Upgrading your web hosting package or taking decision to go for dedicated server to meet up with high web resources demand of your online business isn’t like taking a stroll to the park. It demands diligent research and examination of certain critical factors and parameters.
In this write-up, I’ll be elucidating most of these vital issues you cannot afford to ignore if you’re serious about the longevity and success of web business. Happy reading to the very end!
When choosing a dedicated server, the following factors and parameters are without doubt the things you must of necessitygive attention and be convinced about the impact of the advantages and disadvantages on your business.
- Reliability of Name Brand vs. White Box Servers
Name brand servers have a higher level of reliability. Who doesn’t want reliable dedicated server? It is everyone’s choice. On the other hand,white boxes generally use lower quality memory DIMMs and cheaper hard drives necessitating lower reliability. In addition, white box cooling fans are also known to fail sooner and the build quality on the chassis is of a lower quality than name brand servers.
This means that while white boxes may appear to be a more cost effiicient decision in the beginning, the long-term cost of ownership is greater than name brand servers. Nevertheless, it is left in your hands to decide what should be your priority consideration at the present state of your business –cost or reliability.
- More Advanced Features. Dell offers a number of features unavailable on white boxes, such as the DRAC (Dell Remote Access Controller) for remote users to administrate the system. Dell is a brand that rings bell loud in the server market. With a separate physical network connection, you always have access to the systems. Other system applications include diagnostic tools that communicate with components such as the RAID card, so you can monitor the health of the individual drives of the array, the fan speeds, the voltages, the power supply status, etc.
With white boxes, RAID cards function haphazardly, voltage readings may only be available for certain parts, and there are half as many fans due to the driver being initially written for a very broad base of support.
- Compatibility. Name brand provides a greater level of operating system compatibility. Generally, white box manufacturers will only test on Windows operating system across the board and will not test on Linux operating system.
Name brand manufacturers, for example Dell, insist that both Windows and Linux operating systems are tested to ensure a higher level of compatibility.
- Service. The supplying vendor will often provide a higher level of service. When new software updates become available, you will have better service from the higher end brand, as they will work with you to make sure that you have the latest versions.
- Greater intergenerational support. With name brand, you can run all the same operating systems on different levels of generation hardware. This allows you to make sure that you can grow your footprint with your business while having a provider that is capable of having greater integration support.
- Intel Vs AMD
The AMD (another option of a server CPU) market share is smaller in the server area, and Intel has the vast majority of the market. Intel is more enterprise-based and provides a wider array of advanced features, as well as greater technical support.
- Linux Vs Window
The best way to determine the optimal operating system for your company is to evaluate your applications. Ask the following questions:
• What do you need the server for?
• What functions is it performing?
• What applications can satisfy that function?
• What operating systems does that application support?
What operating systems does your staff understand and know how to
- Server CPUs vs. Desktop
Keep in mind what you are using your system for. The more resource intensive your application is the greater the chance that higher end hardware will be necessary to support your system. While desktop and server CPUs have similar components, desktop CPUs are not built to perform at the same level as server CPUs. Server CPUs use higher quality components, generally have more cores, can support larger amounts of memory, and perform their calculations faster. Server CPUs also offer you greater inter-compatibility with other server grade hardware and use ECC (Error Checking & Corrections) memory that is fault tolerant and resistent to transient errors. This can be extremely important to your company to ensure that critical data is not lost or corrupted.
- Hardware RAID Vs. Software RAID
Software RAID is controlled by the operating system. However, software RAID has a number of vulnerabilities that make it less effective and less safe than hardware RAID. Consider the following:
• Performance differences are dramatically more visible on heavily used hardware.
• Having the operating system involved in RAID operation increases risk.
• Hardware RAID is more fault tolerant.
- IPML vs. iDRAC/iLO
iLO is the HP equivalent of Dell iDRAC. IPMl often shares the primary server
connection, so if you are having a DOS attack or you accidentally change the settings on the server and can no longer access the server, it can affect the IPMl configurations and you will have no way to administrate it. All of the DRAC’s and iLO’s have separate management interfaces which are generally run on entirely separate networks, guaranteeing that you can always manage the system if you need to. The greater features in iDRAC and iLO provide a more polished product.
When choosing a power supply unit, consider the following questions:
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- Single or Dual PSU (A+B Power)
• Does the chassis support 2 redundant PSU’s?
• Does your application need 2 PSU’s?
• If you are providing redundancy, are you also providing and delivering A/B power to the system?
When implementing true A/B power, there are two completely independent power paths. Both paths have at least one of the following, utility power source, main distribution panel, back-up generator, automatic transfer switch, uninterruptible power supply and maintenance bypass panel, power distribution unit, rack level
PDU, and the server’s internal power supply. Each path is capable of supporting 100% of the entire peak load, resulting in full redundancy and no single point of failure that can interrupt the operation of the data center equipment.
- Memory Limits
When considering limits ask the following questions:
• What is the maximum amount of memory the chassis will allow you to install?
• Will the CPU and chassis support your long-term plan of growth?
• How much do you need now and how much might you need in the future?
- CPU Core #’s
Properly gauging your resource requirements can either save you a lot of money by not over purchasing or save you a lot of heartache by purchasing what you need instead of under spec’ing in an unwise attempt to save money.
- Server Variety
Can the provider offer the whole spectrum of servers, from low-end to high-end? When first starting out, you can begin with an entry level system, but as your site or application needs grow, your server needs will grow with it. Can your provider offer you the ability to easily scale your server deployment? Is their a variety of servers? Can you mix high-end systems with low-end systems?
- Hybrid Solutions
Cloud hosting and dedicated servers both have their benefits. Luckily, you don’t necessarily need to choose one over the other. Working with a provider who offers both allows you to tailor your solution to your needs, which can include both cloud and dedicated solutions.
- Hybrid Solutions
For instance, it may make sense to have a dedicated server for your production area, while using the cloud for development. Because employees are only working part of the day, having development in the cloud means you can shut your development down at night when it won’t be used. Since you’re billed in the cloud on a metered basis, you’ll be billed less. However, your production area is on 24/7, and a guaranteed level of performance without disruption is critical, so having a dedicated server will acheive those benchmarks better than the cloud.
Some providers may provide solutions that combine the benefits of each. Caronet’s Dedicated 2.0 solution offers the reliability of dedicated servers with the benefits of the cloud.
With cross-platform system upgrades and downgrades, Dedicated 2.0 allows you to maximize your system’s agility and seamlessly migrate from system to system as your workload increases or decreases, without reconfigurations. When hardware fails,
Dedicated 2.0 allows you to migrate between systems without any downtime, thanks to IaaS HA. Dedicated 2.0 also provides a number of other unique benefits, such as templated installs/reinstalls and system cloning to accelerate new server deployments, 10Gb connectivity on Intel E5 servers, storage snapshots, failure/maintenance reductions, and a free, unmetered high-speed private network.
Also, working with a provider who offers cloud, colocation, and dedicated solutions makes it easier to transition between them or combine them as you need. The best solution is always one tailored to your specific situation, and you may move between different hosting solutions as your business changes.