Different Types of Web Hosting
There are several types of web hosting. The most common is Shared Hosting. This is followed by Virtual Private Server hosting, Dedicated Hosting and Server Co-location. The new kid on the block is Cloud Hosting.
Shared hosting (also known as virtual hosting) is the most common and affordable type of hosting. Several web sites shared the resources (such as CPU cycle, memory, operating system, bandwidth etc) of a single server. The hosting company manages the server to ensure maximum uptime and takes care of the hardware and software. You have full control of your website using a control panel but you have no control over the server.
The biggest advantage of shared hosting is the low cost. Since many websites share a server, the hosting company is able to pass the savings to you. The biggest disadvantage of shared hosting is that one ill behaving website can hog up all the resources and cause problems for everyone else.
It is good for small and medium size sites or used as backup hosting.
Virtual Private Server hosting (VPS), also referred to as Virtual Dedicated Server hosting (VDS), partitions a single server into several virtual computers. The resources of the server such as CPU cycles and memory are allocated in such as way that each virtual server has its own dedicated share of resources. Each virtual server looks and acts like a dedicated server.
Some customers want to have complete control of their server but at the same time do not need the full power of a dedicated server. The Virtual Private Server (VPS) is an attractive solution.
Since the VPS has its own share of resources and separate from other virtual server, even if the websites on another virtual server is hacked or hog the resources, it will not affect you.
It is more expensive than shared hosting but cheaper than dedicated hosting.
Dedicated hosting allows you complete control of a single server and have access to all its resources to host one or a few websites. It is highly suitable for large high-traffic websites, custom development projects creating complex web based applications, and web sites that require a high degree of uptime and total control of the hosting environment.
Dedicated hosting gives you complete control and is usually tailored to the amount of bandwidth, memory, and hard drive space that you might need. They allow for CPU intensive applications to operate without hindering other sites or being conflicted.
However it comes with a price. In addition, you need someone on your staff to manage the server on a day to day basis. The hosting company will manage the hardware but you are responsible for remote problem solving, having knowledge of the operating system, protocols and the software installed on the computer.
Both VPS and dedicated hosting comes with managed options. VPS or Dedicated servers can be difficult to operate technically and require that you have certain knowledge about server maintenance and system administration. Managed options takes care of all of these and adds extra services like reporting and monitoring, load balancing, security, setup, system administration and software updates.
Managed option is usually a premium offering which means that you must be ready to pay.
It is technically not another type of hosting. It is much like dedicated hosting. Here you place your own custom built server in the data center of a hosting provider. The hosting provider will plug in your server at its data center providing you access to its network and infrastructure. They are responsible for the network infrastructure and the data center while you are responsible for the server through remote access.
Co-location allows you to fully customize your resources and obtain the best performance possible (compared to hosting at your own office). Your hosting provider can provide dedicated resources such as security against vandalism and fire, dedicated bandwidth, regulated power, backup etc to enable your very customized and specialized web sites to function at peak performance.
With co-located servers, you are fully responsible for the equipment. Most data centers will monitor and manage your system, but any problems will have to be dealt by the owner unless you have a maintenance agreement in place (means more money). You are likely to have specialized software and/or operating system and you need experience staff to manage them.
It is usually the most expensive type of hosting option.
Even with dedicated hosting, once that web site reaches the limits of the single server it is on, it chokes. Cloud hosting uses server clustering and a highly advanced virtualized system that allow unlimited number of servers to behave as one system. It gives you access to the resources of any number of different servers so that your website can have as much bandwidth, CPU cycles, memory and other resources as you need. In addition the servers can be in diverse location to give you better redundancy.
Other hosting solutions depend on one machine only. Cloud hosting security is guaranteed by many servers. Cloud hosting allows you to easily scale up when your demands increases or down when your demands decreases. And you only pay for what you use.
With cloud hosting, even smaller websites can benefit from dedicated server like services at a very affordable price since charges is based on usage.
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