Web Hosting vs Data Center
In the modern world of rapidly developing technology, it's become the new norm for companies to require an internet presence to be successful. Because of this, there are many distinct ways for corporations and individuals alike to be visible online. However, the way that is most economical and efficient may vary depending on the company and the person. First we'll look into what web hosting is, then what the difference between web hosting and a data center lease is, and we'll close out with the types of web hosting available to you.
What Is Web Hosting?
Simply put, web hosting is a service that allows the user to upload files and make them accessible to other users. This also includes scripting languages, etc, so web hosting allows the client to effectively run an interactive website. One key point about web hosting, especially as compared to data centers, is that it is completely virtual. Web hosting is most friendly to the average user and smaller businesses because it requires little to no Information Technology experience and training. There is no physical server to manage with web hosting. When you purchase monthly web hosting, you are paying to use storage space, server operating time, and bandwidth. Additionally, any web hosting service of decent caliber has comprehensive customer support, so the risk of being devastated by cyber-attacks is lessened, and it is much easier to perform basic tasks with the assistance of a support desk.
What are the differences between web hosting and a data center?
A data center is a massive pipeline of data. People who own servers can either put them in the data center physically or rent the data center's physical servers for a certain time period. Usually, people who use data centers pay for the server and have to manage everything manually, including mitigating attacks. While web hosting problems are generally managed by the hosting company, users are essentially on their own when it comes to data center problems. Data center leases are usually the most effective for people who are running websites with bandwidth intensive applications (such as high-volume file sharing websites). These dedicated servers are the backbones for many major websites. Especially when connected to the highest power lines, data center servers can have lightning-fast connection speeds. While web hosting services may have slightly lower speeds per clients, it's important to realize that the bandwidth that may be available at a data center is generally both expensive and unnecessary for the average website. When users load a page that is a few megabytes, they will not be able to tell the difference between a 1 Gbps fiber optic line and a 100 Mbps shared web hosting line. Additionally, most home users do not even have a connection that can handle incoming data at those speeds.
In a nutshell, web hosting is a virtual service whereby most or all hardware operations are abstracted from the client; data centers typically require a fully trained IT professional to constantly maintain hardware and server-end software and scan for threats, in addition to being more expensive.
What are the types of web hosting?
While a data center lease essentially only has one type of hosting (dedicated), there are many different types of web hosting. Here, we will briefly take a look at each type and what it has to offer the client.
Shared hosting: This is usually the most cheap and available option. Essentially, shared hosting uses a server managed by a hosting company to host multiple client-owned websites. Bandwidth is split among these sites, meaning loading time may vary depending on the demands and amount of visitors to each site. However, each website is hosted on a different domain, making there be no ostensible difference to people accessing these websites. This is generally fast enough and a good and affordable option for small businesses and individuals who want to have a website that doesn't require technical software modifications.
VPS (Virtual Private Server): This can be depicted as a hybrid between shared hosting and dedicated hosting. It still shares a dedicated server, but it gives the user practically full autonomy over the hosting environment, including shell access, fully operating system customization, and more. It gives all the functions of a dedicated server without the price of a dedicated server. The only downside is that resources are usually more limited on a VPS; this only typically affects larger operations.
Dedicated hosting: This is the most expensive and the highest-power option available from a web hosting service. It gives the user purchasing it full control over the server itself, allowing 100% resource utilization with very consistent download and upload speeds and memory access guarantees. This option is recommended for anyone investing in a large business or who owns a website that requires very intensive resource use (typically a highly-featured web application or similar).
If you are looking into web hosting, it can be difficult to find a top-notch company that offers you all of these options from a variety of countries. One hosting provider to look into is HostDigg.com for affordable options to get started.