Do you want to create a website or e-shop? But you’re getting lost in basic terminology, and terms like web hosting, dedicated server, or cloud are like from another world to you? Then you may be happy to read the following lines to try to explain the basic terminology.
What is hosting?
First of all, it is essential to clarify what the very concept of hosting means. The word guest in English refers to the host, an individual who takes care of his visitors. Hosting in a computer technology environment works on a very similar principle. Its providers offer space for a certain fee, either on their servers or in their data centers, where the customer can conveniently place what they need. Such a deal is, of course, advantageous for both sides.
The oldest, cheapest, and still most popular form is web hosting. The web hosting provider will allocate you the proper performance, disk space, database, and other necessities for a fee. As part of this, you pay to rent a place and address for the location of the website. Commonly available web hosting includes purchasing a domain – the address by which your site will be traceable – and an email client.
Multi hosting is also a specific part of web hosting. It is hosting several 2nd order domains within a single account. Typically, the acquisition of this service represents an additional cost. However, it comes out significantly cheaper than if you ran each site on separate hosting. The icing on the cake is the easier management of websites from one place. However, choose your provider with caution, as a single outage will be enough, and all sites will be affected at the same time.
The basis is physical servers located in data centers. You share performance with other clients so that loading may slow down from time to time. Customer support is available, and the server owner keeps the website functional. The last advantage of classic web hosting is simplicity – you click on the desired items, and it’s done.
Due to the limitations of resources, it is a variant suitable especially for personal pages or for unpretentious entrepreneurs. You also have to count on a small range of functions, limited individualization options, and higher security risks. The server stands and falls with the caution of all its users.
Virtual servers (VPS and VMS)
Advances in IT enable you to create many exciting solutions. One consists of a virtual private server (VPS) and virtual managed server (VMS) pair.
The advantage of VPS over classic web hosting is that you get reliable performance and disk space that belongs only to you for your money. The virtual server behaves like a standalone drive, and you don’t have to look back on other users in your work, even from a security perspective. But with great freedom comes considerable responsibility. By purchasing VPS hosting, you only get performance. You must secure and manage the software for its efficient use. Some providers still offer free installation of the most used application packages.
Are you interested in the possibility of acquiring a virtual server, but do you not want to spend time setting it up? Reach for VMS, virtual managed server. The rules are the same as with its cheaper counterpart – reliable performance, better security, etc. The only difference is that the provider sets up and further manages all the controls for you with VMS. You don’t have to study how the service is controlled so long, and you’d better spend time doing what you know.
Virtual servers are generally suitable for more demanding customers who require consistent performance and do not want to share their resources with anyone. It also pays off when creating more websites, as you are limited only by arrangement. However, in VPS, it is necessary to arm yourself with the essential knowledge, especially in Linux, databases, and security.
Cloud services are a phenomenon of the present, and cloud hosting cannot be missed among them. Many tend to identify it with the VPS service introduced above. However, the reality is much more complex. While you’re buying a single virtual machine (Virtual Machine) in VPS form, you’ll get an entire environment that you can unseal at will after purchasing cloud space. You can create as many VMs as you need or want.
The public cloud works similarly to shared web hosting. Computing power and memory are shared between multiple customers simultaneously, with increased load leading to proportional reductions in speed and availability. You can improve performance without problems, agree to a higher regular payment.
The main advantage of public cloud services is that all infrastructure, including security, is entirely under the provider’s control. You do not have to spend any funds to set it up or pay experts to take care of hardware equipment (each customer manages the VMs themselves). Getting a public cloud settles off, especially if you want to design the entire structure of your website yourself, but at the same time, you don’t need the unnecessary amount of performance yet. And you’ll be confident that you’ll be able to boost performance if your services are thriving slightly.
Do you own an e-shop with thousands of unique customers every day? Are you creating a leading site for them and have decided to invest in a cloud solution? No problem, pay an adequate amount of money, and you have it. Before that, however, calculate whether it will pay off because you will have to back up the complete infrastructure. Also, don’t forget to add a trained worker to manage the cloud.
