Types of Web Hosting Services
For a Comprehensive list of Webhosting services check this link. Web Hosting Resources and Services A to Z.
A website can be hosted on a local computer, which is what most web developers when they have to design and build websites.. However, usually they are hosted on remote servers, which are fully or partially managed either by a company for their intranet and internet websites or by a webhosting service or by a thirdparty. To host a website the computer or the server where it is hosted need a server software such a IIS, Windows Server, Apache, Linux, etc. Complex and most popular websites such as Google or Amazon are hosted on hundred and thousands of servers located in various parts of the world.
A webhosting service allows individuals and organizations design and develop their websites or upload their websites through a file transfer system such as FTP or WebDav to a server owned or leased for use by them. Additionally, they also provide other services such as statistics, logs, protection from intrusion and unauthorized access, backup service, email set and management, etc.
With the development of Internet, the number of webhosting companies grew exponentially in the last decade. It is difficult to estimate how many webhosting companies currently exist in the world. The number may be hundreds and thousands. With the growth in technology, the cost of hosting almost came down. Many hosting companies now offer to host websites at very cheap rates. The Companies which specialize in this business offer many types of hosting services. They are listed below.
Shared web hosting service
One's website is placed on the same server as many other sites, ranging from a few sites to hundreds of websites. Typically, all domains may share a common pool of server resources such as RAM and the CPU. The features which are available with this type of service can be quite basic and not flexible in terms of software and updates. Resellers often sell shared web hosting and web companies often have reseller accounts to provide hosting for clients.
Shared web hosting can be implemented in two ways: name-based and Internet Protocol-based (IP-based). However, some Companies allow both name-based and IP-based on one server. In IP-based virtual hosting, also called dedicated IP hosting, each virtual host has a different IP address. The web server is configured with multiple physical network interfaces or virtual network interfaces on the same physical interface. The web server software uses the IP address the client connects to in order to determine which website to show the user.
The issue of IPv4 address exhaustion means that IP addresses are an increasingly scarce resource, so the primary justification for a site to use a dedicated IP is to be able to use its own SSL/TLS certificate rather than a shared certificate.
In name-based virtual hosting, also known as shared IP hosting, the virtual hosts serve multiple hostnames on a single machine with a single IP address. This is possible because when a web browser requests a resource from a web server using HTTP/1.1 protocol, it includes the requested hostname as part of the request. The server uses this information to determine which website to show the user.
Reseller web hosting
In this type of hosting the account owner can use his or her allotted hard drive space and bandwidth to host his own websites or those of third parties as a part of his service to them. The reseller purchases the host's services wholesale, and sells them to customers, possibly for a profit. A certain portion of hard drive space and bandwidth is allocated to the reseller account. The reseller may rent a dedicated server from a hosting company, or resell shared hosting services. In the latter case, the reseller is simply given permission to sell a certain amount of disk space and bandwidth to their own customers without renting a server from a web hosting company they signed for a reseller account
Thus, with reseller accounts, clients become web hosts themselves and host multiple domains, under any combination of these listed types of hosting, depending on who they are affiliated with as a reseller. Resellers' accounts may vary in size from a few to many hundred. Many resellers provide a nearly identical service to their provider's shared hosting plan and provide the technical support themselves.
Virtual Dedicated Server
A Virtual Private Server (VPS) or Virtual Dedicated Server runs its own copy of an operating system (OS), and customers may have superuser-level access to that operating system instance, so they can install almost any software that runs on that OS. For many purposes they are functionally equivalent to a dedicated physical server, and being software-defined, are able to be much more easily created and configured. They are priced much lower than an equivalent physical server.
However, as they share the underlying physical hardware with other VPSes, performance may be lower, depending on the workload of any other executing virtual machines. A Virtual Private Server (VPS) divides server resources into virtual servers in a way that does not directly reflect the underlying hardware. The users may have root access to their own virtual space. Customers are sometimes responsible for patching and maintaining the server (unmanaged server) or the VPS provider may provide server-admin tasks for the customer (managed server).
