We're thinking about moving from a shared hosting to a dedicated server (a managed one, we don't want to manage/maintain it for now). I keep reading that it's best to have a server for the websites and a server for the databases. That, obviously, doubles the cost, and I'm not sure we can afford that right now.

My question would be: is it a bad idea to keep the shared hosting we have now (which costs $10/month) and leave the databases we have there? And then move the websites to a dedicated server and connect to the databases from there.

Or is there any issue that would make it better to just move everything to the dedicated server despite the problems that this option could have?

closed as not constructive by mdpc, Ward, Khaled, John Gardeniers, MadHatter Jan 18 '13 at 13:36

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  • Any single dedicated server will outperform a shared host, so that's still a step up. – Wesley Jan 18 '13 at 5:08
  • Not necessary. It may be academic - i.e. it "outperforms" it and at the end it is not relevant. – TomTom Jan 18 '13 at 12:00

Your shared hosts will be unlikely to allow remote connections to the database service. Many shared hosts have an entire stack of web server, database server, control panel, DNS, and a host of other services running on a single monster server (or emaciated server, as the case may be). Multiply that stack a few dozen or hundred (or more) times, and you have your standard, unimaginative web host structure.

Database connections are often made to localhost and MySQL (the king of shared hosting database engines) is set to not allow connections externally. All clients on each machine have their web apps connect to localhost with the appropriate username and password.

As I mentioned in my comment, even a rudimentary dedicated server (or even a decent VPS) will be highly likely to outperform a shared host which often has artificial limits placed on executions, "hits", and a few other things to reign in the increasingly common practice of offering "unlimited" bandwidth and hard disk space. My suggestion is to get a single dedicated server, which can be had for $50 or so from certain IaaS hosts (that have decent reputations). That will not include management, however as cPanel and managed services (which often go hand in hand) increase the price. Perhaps a VPS would fit the bill, as I've seen managed VPSs from decent vendors be under $50.

  • Added as a comment so as not to be completely self-seeking: I am one who does dedicated servers for $50 at this point in time. Not managed however. So I do have some insight into this space on a first-hand level. – Wesley Jan 18 '13 at 5:13
  • Hm, i would expect most to be the other way and offer various scenarios. – TomTom Jan 18 '13 at 5:33

Sorry, but that sounds wrong. Given that the database normally is more demanding than the web server - should it not be the other way around? You can easily have multiple cheaper web offers then connect to one dedicated server doing the database work.

No web server I have ever seen came even close to the hardware requirements of a database server once you start adding real load.

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