Web hosting is a huge industry right now, and if you do any kind of activity online, you’ll most probably have to get a hosting account for to store your website, application or any data that you need to have online at all times. But when you’ll get down to buying a package, you’ll discover that it isn’t an easy thing to do. There are a lot of offers from dozens of hosting providers, with costs ranging from free to thousands of dollars, and various amounts of features on each.
This makes it pretty hard to make a choice. But let’s say you’ll just go with the most reputable host. Then you will most probably have to make a choice between shared hosting, VPS and dedicated server packages – the most popular hosting technologies nowadays. You could go for a cheap shared or VPS package, but the best choice would be a dedicated server. For a relatively small increase in cost, you get a lot more features and freedom than you ever would with shared or VPS hosting. Here are just a few of the things you can do on a dedicated server that are hard or impossible to do on other packages.
Get full access to the file system. A dedicated server is your own personal machine that sits in the data center and is always connected to the Internet. Of course, you get complete access to the software, too, and can change literally anything you want. This brings up a ton of possibilities that you would’ve otherwise never have, like being able to modify the core files of the OS, remove the limit of emails sent per hour, and many other things.
Increase performance. On a dedicated server, you can easily increase the performance with a few file edits (or clicks, on Windows machines). Because you have complete access to the files system, you can edit configuration files, optimize resource usage and even overclock your server without any problems.
Increase stability. You can also opt to increase the stability of the system (which most often comes at the price of performance), by editing specific system files available only to the root user (which you are on a dedicated server).
Optimize it for specific software. If you need your hosting package for a very specific purpose (run only Java apps, for example), then you’ll be happy to find out that with a dedicated server, you can fully optimize your OS to make your Java apps be as stable and run as fast as possible.
Install and remove programs. Of course, on a dedicated server, you’ll get full access to every installed program, which means you’ll be able to remove them and install new ones. If you ever need to install Tomcat, for example, you can do it on a dedicated server, a thing which is simply impossible on a shared hosting package and on most VPS packages.
This is just the top of the iceberg of possibilities for dedicated servers. You’ll find out that there are many other useful things you can do with one, and that a dedicated server package has the best price/features ratio nowadays.