A dedicated hosting service, dedicated server, or managed hosting service is a type of Internet hosting where the client leases an entire server not shared with anyone. This is more flexible than shared hosting, as organizations have full control over the server(s), including choice of operating system, hardware, etc. Server administration can usually be provided by the hosting company as an add-on service. In some cases a dedicated server can offer less overhead and a larger return on investment. Dedicated servers are most often housed in data centers, similar to colocation facilities, providing redundant power sources and HVAC systems. In contrast to colocation, the server hardware is owned by the provider and in some cases they will provide support for your operating system or applications.
Support for any of the operating systems above typically depends on the level of management offered with a particular dedicated server plan. Operating system support may include updates to the core system in order to acquire the latest security fixes, patches, and system-wide vulnerability resolutions. Updates to core operating systems include kernel upgrades, service packs, application updates, and security patches that keep server secure and safe. Operating system updates and support relieves the burden of server management from the dedicated server owner.
Bandwidth refers to the data transfer rate or the amount of data that can be carried from one point to another in a given time period (usually a second) and is often represented in bits (of data) per second (bps). For example, visitors to your server, web site, or applications utilize bandwidth as the traffic moves from your server to the Internet and vice versa. Connectivity refers to the “access providers” that supply bandwidth, or data transfer rate, through various connection points across a network or footprint to one or multiple data centers where dedicated servers are housed.
Many dedicated server providers include a SLA (Service Level Agreement) based on network uptime. Some dedicated server hosting providers offer a 100% uptime guarantee on their network. By securing multiple vendors for connectivity and using redundant hardware, providers are able to guarantee higher uptimes; usually between 99-100% uptime if they are a higher quality provider. One aspect of higher quality providers is they are mostly likely multi-homed across multiple quality uplink providers, which in turn, provides significant redundancy in the event one goes down in addition to potentially improved routes to destinations.
To date, no industry standards have been set to clearly define the management role of dedicated server providers. What this means is that each provider will use industry standard terms, but each provider will define them differently. For some dedicated server providers, fully managed is defined as having a web based control panel while other providers define it as having dedicated system engineers readily available to handle all server and network related functions of the dedicated server provider.