In return, you get much-needed performance and speed of access to all components of the server. The solution will be tailored to your exact needs, and you will not lack any features. However, be careful when planning. Additional performance cannot be purchased as quickly as in the public cloud; you buy hardware independently. Therefore, always choose carefully how powerful the server you choose. The private cloud is most in demand by stable companies with significant capital that need solutions entirely suited to their needs and customer requirements.
The latest fad of modern technologies lies in the technology of so-called containerization. As the name suggests, it is a cost-cutting solution that facilitates portability (the ability to transfer to another platform) of software.
The principle is quite simple. Full virtualization (VPS, cloud) has software installed on the physical server – hypervisor. This allows you to then create VPS servers, in the case of the cloud, virtual machines. Each virtual machine is designed as a separate server with its operating system. However, such full virtualization consumes a significant amount of power and energy, which will only fall on the hypervisor’s maintenance.
On the other hand, containers help effectively eliminate this problem by virtualizing only at the operating system level. All containers run under one operating system, sharing memory, libraries, and other essential equipment. This provides significant savings and allows you to make important updates and other changes quickly and easily. You can start a container in just a few clicks, plus you can move it as needed without significant problems.
Web hosting is the first choice for all those who are just getting started running the website. But what to do if there is a massive increase in clients and another solution is needed to ensure that the needs of all parties are met? In this case, many operators begin to think about the variants that acquire their physical equipment. This gives you a performance that is not awarded to other owners and can handle according to your own needs.
Can’t keep up with shared performance, and you’re not very interested in virtual drives? In that case, reach for the dedicated server. For a significantly higher monthly fee, you will book all server performance and space only for yourself and your project. Thanks to this, even the most comprehensive websites with many thousands of visitors will operate briskly and without significant technical difficulties.
For dedicated servers, providers very often also offer exceptional service services. They guarantee a quick fix for the glitch, as they are aware that every second of the site’s malfunction can cause revenue drops for clients. For dedicated servers, the term server hosting is sometimes used. However, it is still the property of the hosting operator and offers to another interested party after the lease is terminated. For this reason, you will have no choice but to count on certain restrictions by which the operator protects his equipment.
If you are proud owners of a modern server for tens, even hundreds of thousands of crowns, you may not want to pay to rent foreign equipment. But what to do if your establishment is not equipped with adequate facilities for its location? Take advantage of the server housing services and kill two flies with one stone.
The server housing service rents a place in the hosting service operator’s data center, where you place your equipment. You get internet access, backup power, and physical access to the server. However, any additional service must be carried out at your own expense. You pay the operator exclusively for having a place to place your server and connect it to the network. On the other hand, no one will tell you what you do with your servers. That is, provided you do not endanger the security of the entire data center.
This is what Severhousing might look like.
Owners of exposed sites require much more than one server. Fortunately, hosting service operators also remember this fact and offer an expensive solution for demanding – rack housing.
For a reasonable fee, you can rent a whole rack – a cabinet for placing up to 40 servers at a time. The other rules remain the same as for server housing. The operator is only limitedly liable for your servers and takes care of the most basic tasks. The rest is up to you and your employees.
Don’t want to take a long time to set up the server and install the necessary applications? Look for application hosting services. It is an intelligent solution for e-shops and sites where content is often published. Its operation is close to classic web hosting because you pay for performance, memory, and space on servers. At the same time, however, you immediately get your hands on a program solution designed precisely about the activities you plan to implement on your website.
In the case of application hosting, the operator takes care of everything necessary. The client’s task is to choose the appropriate templates, plugins, and other add-ons that he will need while working. An example of application hosting is, for instance, WordPress.com for the WordPress editorial system.
Owners of frequently visited websites are always terrified of the moment when their site becomes inaccessible. The result can be both a drop in popularity and a significant reduction in profit, which can reach tens of thousands of crowns in extreme cases. That’s why they often bet on a safer solution than classic web hosting. Gradually, cluster hosting is also coming to us.
The principle of cluster computing is that a more significant number of computers count each other. This ensures higher connection speed and stability and proportionally reduces the risk of service malfunction. Plugging in more machines also provides that at least some functions work seamlessly when failed while working smoothly to get those that have been unable back into operation.