Finding the right dedicated server for your needs is a complex and often confusing process – one that goes well beyond simply looking at costs. Yet, while finding the right server may take some time and effort, it’s an investment that will pay off in the future.

With such a range of dedicated server options available, it can be difficult to know where to start and which will best suit your specific requirements. Your own definition of what’s the ‘best’ dedicated server will be different from other users, which is why it’s worth your time to pick the right one according to your needs.

To help you along, we’ve compiled a list of 5 important factors to consider when it comes to selecting a dedicated server.

Know your needs

Consider what you actually need a server for. While this might sound simple, the fact is that many people end up purchasing too much bandwidth or unnecessary services like managed hosting. Establish what you need from a dedicated server, how you’ll use it and choose the ideal one for you.

In most cases, users are searching for better security features, improved reliability, and increasingly, to achieve compliance with industry-specific regulations around the protection of sensitive data.

Assess the impact of downtime

Evaluate how server downtime will impact you and your enterprise. If you’re choosing a dedicated server simply for your own personal use then downtime may be little more than an inconvenience, while losing your server for a few seconds, hours, or even days could be devastating if you operate a 24/7 e-commerce site.

Ask for detailed statistics on past performance – this tends to be an accurate predictor of whether or not a specific server will deliver the reliability that matches your requirements. Creditable server providers will be able to tell you their specific rates of uptime, redundancy, and annual downtime stats.

Remote management

Think about how remote management will affect your overall user experience with your dedicated server. Ask questions about whether or not you’re permitted to actually manage the server yourself, and if so, to what extent?

Most top-tier dedicated servers allow users access to secure, remote management modules, however, the extent of this access (and it’s value) varies widely.

Security features

Improved security is one of the most cited reasons why people choose dedicated servers, and it’s likely a factor in your search as well. Depending on the industry you’re in, you may be required to comply with specific protocols that include the use of multi-layer firewalls, disaster recovery services, and PCI compliance.

Security can vary widely between dedicated servers, making it essential to ask specific questions about surveillance systems, protections against DDoS attacks, and real time alerts that allow you to respond quickly to any threats that could impact you, your data, and your reputation.

Also inquire about the actual physical security at the data centre itself – is there 24/7 on-site security staff, monitored video surveillance systems, and biometric access controls? What about fire protection and power backups?

24/7 support

Round-the-clock technical support is a feature that most dedicated server users assume is available when they choose a provider, but the fact is that some bare-bones services save money by limiting the hours of their technical support staff.

Ask about the levels of both IT support and general customer service, including peak times, average wait times to speak with a tech, and whether or not the support services are available 24/7. This is an especially critical factor if you’re looking for a dedicated server for use with an e-commerce site or you’re relying on ad revenues from constant traffic.

By taking the time to dig deep, ask the right questions, and really assess what’s important, you can avoid many of the common mistakes users make when choosing a dedicated server and pick the right option for you and your company up front.

Author Bio:

Sam Martin works for, the innovators of UK hosting. With over five years in the business, Sam is committed to finding new ways to optimise the hosting process.

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