Web Hosting Blog
For many businesses, the benefits of moving operations to make use of a managed dedicated server are varied and numerous. Having a server that is entirely devoted to working for you, and can provide an adequate level of power, resource and bandwidth to keep your business running optimally, can make a huge difference to overall company-wide performance.
Not only that, but using an expert third party will ensure the right decisions are made at the right time, resolving any issues should they arise in a timely and effective manner.
However, not all managed servers are born equal, and it is therefore vital you have a firm idea in mind of what you are looking for prior to choosing a server partner, and whether they are capable of delivering the solution you need.
So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at the key elements of a superior dedicated server offering and how to ensure you are getting the most out of a managed dedicated server.
1. Flexibility with regard to the operating system
When working with a dedicated server partner, it is important to remember that they should always be able to provide solutions that you need; if they are only able to deliver part of what is required, the partnership is doomed to fail from the outset. If your business utilises a number of different operating systems across your entire operation, ensure that any partner is adept at supporting both prior to signing a contract.
2. Then comes configuration
Once you have established that the server operator is able to support your systems, you then need to establish whether it is possible for configuration, updates and amends to take place. You need to be certain that any future modifications or changes to your business will not impact the performance of your dedicated server. This is something that is certainly worth considering if there is a chance you will want to upscale your business at any point, as any growth will require changes, and your server provider should be able to assist in this regard.
3. Does the hardware match your requirements?
You always want your business to be operating at peak levels of performance, and that means the server provider you go with must, ultimately, be capable of providing exactly the hardware that you require to not only stay up and running, but keep working as smoothly as possible. It is also worth noting that dedicated servers can, in some instances, be quite costly, and this cost generally relates to the operational capacity of the server you are making use of. If you are aware of what you need from the server before making any purchasing decisions, you are far less likely to overspend on an option that offers more power than you need.
4. Tools that can enhance how the server operates
Not all businesses will require this – or may not think they do – but having the right server tools in place can make a massive difference. These are quite often known as ‘control panel’ tools, and they generally are designed to make the overall management of the server easier, either by simplifying the processes required for modification or by providing a very clear view of what is performing well, what needs attention and what is perhaps not being utilised fully.
5. Security options to keep your business safe
When contemplating absolutely any part of your business, it is essential to prioritise safety and security. Of course, the value of safety cannot be overstated when it comes to a dedicated server as this is, to all intents and purposes, the heart of your business. If the server goes down, you will very likely be unable to operate, which is, of course, not ideal.
You cannot risk having your data and information hacked – this would be both an operation and financial disaster – and so you must ensure the server operator you partner with prioritises security and has all of the correct processes, procedures and protocols in place to keep your information protected. The very best providers will have an array of defences in place – from firewalls to DDoS buffers, traffic filters and malware protection – and they will be very happy to talk you through what they offer, why, and how businesses ultimately benefit.
6. The overall management of the server itself
Of course, when you outsource your server management, you tend to want two things above all else; you want to know that you can keep running your business efficiently without having to check up on the server constantly, and you want all of your information and data to be safe and accessible. It is therefore vital you work with a provider that will keep your server updated with regard to latest patches, security protocols, applications, and anything else that will make it run in a manner that is more secure and seamless. In the event of something going wrong you should also make sure that you have sufficient backup plans in place. Most managed servers with include a level of backup, and these are normally file based or image based. For a faster restore, you should always look for a provider that offers an image backup solution, with the ability to restore individual files as required, or in the worst case restore the entire image of the server.
7. Ongoing support
Sometimes things will go wrong, or there will be some degree of confusion or a minor operational crease that needs to be ironed out, and if there is a dedicated support team on hand to offer guidance, care and advice should there be an issue or area of predicament, it is very likely that minor challenges will remain just that: minor. If these small things cannot be tackled quickly and by people that know what they are talking about, they are liable to grow, and this is by no means a positive scenario.
Quite simply, you need to ensure you are working with a server provider that has your best interests at heart, and also knows what they are doing. The seven points listed above should provide you with a handy checklist so as to ensure that you end up with a dedicated server that not only helps your business operate efficiently, but can scale up should you require it, and will keep all of your business as safe as possible.