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why your business needs dedicated servers

Why Your Growing Business Needs a Dedicated Server

Your business is finally taking off and you’re looking to equip it with the wings it needs to soar. The customer base is already there and growing, but you need a private server to ensure a seamless output. Without dilly dallying too much, we can say you’d be cutting corners as a business owner if you don’t invest in a physical server.

Let’s do a little thought experiment. Have you ever found yourself waiting in the middle of a long queue with a host of groceries, unable to leave because you need to make the purchase, but unwilling to stay because no honest person should legally have to wait this long?

As a growing company, we expect situations of this kind to be quite relatable to you. It may be the case that you don’t have enough bandwidth to sustain everything your organisation needs to be doing on your server, or your allocation of resources just isn’t cutting it anymore. To paraphrase Freddie Mercury; you want it all, you want it now. Well, with a dedicated server you can have it all.

The server’s CPU, RAM, storage capacity, networks, and bandwidth can be enjoyed at your behest. You’ve had your time with cloud servers (virtual machines), but as you know it’s not always sustainable for a growing company.

What is a dedicated server?

Basically, a dedicated server is exactly what the name suggests: having an entire physical server dedicated only to you, not shared with anyone else. It’s like having your own warehouse as opposed to a little shop in the mall. This server exists solely for your company and can be customised as you need and desire.

These servers are also called bare-metal servers because, as the name suggests, your server runs directly on the physical metal hardware, not virtual copies of these resources like virtual servers do.

Hosting providers carry all the upfront costs of buying and housing them in secure data centres around the world. They also set them up on cloud infrastructure, along with your unique requirements. You then get root access to manage your servers online. At HOSTAFRICA, you pay an affordable monthly fee on a month-to-month basis.

Being the most powerful cloud hosting option available, these servers are built to handle massive amounts of data processing, storing, and analysing. You’ll be above bottlenecks and throttling.

An influx of traffic won’t cause your website, transactions and calls to hang, you won’t have issues with slow storage or remote workers, and your RAM and CPU won’t buckle under the workload of a growing enterprise.

Signs you need a server of your own

So, how do you know it’s right for your business?

1. You get tons of digital data

What all successful businesses have in common is that they regularly need to receive, process, store and analyse digital data. This data can be in the form of internet traffic like users on your website, internet calls, transactional data, and private client data. If your company needs or will need to manage large volumes of this data daily, then you will also need the power of physical servers that have resources dedicated to processing only your data.

A lack of bandwidth, quality storage, and enough memory could really set you back when thinking about potential sales or conversions. The worst outcome for your enterprise would be missing out on sales because your current server is not able to process the large amount of data coming in.

The point is, opting for a server that works strictly for you won’t let your operational efforts go begging.

2. You need the highest security

The more private your and your users’ information needs to be, the more you should be considering a dedicated server. It’s the only hosting where no 3rd party has access to your server, not even your hosting provider or the hosting control panel vendor.

This is especially important if you’re running a medical or legal company with sensitive client information.

Furthermore, with all other hosting options, you have no control over host server security and firewalls. That’s not the case with bare-metal servers – it’s 100% in your control, customizable and autonomous.

With all other hosting, your security and privacy is only as good as your own expertise and your hosting provider’s.

Take a look at the graph below showing what impacts downtime and reliability for server hardware in general. These problems are caused by hosts and clients alike. Fortunately for you, none of the issues in the graph presented below are issues for us. We don’t cut corners on security, software, hardware, protocol, or staff training.

What issues most negatively impact reliability & cause downtime for server hardware, server OS platforms in 2019 and 2020

A Statista graph showing the most common issues that impact reliability and downtime for servers in 2019 and 2020
A Statista graph showing the most common issues that impact reliability and downtime for servers in 2019 and 2020

3. You need complete control and customisation

Every organisation is unique. Either many cannot fit into the handful of packages or configurations most hosts offer or they know some things are best done themselves.

If you need custom resources, operating systems, networks, bandwidth, software, configurations, firewalls, etc. dedicated servers offer you the freedom of complete control to make these customisations. You decide exactly what and who goes on your servers.

Why bare-metal servers are ideal for your company

If any of the tasks below are standard for your organisation, a server of your own would be ideal for you.

