Dedicated servers: Cloud-native hardware

What we call the internet is powered by a vast array of servers – millions of them, scattered across the globe. They have a lot to live up to, with expectations of maximum availability, minimum downtime and near-flawless performance.

That’s what the latest generation of server hardware is promising, combined with innovations in cloud infrastructure to provide exceptional reliability, while also enabling highly flexible approaches to server hosting in a wide variety of scenarios.

Operating on a 24/7/365 basis, dealing with large numbers of simultaneous users, and hosting and processing sensitive data, servers face far greater demands than desktop machines. And when these prove too much for consumer-grade components, high availability can only be ensured by enterprise-level technology.

Best-in-class hardware

Specialized processors, such as Intel’s latest Xeon CPUs, offer more cores and bigger cache sizes than desktop CPUs, as well as support for very large amounts of ECC RAM. With an entire range now featuring the latest generation of Intel Xeon Scalable CPUs, Fasthosts Dedicated Servers deliver the performance and reliability demanded by mission-critical applications.

The newest storage technologies also bring major innovations to server use cases, with NVMe drives now accessing data up to six times faster than standard SSDs. In database-driven applications such as online shops with rich product details like high-resolution photos, the NVMe storage on Fasthosts Dedicated Servers helps to ensure a smooth and responsive customer experience.

Innovating at the data center

Obviously, hardware is a critical factor in server performance, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. With individual servers often working as nodes in a cluster, connectivity and the underlying platform become even more important. Fasthosts allows single-tenant servers to be combined with virtual machines to create hybrid setups – “virtual data centers” that provide bespoke configurations for specialized applications.

An e-commerce platform, for example, could use load-balanced virtual machines to efficiently manage website traffic, and dedicated hardware to securely handle customer details. Fasthosts servers also benefit from the performance and security of UK-based data centers, and with unlimited data transfer, there are never any worries about exceeding data caps.

Pricing flexibility

These innovations deliver clear advantages – but do they make server hosting any more cost-effective? The good news is that the flexibility of the Fasthosts platform also extends to pricing. Dedicated Servers can be provisioned in just eight minutes and shut down at any time, and costs are tracked on a per-hour basis rather than the traditional per-month.

Again, this flexibility enables custom configurations in different use cases: if demand is seasonal, VMs can handle normal traffic levels, and be augmented with additional resources when heavy processing is required at busier times of year. For intensive tasks like image rendering and big data processing, too, the option to run dedicated hardware in short bursts is highly beneficial.

Server applications can be extremely demanding, both on the machines and the wider infrastructure. But by taking cutting-edge hardware and combining it with innovative cloud-based technologies, the Fasthosts platform enables dedicated servers to work harder – and smarter – for server customers. The result is a better experience for end-users and ultimately a more successful online presence.