Dedicated Server FAQ
What is included in a dedicated server hosting package?
A Netservers dedicated server package includes:
- Your own server located at one of our high quality facilities
- Internet connectivity to the server via our high speed switched network
- FireRack firewall protection of the server with web-based control panel
- A specific data transfer quota (depends on package)
- 4 fixed IP addresses (more available on request)
Each customer will be allocated their own dedicated VLAN, and their own Virtual Firewall security zone, hence your servers are not only protected from the Internet at large but also from other customers on our network.
Who owns and maintains the Dedicated Server hardware?
Netservers own and maintain the server hardware. This means that in the event of a hardware failure our staff will be responsible for making any repairs or replacing the server. Please note that certain kinds of hardware failures may result in data loss. In such situations Netservers staff may have to re-install the operating system, restoring the server to its freshly installed state. It is usually the responsibility of the customer to ensure that they have adequate backups of their data and configuration.
Who is responsible for system administration of the Server?
Netservers staff will pre-install the base operating system on the server in its default configuration, assign it an IP address and connect it to the network so that the customer may remotely access it. All further software installation, configuration and administration work is the responsibility of the customer. However, if you would prefer not to administer some or all aspects of your server, Netservers do offer various support services as options on your package. Our highly skilled staff are also available to provide ad-hoc support for an hourly rate.
How should I backup the data on my server?
It is the responsibility of the customer to ensure they have adequate backups of their data and system configuration. It is recommended that you keep backups of your most vital data at your own premises. For small amounts of data you may wish to do this frequently, but for large amounts of data regular backups could significantly impact your data transfer quota. In such circumstances you may wish to subscribe to our optional backup storage service. This service will provide you with storage space on our own backup server based in London.
Why do you include firewalls as standard when your competitors charge extra?
Netservers are specialists in Internet security, and believe that no Internet site should be without protection. We have developed our own firewall product, the FireRack, specifically designed for Internet hosting environments. This unique product allows us to provide safe, easy to use customer-managed firewalling at a fraction of the cost of our competitors offerings.
Should I opt for a Windows server, a Linux server or Mac server?
If you specifically require ASP, IIS, MS SQL server or any other Microsoft products then you will want to opt for a Windows server. Otherwise, Linux is a far more reliable, secure and economical solution. Administering a Linux system does requires some level of technical expertise.
None of your packages offer the right specification of server. Can you do custom packages?
Yes; if you have specific requirements that our standard packages do not meet, we would be happy to discuss these requirements with you.
What is a 'RAID' server, and why should I opt for one?
RAID stands for 'Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks'. It is a technique for using multiple hard drives to provide fault tolerance. Normally, we will configure systems with 2 hard drives to use RAID 1 disk mirroring. All data is written to both drives simultaneously. Although at Netservers we only use high quality hardware, the worst can occasionally happen and hard drives do sometimes fail. With RAID 1, if one of the drives fails the system can continue to run normally with just the remaining drive. We can then schedule a mutually convenient time to replace the failed drive, meaning minimal downtime for your server. Without RAID, a single hard drive failure could result in several days downtime in the worst case scenairo that it was necessary to reinstall the operating system from scratch. Please note that on a RAID 1 system, the storage capicity is effectively halved. I.e. a pair of 40 GB hard drives will give you 40 GB of storage space, not 80 GB. If you have more advanced requirements, we are also able to do custom RAID 5 systems with 3 or more hard drives. Please enquire for more information.
What are the advantages of a dedicated server?
- better performance
- many sites on one server
- can install custom and specialized software
- full control
- you can re-sell virtual hosting to your clients
Why should I host my server off site?
- network speed
- backup power
- 24 hour monitoring (additional charge)
- no need for expensive dedicated line
What is the best proceedure for changing to Netservers from another hosting company to ensure that my internet site is always reachable?
The first step is to get your chosen Netservers server online. Once it is online you can upload duplicates of your existing sites. When you're ready to start using your new server, you'll have to make a minor change to the DNS of your sites.
What payment methods are available?
All charges must be paid monthly in advance. You can choose to pay by Direct Debit, or sign a mandate to have the fees charged to your credit/debit card.
What if I want to upgrade to a more powerful server later?
You will need to pay another setup fee for the new server. If necessary we can host the new server alongside the old server for a period of a few weeks to allow you to configure the new server and to provide for a smooth transition.
How do I get additional IP addresses? Is there a charge for this?
Additional IPv4 addresses are available as and when needed. There is an additional charge of £ 1 per month for each additional address. There is no charge for IPv6 addresses.
Can I host multiple secure SSL (https) web sites on a single IP address?
Yes, all modern web browsers should support the Server Name Identification extension, as specified in RFC 4366, which allows multiple SSL web sites to share the same IP address.
How do I register a domain name for my server?
Please e-mail us with your requirements. Alternatively, if you have not already got a Netservers Member's Login, please sign up for one on our web site and you can use our online domain registration system.
I already have a domain name, can I use it with Netservers?
Yes. There are three possibilities:
- You can simply update your present DNS server with the address of your new server. You do not need to make any changes to your domain registration, but you will need to continue to pay your present service provider any DNS hosting fees they may charge you.
- You can update your domain registration to point to new DNS servers (see next question), but retain the domain registration with your existing registrar.
- You transfer the domain from your present registrar to us and we will point at new DNS servers. Most of our customers opt to transfer their domain to us and also have us manage their DNS service. Please contact us if you would like to arrange this.
Do I need to host my DNS with Netservers?
No. You can host your DNS service wherever you wish. Usually, the cheapest option for you will to be to host your own DNS service on your server at Netservers. However, correctly managing a DNS server requires some specialist skills. Most of our customers opt for us to handle their domains and DNS service. We provide DNS service on our own servers for a small annual fee.
Can I use Netservers as my secondary DNS?
Yes. If you are hosting your own DNS service from your server at Netservers, we will provide a free secondary DNS service.
Can I use my own server hardware? / Can I install my own operating system? / Can I get physical access to the server if something goes wrong?
No. Physical access to our Docklands hosting facility is not possible. If you render your server inaccessible via the network we will need to restore this access for you. If you require a more flexible facility with physical access, this is available at our Cambridge co-location hosting facility.
What happens if I exceed my data transfer quota?
If you think you will need a higher quota than is included in your server package, you may order an additional quota in blocks of 1 GB. The price per GB of quota is lower when you order higher quotas. If you exceed your agreed quota you will be charged for the additional GB you have used, but at the same rate as agreed for your quota, not at any lower rates that may otherwise have been applicable.
How does it affect my data transfer quota if I order more than one server?
The inclusive quota of all your servers at our Dockland facility is added together, and any additional quota you order is added to this to give an overall quota which is shared between your servers. Traffic between your servers does NOT count towards your quota.
Do I have to ask Netservers to (re)configure my firewall?
No. The FireRack Virtual Firewall is fully configurable via a user friendly web based control panel, and customers are normally expected to configure their own firewall rules if required. However, should you require assistance with configuring your firewall then Netservers staff will be happy to help, either as a monthly option on your package or for an adhoc fee. The control panel is located on our SSL encrypted web site for security.