Availability, price and employee familiarity often determines which operating systems are offered on dedicated servers. Variations of Linux and Unix (open source operating systems) are often included at no charge to the customer. Commercial operating systems include Microsoft Windows Server, provided through a special program called Microsoft SPLA. Red Hat Enterprise is a commercial version of Linux offered to hosting providers on a monthly fee basis. The monthly fee provides OS updates through the Red Hat Network using an application called Yum. Other operating systems are available from the open source community at no charge. These include CentOS, Fedora Core, Debian, and many other Linux distributions or BSD systems FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD.
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For more than a decade, Jeffrey L. Wilson has penned gadget- and video game-related nerd-copy for a variety of publications, including 1UP, 2D-X, The Cask, Laptop, LifeStyler, Parenting, Sync, Wise Bread, and WWE. He now brings his knowledge and skillset to PCMag as Lead Analyst. When he isn't staring at a monitor (or two) and churning out web h... See Full Bio

A dedicated server, or computing server, is a server where all the physical resources of the machine are available. Unlike a virtual server, which uses a portion of the resources to run its virtualisation technology, a dedicated server allows you to benefit from all of the machine’s available RAM, storage, and computing power. With cloud computing, we can also define this type of solution as "bare metal", highlighting the physical availability of the machine’s resources, in contrast to standard solutions based on virtual instances.

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