What is Server Location?
A server location is the place where the data centre is located. Data centres in their turn can be pictured as a sort of houses comprising all head-end equipment including servers themselves, storage systems, routers, switches etc. Your provider can have several data centres around the country as well as around the world. Your residence itself may not coincide with your server locus.
How Does Dedicated Server Location Influence Its Performance?
To understand how relevant location is for your website, let’s imagine a coordinate system with four participants. Let your dedicated server location be the datum point of the system. Other three points are locations of your computer, provider and customers. The most significant here are locations of your server and those of your customers because of a number of reasons.
Reason 1: Speed. The shorter the distance between the two locations the better is your web site performance. Why is it so? Everything is quite simple. When a client tries to load your web page and send a request to it, an amount of data should be transmitted from the client to the data centre and back; and it takes time, no matter how fast the modern Internet is.
The issue is what the exact time it actually takes. So, loading rate of your web site may become determinative. The truth is that a little less than a half of the users would leave the site if it loads more than 3 seconds! To keep them interested - let alone driving them to buy - your web site should load and work very quickly. That’s why you should consider the geographical place of the server you will employ to serve your customers.
Reason 2: Privacy. At the first glance, it may seem odd that your server location may play a role for privacy issues, but it indeed does. The thing is that the regulations or laws concerning the data security are varied from country to country, so holding a dedicated server in the USA is not the same as holding it in the UK. Moreover, there are countries where personal information of the servers based there can be accessed and monitored by intelligence agencies.
Reason 3: SEO. SEO has a specific purpose - to make Google place your web site as higher as possible when a user makes the corresponding request. Curiously enough, but your SEO strategy should include the server location parameter as well. This is due to one of the search engines algorithm which is about ranking web sites according to their loading speed. If your website tends to slow down, Google will by all means note this and send it to the middle of nowhere on the request page of your customers.
What Location Is to Be Chosen For My Dedicated Server?
Thus, we arrive at an obvious idea - if you want your web site to work properly, you should devote much attention to the potential residence of your dedicated server or bare metal server. It definitely should be as close to your customers’ region as possible.
If the distance is too big, it doesn’t only adversely affect websites running speed, but it may also destroy the whole SEO plan elaborated for them.
But things may turn even more complicated. You may have been using a server for a while and noticed that your website performance has been poor, in spite of being in close vicinity of you or of your customers’ area. It may indicate that your provider doesn’t ensure high quality work of its servers.
So, no matter how good your dedicated server is, if it is located too far away, it will impact your website productivity and, vice-versa, no matter how close your dedicated server is, if its quality leaves much to be desired, your website is still much affected by this.
In case of network poor performance, you may consider changing either the server or even the host - in case it can’t offer you a suitable location shift. Another stimulus for that may be your tapping new areas and creating there new websites for the clients. Now you will think over both the chosen server's quality and location.
How To Survive a Migration of Dedicated Server?
A server migration is an act of transporting each slightest datum from one server to another. This is not that hard as it may seem, but it’s crucial that you have prepared the whole mechanism of the on-going migration.
It depends on whether you migrate the server with the same IP address or to a new one, but practically the whole thing will include:
- you stop the initial server and make the system start buffering the data;
- you make a backup of the data;
- you restore it on the new server;
- you make certain that the new server works properly.
To sum up, to choose or migrate the dedicated server, you only follow those simple steps:
- define your target area paying the most meticulous attention to your customers’ location;
- explore which data centres your provider has;
- examine the data centre’s performance on one of the multiple sites which can supply you with that info;
- check up your own website’s condition as it should be optimized before “moving house”.
Now you are all ready to do it and enjoy the performance of your new dedicated server.