Behind every dynamic website is a database that is there to serve the website’s content and to power its heart. A vast majority of websites are now using databases to some extent, with larger websites having a distinct need for database server hosting as their database needs and the toll that the database has on the server growing. There are many different database engines to choose from to use an enterprise environment meaning that when considering a database server, your choice of operating system is more likely to be influenced by your choice of database server rather than it being the other way around. Although having a dedicated database server may seem a bit over the top to begin with, it will give you room for expansion and means that you will have the resources in place to cope with the increased loads that are associated with a growing website. The higher the load that your website is going to be putting on your database server, the higher the specifications should be of your database server; however, this is going to cost you more money and so it is important to guarantee yourself that you have the income from your website to pay for the extra server.
There are many different database applications that you can use in a web environment, although you need to remember that your choice of database server or application will influence the scripting language that you use to develop your website as well as the operating system that you use on your database server. The main database servers that you could use include:
- Microsoft Access – if you are looking to develop a small website then a Microsoft Access database will suffice for your requirements and there will never be a need for a dedicated database server for an Access database simply because they aren’t designed to work in that way – as Access is a Microsoft application, Access databases will only work on a Windows web hosting server and can only be integrated with websites and scripts that have been developed using either classic ASP or ASP.NET – due to the architecture of the program, Microsoft Access databases also aren’t that scalable
- Microsoft SQL Server – if you wish to use a more scalable database server on the Windows platform then Microsoft SQL Server represents a good choice for most businesses – SQL Server databases can be hosted on dedicated servers easily whilst maintaining a separate web server for increased performance – although it is going to set you back more, Microsoft SQL Server is quite reliable and can be used with PHP web scripts as well as those developed using classic ASP and ASP.NET
- MySQL Server – this is an open source database server meaning that it is free to use, and because it is an SQL based server you can be sure that it will be highly reliable and can scale to your needs quite well – MySQL Server will also work with both Linux and Windows servers meaning that you should be able to use it in conjunction with your current choice of operating system, this compatibility is also mirrored with the scripting languages that support it as although PHP is seen as the main and natural choice, classic ASP and ASP.NET websites can also be used with MySQL databases.
Once you have decided upon the database application you are going to use on your dedicated database server, you can then move forward to selecting your desired operating system and scripting language so that you can then start developing your website.
The whole idea of using a dedicated database server is scalability because the webmasters of larger websites want a server configuration that will allow them to grow their website without having to worry about an increased number of visitors having an adverse affect on server performance. A dedicated database server will be able to handle increased loads without crashing because the server will simply be dedicated to handling the database requests that are sent to it; your web server will be a lot more reliable after this since the load of the databases will be taken off it meaning that the resources of that server can be focused on your web server application to provide your visitors with fast loading speeds. For the best level of scalability possible it is recommended that you choose a database server that is of a slightly higher specification than you actually require, this way you won’t have to upgrade your server for a long time to come.
Local Network and Security
If you are going to go for a dedicated database server then you will need to purchase your server from the same web hosting company that your existing web server is with; you will also need to make sure that your dedicated database server and web server are hosted in the same physical data centre. The best way to connect the two servers together is via a private LAN (Local Area Network) within the network operated by your web hosting provider; this will allow you to make sure that any data that is transmitted between your database server and web server is kept private since only your two servers will have access to this private network. However, it wouldn’t go amiss to make sure that your encrypt any data that is transferred between the two as a safeguard.
In conclusion, a dedicated database server will remove the load a database may be putting on your primary web server to offer you a more stable web hosting solution. A dedicated database server will be responsible for handling all of the database requests that are sent by your web scripts, meaning that your web server will be able to focus on the task of providing your web pages to your visitors in a fast time. Although a dedicated database server may seem like an expensive option at first, it will provide you with a highly scalable server configuration that should be able to cope with a good number of requests at a single time.