A dedicated server may be compared to a safety deposit box held within a bank. A client ‘rents’ a safety deposit box in a Swiss bank which allows the client to store anything he desires within his box as long as it fits. If his items are too large he can acquire a larger box. His rent entitles him to a ‘dedicated’ storage space for his personal items which are kept separate from the bank’s other clients’ items. However, despite the extended storage freedom compared to ‘shared’ storage space, the client has no ownership or control over the actual physical box. In other words, the client does not reserve the right to put his own lock onto the box neither is he entitled to mark nor paint the box. Furthermore, the client has no control over the physical storage of the box nor the manner in which the box is physically protected as this is a service historically offered by banks and over which banks retain strict control.
In order to provide ‘dedicated space’ the bank utilises physical equipment, for example, the safety deposit box. Despite the use of the safety deposit box, the client is ‘renting’ storage space and not physical property of the bank. The ‘safety deposit box’ is not the object of the service but the equipment required to provide the object of the service – separate and safe storage.
The dedicated server is a form of virtual ‘safety deposit box’ in respect of which the physical server equipment is merely a device which facilitates the provision of secure virtual storage.