Getting in the right server for your business; one that will be capable of managing all of your requests and give you space to grow without costing the earth or having a facebook like amount of servers is a tricky bit of business. Here is a quick overview of differing servers and their benefits and disadvantages.

VPS (Virtual Private Servers)

Are servers located on a virtual environment within a host machine. Regularly these have less powerful specifications than a dedicated server and are largely used for website hosting/development server hosting.


  • Cost!
  • Ideal for small scale/non business critical applications


  • Less stable environment (hosted alongside other machines)
  • Few SLA’s (Service level Agreements)
  • Lack of support from server provider
  • Lack of resources/processing power
  • No backup/monitoring/upgrades

Dedicated Unmanaged Servers

These servers are the equivalent of renting a machine from a server provided which is then hosted on their network. You are free to do as you wish with the machine, however may be required to pay for hardware replacements/support depending on the terms of service/SLA of the server provider. They give you greater power, however, are not monitored by the server provider and therefore have to potential to be inactive unless they are checked regularly.


  • Cost (to an extent compared to Managed solution)
  • Greater power (processing/resources)
  • Equivalent capabilities of any server
  • Scalable (can purchase more resources/load balancing as required)


  • Self-managed therefore any issues are your responsibility
  • Lack of hardware/software support/payment required
  • Machines un-monitored (if machine becomes unresponsive at 6pm and no-one is aware, it will remain so until a member of our IT team fixes issue (anything from a reboot to replacement of hard drive)
  • Lack of backup procedure
  • Unmanaged server firewall

Dedicated Managed Servers

The potential of a dedicated managed server is exactly the same as an unmanaged server the main differences are focussed on what you require from the server/hosting provider. With managed servers the level of service is higher. Alongside this the SLA’s usually set out backup policies, firewall management,server OS maintenance/upgrades, response monitoring.


  • Equivalent power to unmanaged servers
  • Scalability
  • Greater monitoring/maintenance from server/hosting provider
  • Managed firewall/backups/response monitoring


  • Cost!
  • Choice of OS

The choice of OS (operating system) is an important consideration when setting up new servers. The usual difference in price is between £15-£25 per month for Windows 2008 over any Linux distribution.