For simple laymen who use the computers for internet surfing, web browsing, sending emails, this kind of term is too technical to begin with. So let's try to fathom this term to make it easier to understand.
What is a dedicated server?
A dedicated server is one web server surrounded by a network of computers that is committed and dedicated exclusively to only one customer, which is usually a large business or company. A dedicated server is a better alternative to be able to meet the requirements of a big company or business for a number of explanations. The client is able to personalize the setup of the hardware to its needs, together with the software to come up with the precise requirements. Because of being able to do this, the accessing of date would be a lot quicker and traffic that is elevated or even at times excessive would be given a big capacity for.
Should you have your own dedicated server, what comes with it is extremely good customer from the company who is doing the web hosting. Working with the client would be a must to make sure all the needs of the client are met. An added advantage to having a dedicated server is being able to set up more than one or a couple of domains on that server. Should a company have multiple outlets having a dedicated server would prove to be cost-effective and useful compared to having several host spaces on different web servers.
With this broad definition of what a dedicated server is, you would have a rough idea on how a Microsoft dedicated server would work.
Unfortunately, being a customer who has a Microsoft dedicated server would have its disadvantages. First off, you can't easily make changes. Since what you have is a highly classified and sorted out selections and alternatives, there is no allowable access and manipulation over the operating system itself. Speaking of having no way in to be able to make changes to the operating system would also mean that the customer would not be able to install and set up their own applications. What they can do, is to gain access to hosting tools through the control panel or the use of FTP interfaces.
The usual services that would be included in the package would have Perl, server-side XML, PHP, ASP.Net components, and even rare CGI-BIN directories that are used for scripting. Most times, these shared hosting operations will allow access to the database connections to these SQL applications, and even an independent disk space for SQL databases.
Information that would be important for you to know is that while the end-users can do interface these products, gaining access to be able to tweak the application configurations from and to the server would not be permitted. To do that, the end-user has to let out another dedicated server. This dedicated server would then act as the interface that would allow the end-user to configure, install, update and make changes to the applications.