Cloud computing is all the rage these days and the hosting industry is no
exception. The basic idea of cloud computing is that you join multiple computers together to provide faster, more reliable performance.
In terms of web hosting, that translates to meaning that websites get delivered faster and don’t suffer from slowdowns. When one website receives a lot
of traffic, the load is spread equally among multiple servers in the cloud.
Imagine it as a grocery store where, if the lines at the checkouts get long,
shelf-stackers and other staff from around the store are summoned to temporarily open additional checkouts until the rush is over.
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Virtual Private Servers
A VPS is the next step up from a standard shared server. With a shared
server, all of the sites share all of the resources of the server, and if one site
hogs the resources, all the other sites suffer. With a VPS, the server is divided
into equal sections, and each site (or set of sites) is placed within its own
section. These sections are called virtual private hosts because they act independently of each other and are like a set of mini web servers that all share
the same hardware.
A VPS can be a good idea if your site has a fair amount of traffic because it
guarantees a certain level of processor time and memory availability to you.
If your web host claims the server will be up 99.9 percent of the time, that
means it will be up for around 8,7511
⁄2hours every year, leaving a full eight
and a half hours of downtime.
A server reboot takes maybe 20 minutes on a shared server. If the hosts are
monitoring the servers, they should spot when those servers go down and be
able to reboot them within 30 minutes.
So at 99.9 percent uptime, the server could go down once a month and be fixed
by a simple reboot, which still leaves more than four hours of downtime for
some other event. If the server you were on went down every month, even for
just half an hour, you might think it was unreliable, but your host could still
claim a 99.9 percent uptime.
The Internet is a truly global market. In theory, you can tell where a company is based by its website address. Most countries have their own country
codes; for instance, google.co.ukhas the country code .uk at the end of
its address so you can guess it’s in the United Kingdom. On the other hand,
google.com.auhas .au at the end of it, so you know it’s in Australia.
Some hosts do not back up the websites they host at all. This is bad.
Some hosts will back up your sites for you for a small additional fee. As long
as that fee doesn’t make your overall hosting cost too high, that can often be
If the server your site is on goes down and neither you nor your host has a
backup of your site, then there is absolutely nothing that can be done to get
your site back. Nothing at all.
Some hosts even completely redesign the control panel to integrate it with
some of their other systems. The implementation by justhost.com is a great
example of that.
Each server can host multiple websites, depending on the size of the sites.
This is called shared hosting.Some servers, however, are dedicated just to
one site or to a small number of sites belonging to one person or organization. These are called dedicated servers.
You can locate your site in the web-hosting equivalent of a strip mall — a