managed servers are much costlier. Managed services include different degrees of management. Make certain you uncover what is included in the control over your server, some tasks or software most likely are not covered and you will probably get charged hourly support rates.

Remote Reboot
Is known a possibility that enables you to definitely instantly Hard Reboot your machine. Rise done via web interface and it is useful since offers you the control to restart the server at the command. Every now and then something can happen together with the OS or software about the server then it crashes or freezes.

This calls for the difficult restart with the machine (cutting the electricity off to your machine, and starting again).

If remote reboot is just not available, you are able to usually issue an email ticket or call the webhost them self and they’ll perform this for you. Issue is that sometimes support team might not be able to your ticket for a while, and that’s why remote reboot beneficial.

Technical Support
Things do get it wrong and they usually happen once you least expect. Servers crash, Hard drives fail, Processors burns up out along with what happens then? You’re possibly 1000s of miles from the server then there is nothing you are able to personally do. You are in both your hands of technical support.

There exists all types of serves out there, from those run by anyone to those run by a huge selection of skilled technicians. Some offer 24/7 manned phone, chat and email support, even though some have only limited email support. Be cautious when choosing your service provider, pay good awareness of the amount of support they provide and discover what is covered. For support which is not covered inside your plan some contains charge up to $150 by the hour. Be sure you read their SLA (Service Level Agreement) to see if they feature any guarantees for virtually any recovery time also

Dedicated Server

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