If you want to take part in the internet as a business, information resource and directory or only as a hobbyist wanting to share data, information and knowledge with many people and communities across the world on the internet you need to have a central spot on the net. Web hosting denotes owning a piece of space in cyber space.
Web hosting is available free of cost but these are not reliable. In case a company desires a fast, powerful, reliable and professionally maintained web presence it is important to own web space. The following points have to be considered in choosing a server by the small, medium or large business owners.
Points to be considered in choosing a server
• Space needed – A company has to decide on the space needed depending on its requirements but subject to cost and infrastructure constraints.
• Customization and upgrades – Various hosting plans are offered by the web host providers and the company needs to choose from them that best suits their needs.
• Memory and bandwidth – The memory requirement and bandwidth will have to be carefully determined by the company to prevent future complexities.
• Storage of server – Outsourcing of server reduces the responsibility of maintaining infrastructure to a large extent for the company.
• Support System – Technically competent support system is required for smooth running of the server.
A dedicated hosting service, dedicated server, or managed hosting service is a type of Internet hosting where the client leases an entire server not shared with anyone. This is more flexible than shared hosting, as organizations have full control over the server(s), including choice of operating system, hardware, etc. and customized configurations. Server administration is usually provided by the hosting company but the company need to have technically knowledgeable persons to run the system successfully.
Need for Dedicated Hosting
1. Large companies with huge presence can afford a dedicated hosting as it is a costly affair.
2. If the web content is huge then a dedicated server is recommended.
3. If the website has a high traffic a dedicated hosting is of use.
4. Complex applications like e-commerce, dynamic content, database applications and multimedia applications are better suited for dedicated server.
5. If the website contains secured information a dedicated hosting is preferred.
Special options available to Dedicated Hosting Customers
Choice of Operating System - Dedicated servers give the customer to choose the operating system as per price, availability and employee familiarity. It also gives the option to choose routing equipment and network connections.
Connectivity - The customer can choose the connectivity in case of dedicated servers. Web host provider gives multiple quality uplink providers giving redundancy in the event one goes down and potentially improved routes to destinations for its high profile dedicated hosting customers.
Management – Administrative maintenance of the operating system and its up gradation, security patches etc are also included in case of dedicated hosting. Differing levels of management may include adding users, domains, daemon configuration, or even custom programming.
Advantages of Dedicated Hosting
1. Dedicated Hosting means the customer don’t have to purchase or maintain own equipment.
2. Dedicated server ensures better performance of the website due to dedicated usage of machinery.
3. No chance of website being affected by another website on the same box.
4. Dedicated hosting secures information.
Disadvantages of Dedicated Hosting
1. Dedicated hosting is a very expensive proposition.
2. Server is the property of the service provider hence the customer is only the owner of own data.
3. The service provider charges hefty sums as monthly fees for providing service.
4. The customer can not pack up and walk away if he is not satisfied with the quality of service provided by the service provider.
Types of Dedicated Hosting
Dedicated Server can be classified as Managed and Unmanaged.
Managed Dedicated Server
The companies having a small capital base but a strong online presence can opt for managed dedicated service. A managed hosting offers its clients a fast, reliable, powerful and professionally maintained web presence. This service has been described as a ‘glorified dedicated server armed with extended features and support’. Here the server administration is provided, maintained and monitored by the web host rather than the company which only needs to provide the data. The company does not need its own system administration resources as in case of any technical difficulty the web host will take care of it. This is for small capital base companies with medium to high level online needs.
Unmanaged Dedicated Server
In case of unmanaged dedicated server web host only provides storage space, physical security and bandwidth. The server is operated and managed by the client who has full access to the server and can customize configurations. This is possible only by the large companies as they have the capital base to own a competent and technically expert system administration resource. It is necessary as any technical problem will have to be independently handled by the client as web host doesn’t provide any technical support. However, the web host generally provides a consultant at a nominal fee to assist operating an unmanaged server to the client.
Points to be considered in choosing a WEB HOST SERVICE PROVIDER
- Security of data and equipments
- Bandwidth availability
- Expertise and integrity of Web host provider
- Hardware maintenance
- Technical Support
- Customer Care
After considering all the above points a client must focus on the two most important points as follows while selecting the web host service provider:
1. Hardware Maintenance guarantee
2. Technical Support System
Hardware maintenance by Web host service provider
The web host service provider must guarantee the client that it has spare parts on hand to cover common problems faced by the server. It should also have the ability to obtain replacement or repairing parts at the earliest so that smooth functioning of the server is not hampered at any point of time.
Moreover in choosing host it has to be assured that it will take full responsibility of hardware, software and operating environment.
Considerations for Hardware
- Brand – whether the host uses branded equipments or not
- CPU – the speed of CPU as it affects the speed of website
- Memory – of hard disk has to be considered
- Mirrored drivers – that the host uses 2 sets of hard drives in sync with all data as in case of driver failure immediate back up will be possible
- Multiple servers- Depending on requirement its beneficial to host site in more than one server
Back end Technical Support by Web Host service provider
A company needs to test the following for technical support before relying on the assurance of technical support blindly.
- Dependability- whether technical support is dependable
- Ability of technicians- test of ability of technicians is essential before trusting them
- Call up technical support staff and clarify- the availability of staff at office, qualifications of staff, duration of service of staff in the company or whether employed on contractual basis.
- Knowledge of staff- by calling up listening and assessing tone of voice of staff
- Location of Company- Whether services have been outsourced has to be verified.
- Track automation- Whether the firm provides online knowledgeable base or technical support centre
- Support Document- Whether the company has support specific documentation
- Check- by calling and mailing at odd hours to ensure 24 hour service is actually given.
All these tests are important as it indicates whether the service promised by the web host server is reliable, dependable or questionable. It is very important as timely delivery and useful support ensures correct utilization of money and has a positive impact on income generation.