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Linux Dedicated Servers

Updated on July 11, 2012

A few months ago, I received an unpleasant email from my Hosting Company stating that my account was suspended due to “excessive usage.”  My newly launched new site that was busily getting indexed by Google was using excessive processing time above and beyond the limitation set for shared hosting accounts.

Basically, they said I had two options, one I could terminate the account, or two move the site to a Linux Dedicated Server.

Differences between Shared and Dedicated Hosting

The underlying Linux Server provided by your Hosting Company is usually the same regardless if your account is shared or dedicated.  The difference is that with a shared account, you share that server with hundreds of other website owners each having one or more domains, while the dedicated account, your account is the only one on the server hosting one or more of your domains.

With a dedicated account, you’ll get root access to the Linux Server which gives you privileges to configure your server and install your own applications.  Often cPanel and WHM are not provided unless you purchase a monthly license; however, as an alternative, Webmin could be installed that provides you basic Web Administration.

VPS is virtually a Dedicated Server

A Virtual Private Server (VPS) is just another instance of a dedicated server which you share with 4 to 8 other accounts.  Each VPS runs as its own operating system isolated from the other accounts, but shares the resources of the server.  Since the VPS is a virtual operating system which runs on top of a hypervisor, some of the raw server performance is lost.  Typically the loss is less than 10 percent. 

What Computer Resources Does My Server Need?

A Linux –Apache-MySQL-PHP (LAMP) system configuration can run in as little as 256M of memory. Anything smaller and your server will have poor performance due to swapping applications in and out of memory. This configuration will handle most active Wordpress blogs with plugins that are CPU intensive. When upgrading, make sure that there is a way that you can provision more memory to your server before making a commitment to the Hosting Company.

With a Linux Dedicated Server, you will get a fraction of the disk storage you get in comparison to a shared account. The Linux Operating System will consume about 1G of your disk leaving the remaining for your application. Since disk storage is a limited resource, you may want to consider using Amazon’s S3 or RackSpace’s Cloud Files as an alternative for your media; however, keep your SQL database local for performance reasons.

What are the Typical Prices?

The monthly cost of Virtual Private Servers typically runs less than Dedicated Servers since the cost is shared by multiple accounts. Usually the price is a function of how much memory and storage is provisioned. For example, a small VPS with 64M of RAM and 2.5G of storage runs under $8 per month at vpslink.com. The price increases as more resources are allocated. The average price for a VPS with 512M of RAM and 20G of disk space is around $50 per month.

Yet, there are dedicated server hosting plans under $30 per month even though most plans run into the hundreds of dollars per month.

Even though you may save money on the cheaper hosting plans, you really need to shop around to see what included in the price. Some of the more expensive plans include backup, restoration and server monitoring which are worth the extra cost.

Don’t Despair or Make Hasty Decisions

Someday you may receive that unwanted “account terminated” letter from your Hosting Company. Don’t rush into their suggested plan, but shop around to find the best Linux Dedicated Server to suit your requirements for your website.

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