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Harnessing the cloud with dedicated hardware

Servers are the brains and brawn powering the internet, but these formidable machines have a lot to live up to: users demand maximum availability, minimum downtime and near-flawless performance.

Thankfully, the latest generation of server components has been infused with innovations in cloud infrastructure to provide fantastic reliability, while also enabling highly flexible approaches to server hosting in a wide variety of scenarios.

Running 24/7, dealing with large numbers of concurrent users, and routinely handling sensitive data, servers face far greater demands than desktop machines. And when these pressures prove too much for consumer-grade technology, high availability can only be ensured by enterprise-level hardware.

Quality components

Server processors, such as Intel’s Xeon family, offer more cores and bigger cache sizes than desktop CPUs, as well as support for very large quantities of ECC RAM, making them more suitable for extreme workloads. With models now featuring the latest generation of Intel Xeon Scalable processors, Fasthosts Dedicated Servers deliver the performance and reliability demanded by mission-critical applications.

Cutting-edge storage technologies also bring major advantages to server use cases, with NVMe drives now accessing data up to six times faster than standard SSDs. In database-driven applications such as e-commerce outfits with content-rich product details, the NVMe storage on Fasthosts Dedicated Servers helps to ensure a smooth and responsive customer experience.

The data centre of the future

Obviously, hardware is a vital factor in server performance, but it’s not the whole story. With individual servers often working as nodes in a cluster, connectivity and the underlying platform make all the difference. Fasthosts allows single-tenant servers to be combined with virtual machines to create hybrid setups – “virtual data centres” that provide custom configurations for specialised applications.

A busy e-commerce platform, for example, could use load-balanced VMs 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 centres, and with unlimited data transfer, there are never any worries about exceeding data limits.

Delivering value for money

These innovations clearly offer 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 rolled out in just eight minutes and shut down at any time, and costs are tracked on a per-hour basis.

Again, this flexibility enables custom configurations in different use cases: if demand is seasonal, VMs can handle normal traffic levels, and be boosted with additional hardware 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 smoother experience for end-users and a more successful online presence.