Point of sales and large e-commerce hosting

If you run a commerce company, you absolutely need a server that can accommodate the myriad of processes and client information recorded every day.

CRMs where customer data is sacred

Companies like medical providers and law firms retain very sensitive or valuable client data where 1. privacy is absolutely vital and 2. large amounts of it needs to be tracked, managed, and analysed across systems, devices, and departments. Companies use customer relationship management systems (CRMs) like Salesforce to handle this, which are also resource intensive.

Cloud-based accounting or enterprise management software

Companies who operate across oceans or have remote employees require this software, which is usually resource intensive.

Call centres and PBX

Modern call centres and enterprises use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to handle calls. This calls for massive volumes of traffic and a custom operating system like PBX (an operating system built for VoIP). This leads us to our next point.

Custom deployments of software

Larger hosts aren’t as open to customisations as smaller hosts are. Businesses who don’t fit into their plans have better experience with smaller hosts like us who readily accommodate custom deployments.

Testing environments

Testing software and applications is hard enough without underperforming severs slowing things down and jeopardising due dates.

Websites with more than say 2,000 users per day

This is not an exact number, but websites that get a lot of daily user traffic require lots of resources e.g. online learning platforms, university or school websites, ecommerce websites, community or forum websites, online gaming sites, etc.

Benefits of having your own server

If you were on the fence between a bare-metal server and a VM, we trust we’ve made the decision slightly easier to make. Although, to make it even easier we’ve put together some benefits having your own server would offer you.

Before we get to that, take note of the graph below showing the cost per hour of server downtime. Time is money, and this graph shows it pretty well.

Average cost per hour of enterprise server downtime worldwide in 2019

A Statista graph showing how much money enterprises lose worldwide due to server downtime
A Statista graph showing how much money enterprises lose worldwide due to server downtime

Best performance

One of the first and most notable perks of having a physical server is the raw power you get from the entire physical CPU, RAM, and SSDs dedicated just to you. It’s the most powerful hosting option available. All other hosting uses virtual emulations of these physical resources. While virtual machines (VMs) might come close native hardware performance, bare-metal hardware is simply the best.

You can also add on as much as you can afford. And last, but not least, you won’t have to worry about bandwidth being throttled because of any other server tenants such as with VM or shared hosting.

Strongest security

As you’re essentially the boss of what comes and goes with the server, you can take security measures into your own hands and ensure you run a tight ship. This means:

  • Providing proper training to staff to lessen the chances of infecting the server with malware
  • No suffering down time or data loss because of limitations or security risks outside of your control
  • No negative impacts from suspicious activity by your neighbours, since you don’t have any
  • No third parties have access to the server, that includes the host. This means your private data stays 100% private.

Besides the security benefits gained from having no neighbours, your being in complete control of the server allows you to configure security protocols to your standards, such as.

  • Setting up new firewalls and VPNs
  • Use anti-virus and anti-malware that you prefer
  • Decide who has admin rights
  • Encrypt data as you see fit
  • Force strong passwords for anyone using the server
  • Create disaster recovery plans to your own specifications with concern for the storage and load it places on the server.

To sum up, when you secure your own home, do you rely on locking your doors and gates, or your neighbour standing watch to stop anyone from breaking and entering. Naturally, the former is the preferred choice, because some things should be taken into our own hands. Security is one of those things.

A hacker running code on a computer
A hacker running code on a computer

Server management

Being in control of everything is as much work as it sounds. Time is money, and managing entire servers is an highly specialised, full time job. Experienced sysadmins are hard to find and expensive.

If time is critical and expertise are scarce, you can hand over the technical admin to a trustworthy hosting provider like us. We’ll take care of backups, server monitoring, OS updates, security, and provide priority support while you take care of the business.

Scale less often

With any kind of shared hosting or VMs you have a limit on how much of the server’s resources you can access. With a dedicated server, you have so much more resources, that limit is magnitudes higher. This means, you’ll won’t need to scale as often as with VMs.

If you’re hosting with us and want an upgrade, a simple phone call will suffice. From there we’ll arrange for your servers to be upgraded as you desire, at a time that suits you best.

Cheaper in bulk

When your organisation needs the weight-class of resources that comes with physical servers, you might be worried about costs. Our dedicated servers are actually cheaper per unit of resource once you exceed a certain size of CPU and SSD compared to cloud servers and VMs.