Dedicated hosting service
In case of a dedicated hosting service, dedicated server, or managed hosting service the client leases an entire server, and unlike in virtual private or dedicated service, the resources of the server are not shared by others. Thus, this is more flexible and effective than the previously mentioned hosting types, as organizations have full control over the server(s), including choice of operating system, hardware, etc. The user gets his or her own Web server and gains full control over it. However, the user typically does not own the server. A dedicated hosting can be self-managed or unmanaged. This is usually the least expensive of all dedicated plans. The user has full administrative access to the server, which means the client is responsible for the security and maintenance of his own dedicated server.
There is also another level of dedicated or managed hosting commonly referred to as complex managed hosting. Complex Managed Hosting applies to both physical dedicated servers, Hybrid server and virtual servers, with many companies choosing a hybrid (combination of physical and virtual) hosting solution. There are many similarities between standard and complex managed hosting but the key difference is the level of administrative and engineering support that the customer pays for – owing to both the increased size and complexity of the infrastructure deployment.
The provider steps in to take over most of the management, including security, memory, storage and IT support. The service is primarily proactive in nature. Server administration can usually be provided by the hosting company as an add-on service. In some cases, a dedicated server can offer less overhead and a larger return on investment. Dedicated servers are hosted in data centers, often providing redundant power sources and HVAC systems. In contrast to colocation, the server hardware is owned by the provider and in some cases, they will provide support for operating systems or applications.
A dedicated hosting service offers the benefits of high performance, security, email stability, and control. However, since it is also more expensive, it is mostly suitable for websites which attract a high volume of traffic.
Managed hosting service
This is one step down to a full owned and managed dedicated hosting where the customer has complete control over the server resources and functionality. In this, the user gets his or her own Web server. However, he is not allowed full control over it. In some systems such as Linux servers they are also denied root access except through a pipeline such as FTP or other remote management tools. The user is disallowed full control to avoid performance issues and security problems. Also the servers are not owned by the clients. They are leased to them.
Server support and operating system support to the core system is usually done by the hosting Company. Including applying the latest security fixes, patches, and system-wide vulnerability resolutions. They also look after updates to core operating systems such as kernel upgrades, service packs, application updates, and security patches that keep the server secure and safe. Operating system updates and support relieves the burden of server management from the dedicated server owner.
Colocation web hosting service
A colocation center (also spelled co-location, or colo or "carrier hotel") is a type of data centre where equipment, space, and bandwidth are available for rental to retail customers. Colocation facilities provide space, power, cooling, and physical security for the server, storage, and networking equipment of other firms and connect them to a variety of telecommunications and network service providers, with a minimum of cost and complexity. In many respects, this is similar to the dedicated web hosting service. However, the user owns the colocation server, while the hosting company provides physical space that the server takes up and takes care of the server.
This is the most powerful and expensive type of web hosting service. Typically, the colocation provider limits his service to providing only power, Internet access, and storage facilities for the server, the customer has to engage his own server administration staff who have to visit the data center on site to do any hardware upgrades or changes. Formerly, many colocation providers would accept any system configuration for hosting, even ones housed in desktop-style minitower cases, but most hosts now require rack mount enclosures and standard system configurations.
Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage and computing power, without direct active management by the user. The term is generally used to describe data centers available to many users over the Internet. Large clouds, predominant today, often have functions distributed over multiple locations from central servers. If the connection to the user is relatively close, it may be designated an edge server. Clouds may be enterprise clouds, which are limited to a single organization, or public clouds which are extended to many organizations (public cloud).
Cloud-computing providers offer their services according to different models. National Institute of Standards and Technology suggests three standard models namely Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). These models offer increasing abstraction. Hence sometimes they are portrayed as layers in a stack. However, it is not necessary that they should always be present together. For example, SaaS can be implemented on physical machines (bare metal) without using underlying PaaS or IaaS layers, and one can run a program on IaaS and access it directly, without wrapping it as SaaS.
This type of hosting platform allows customers powerful, scalable and reliable hosting based on clustered load-balanced servers and utility billing. A cloud hosted website may be more reliable than alternatives since other computers in the cloud can compensate when a single piece of hardware goes down. Also, local power disruptions or even natural disasters are less problematic for cloud hosted sites, as cloud hosting is decentralized.
