One possible use for a dedicated server that should not be ignored is media streaming. By media I mean audio and video files streamed over the Internet for public viewing. Although there are plenty of services that offer streaming video accounts, such as Blip.tv or Vimeo, you may prefer to stream your own content.
When setting up streaming services, it is a good idea to have some type of server-side encoding so that videos and audio files can be copied into various formats. On a Linux server, tools such as ffmpeg allow you to convert media files into a wide variety of formats, supporting a large pool of codecs.
For the streaming itself, you can use an open source solution, such as Kaltura, which gives you the ability to edit videos, create playlists, add subtitles, stream HD quality videos, and take advantage of social media sharing. With Kaltura, system administrators can analyze video content, moderate comments, send bulk uploads, set permissions, generate statistical reports, and customize players and playlists.
Video and audio encoding and streaming can tie up a considerable amount of system resources. Therefore, if you expect a great amount of traffic and have a large collection of media, you may want to consider using a separate server for your media streaming. You might also consider using cloud services, such as content delivery networks (CDN) to at least host the content.