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What is Dedicated Server Architecture?

Derek Schauland
Derek Schauland

Dedicated Server Architecture can improve the efficiency of a client server systems by using one server for each application that exists within an organization. While this can be somewhat cost prohibitive depending on the size of the organization, it will help in maintaining and troubleshooting some of the issues that can arise when using any technology.

Dedicated server architecture works similarly to the following example:

Racks of servers.
Racks of servers.

An organization produces widgets and has purchased a server that will solely handle e-mail communications. The organization also maintains a financial application which allows for inventory management and order processing. This application has been installed on a new and very powerful dedicated server.

These two servers can improve application efficiency by allowing each application to be processed entirely independently of each other. When there is an issue with one application, it will not directly affect all of the functions of the other application. This does not mean that some features will not be affected by an outage or problem, but the general operation of each application does not depend on server resources which are occupied by another application.

Computers connected to a server.
Computers connected to a server.

With the widget producer, it is likely that while a problem with the email server may have a slight affect on being able to email documents generated by the accounting application, the accounting application can continue to process orders and produce documentation and will not be prevented from operating by the problems on the other dedicated server. Keeping all of the applications on separate servers creates a dedicated server architecture within the organization.

Another example of dedicated server architecture would be at a web hosting service. Many web hosting companies will allow customers to purchase a dedicated server account which places only the website(s) for their organization on that server. This can improve the performance of the sites because the amount of traffic visiting the sites will generally be limited to one group whereas a shared server with many websites for different clients will perform less efficiently because it needs to process and serve the requests from more visitors. While website information is typically small and will work very well in either a shared server environment or a dedicated server environment, it provides a good example of how dedicated server architecture can be used to improve application and data efficiency for both the server host and the end user.

To recap, when a dedicated server architecture is implemented, the goal is to maintain one dedicated server for each server application running in an environment. While the efficiency improvement is a great reason to consider dedicated server architecture, the cost of changing to this server architecture type is something that should be considered. A good approach would be to move one smaller application to a dedicated server to see if the efficiency and usage improves. If that is the case, other applications can be migrated to dedicated servers as time and costs permit.

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    • Racks of servers.
      Racks of servers.
    • Computers connected to a server.
      By: Scanrail
      Computers connected to a server.