Cloud computing allows enterprises to get their applications up and running faster, with improved manageability and less maintenance, and enables IT teams to more rapidly adjust resources to meet fluctuating and unpredictable demand. Cloud hosting also allows providers to charge users only for resources consumed by the user, rather than a flat fee for the amount the user expects they will use, or a fixed cost upfront hardware investment. Alternatively, the lack of centralization may give users less control on where their data is located which could be a problem for users with data security or privacy concerns. Also, the "pay-as-you-go" model which they follow can lead to unexpected operating expenses if administrators are not familiarized with cloud-pricing models.
In clustered hosting the server load is spread across multiple physical machines or nodes, thereby increasing the availability of server resources and decreasing the chances of one service, process or resource causing performance issues or effecting other functions and processes. Many large websites run on clustered hosting solutions. For example, large discussion forums and social media application tend to run using multiple front-end webservers with multiple back-end database servers.
Typically, most hosting infrastructures are based on the model of using a single physical machine to host multiple hosted services, including web, database, email, FTP and others. A single physical machine is not only a single point of failure, but also has finite capacity for traffic, which in practice can be troublesome for a busy website or for a website that is experiencing transient bursts in traffic.
By clustering services across multiple hardware machines and using load balancing, single points of failure can be eliminated, increasing availability of a website and other web services beyond that of ordinary single server hosting. A single server can require periodic reboots for software upgrades and the like, whereas in a clustered platform you can stagger the restarts such that the service is still available whilst still upgrading all necessary machines in the cluster.
Clustered hosting is similar to cloud hosting, in that the resources of many machines are available for a website to utilize on demand, making scalability a large advantage to a clustered hosting solution. Having multiple servers hosting the same content results in better resource utilization and load balancing. Clustered servers are a perfect solution for high-availability dedicated hosting, or creating a scalable web hosting solution. A cluster may separate web serving from database hosting capability. (Usually web hosts use clustered hosting for their shared hosting plans, as there are multiple benefits to the mass managing of clients).
Grid hosting is a form of distributed hosting in which each server cluster acts like a grid and is composed of multiple nodes. In grid computing, resources are spread over a network of computing machines (called grid) to reach a common goal. The grid works as a distributed system with non-interactive workloads that involve many files. Grid computing is distinguished from conventional high-performance computing systems such as cluster computing in that grid computers have each node set to perform a different task or application.
Grid computers also tend to be more heterogeneous and geographically dispersed (thus not physically coupled) than cluster computers. Although a single grid can be dedicated to a particular application, commonly a grid is used for a variety of purposes. Grids are often constructed with general-purpose grid middleware software libraries. Grid sizes can be quite large. They are also set up to function as a super virtual computer, consisting of many loosely networked computers acting together to perform large tasks.
Grid computing can also be used as a special type of parallel computing, where fully functional computers with their own CPUs, etc., are connected to a computer network by a conventional network interface, such as Ethernet. This is in contrast to the traditional notion of a supercomputer, which has many processors connected by a local high-speed computer bus.
As the name implies a home server is usually a single machine, placed at home or in a private residence, to be used as a host to one or more websites, using a fast Internet service or a consumer-grade broadband connection. The home server may provide additional services file and printer serving, media center serving, web serving (on the network or Internet), web caching, file sharing and synchronization, calendar and contact sharing and synchronization, account authentication and backup services.
Because of the relatively low number of computers on a typical home network, a home server commonly does not require significant computing power. The server can be one or more powerful home computers (PCs) or purpose-built machines Home servers can be implemented in do-it-yourself style with a re-purposed, older computer, a purpose-built machine, a plug computer or pre-configured commercial home server. An uninterruptible power supply is sometimes used in case of power outages that can possibly corrupt data.
Some ISPs actively attempt to block home servers by disallowing incoming requests to TCP port 80 of the user's connection and by refusing to provide static IP addresses. A common way to attain a reliable DNS host name is by creating an account with a dynamic DNS service. A dynamic DNS service will automatically change the IP address that a URL points to when the IP address changes.
For a Comprehensive list of Webhosting services check this link. Web Hosting Resources and Services A to Z.
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