This is especially important because a growing establishment will incur more costs, so cutting them where possible opens up avenues to invest the saved money elsewhere.

Keep your website reliable

Spikes in traffic on a personalized server are a welcomed blessing. The server can handle the load and data from visitors without a concern of crashing.

Your marketing efforts can cause as many spikes in traffic as they want because your bandwidth and performance are accounted for only by you. You can expect your users and staff to have a smooth sail accessing server information regardless of peak times and seasons.

Your own IP address and software

You get your own (dedicated) IP address that is yours alone, whereas all shared hosting clients on a web server share the same IP. This means that you won’t have to worry about your IP address being abused by any other server tenants.

If your hosting provider doesn’t actively protect and manage IP reputation like we do, abuse by one tenant could get the IP blacklisted for all tenants on the same server. The could result in your emails being marked as spam and/or blocked entirely. This is bad for business!

You also get full software and access control to your server. This means you can deploy any software you prefer and decide who has access to it.

Serious business owners should invest in their own server

Any businessperson worth their salt would need to admit that a change to a server they control that can handle industrial workloads is only within the best interest to their company. Initially it may seem out of budget, but you’ll need to make the change eventually anyway once your company starts to thrive.

Off the bat it may seem daunting to fork over that amount of cash, but in an age where digital data is everything, having a dedicated server ensures your enterprise can keep up.

For websites, a positive user experience can go a long way in converting or making a sale, whereas a bad experience can burn clients as well as their contacts.

If you’re just starting out, it may be a good idea to go for our Virtual Machines, which emulate a physical server experience for affordable prices. Eventually, however, any growing business will need to make the step towards a bare-metal server.

It seems then that the only real question is whether you’d like to get a dedicated server now, or later?


What is a dedicated server?

It’s an entire physical server (industrial-sized computer) dedicated to one client alone, not shared with anyone else. They are also known as bare-metal servers because they run directly on the physical metal hardware, unlike virtual servers. They run on enterprise-grade physical resources like processors, storage disks, memory, and network cards.

How much does a dedicated server cost?

Cost of our self-managed dedicated servers in Kenya:

  • KSh10,400 per month: 4 cores, 4 threads, 1 TB Crucial SSD, and 16 GB ECC RAM.
  • KSh14,250 per month: 4 cores, 8 threads, 1 TB Micron Pro SSD, and 16 GB ECC RAM.
  • KSh18,700 per month: 8 cores, 16 threads, 1 TB Micron Pro SSD, and 32 GB ECC RAM.
  • KSh26,000 per month: 10 cores, 20 threads, 1 TB Micron Pro SSD, and 64 GB ECC RAM.

When do you need a dedicated server?

  • Heavy workloads: You receive, process, store and analyse large volumes of data daily.
  • Complete control: If security and privacy are absolutely crucial.
  • Customisation: When you need custom resources, operating systems, networks, bandwidth, software, configurations, firewalls, etc.

How to get a dedicated server?

The best way to get one is to rent it from a hosting provider for an affordable monthly fee.

  1. Visit our Dedicated Servers page,
  2. Click ORDER on the server you want,
  3. Confirm your OS, specs, configuration, add-ons, and hostname,
  4. Checkout and pay,
  5. Wait 24-48 hours for us to set up your server in our data centre and give you your login credentials.

What can I do with a dedicated server?

Absolutely anything! It’s the most powerful computer commercially available, so it can handle all workloads. Companies and individuals use these physical servers to:

  • manage large volumes of data,
  • hold VoIP calls,
  • run business-critical applications in the cloud,
  • provision work environments for remote employees,
  • run point of sales and e-commerce sites,
  • deploy testing environments for software and apps,
  • host high-traffic websites like online learning platforms, gaming sites, forums, etc.

The Author

Ashwin S.

Alphabets are a random collection of symbols that, when put in a certain order, convey a specific meaning. We use our senses to understand this meaning. When we become immersed in the symbols' meaning, we're under the illusion that it's real - we hallucinate after looking at the symbols. Thus, I create hallucinations, using arbitrary symbols. In other words, I'm a writer. I've been a part of the Marketing Team since 2021 and am responsible for much of the text content HOSTAFRICA produces.

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