Types of Webhosting Services

Jan 19, 2010 under Colocation Web Hosting, Dedicated Web Hosting, Domain Hosting, Email Hosting, Exchange Hosting, Grid Hosting, Managed Web Hosting, Reseller Web Hosting, Shared Web Hosting, Virtual Dedicated hosting

Most of peoples don’t know about all types of web hosting services available on today’s market. In order to make them familiar with available options, we present here an overview.

Types of webhosting environments

Types of webhosting services

Shared Web Hosting

One’s website is setup on the same server machine as many other websites. Depending how powerful is the machine, can be from a few to hundreds or thousands customers. Usually, domains share hosting server resources, such HDD, memory or CPU. The hosting features available with this webhosting type are extensive nowadays and pretty much includes “unlimited” resources (due to latest budget webhosting companies explosion and price decrease for computer hardware and internet bandwidth).

Free Hosting

Offered by various hosting companies with less services and features, usually adding advertisement (banners) on customers websites. In most cases they only offer website hosting (so no email hosting) with FTP access. In most cases, hosting providers are also looking for these customers to upgrade to paid hosting.

Reseller Web Hosting

Allows customers to become webhosts themselves. Resellers basically runs under almost any combination of listed types of hosting. Many resellers provide almost identical service to their provider’s shared hosting plan and offer the technical support by themselves.

Dedicated Servers

The customer gets his own hosting server machine with full control over it (administrator access for Windows / root access for Linux); however, the user does not own the server machine and the price is much more expensive then shared (usually over $100/mo.). Usually web control panels are also included.

Managed

The user gets his own webserver but is not getting full control over the software. Customers are allowed to manage their data via FTP/CVS/CVN or other remote publishing tools. The hosting provider guarantee quality of service for installed software by not allowing the customer to modify the server settings.

Self-Managed or Unmanaged

This is usually the less expensive solution for dedicated hosting plans (and Linux platform is also cheaper then Windows platforms). The user has full administrative access to the server and hi’s responsible for the installed software, security and maintenance of his own dedicated box.

Home server

Is a single machine placed in a private residence used to host one or more web sites from a consumer broadband connection.

Colocation Web Hosting

Similar to dedicated webhosting service, but the user owns the collocated machine(s). The webhosting company offers the physical space for the server and takes care of the Internet connection and electricity. This is the most powerful and flexible type of website hosting service (cheaper then dedicated). In most cases, the colocation provider may provide little to no support directly for their client’s machine. In most cases for colo, the customer have his own administrator visiting the data center to do any hardware upgrades, apart of remote administration for software.

Virtual Dedicated hosting

Known also as Virtual Private Server (VPS), divides physical server resources into virtual machines where resources can be allocated even for different operating systems (Linux and/or Windows). Virtualisation may be done for a number of reasons, including saving datacenter space, electricity and ability to move a VPS between servers. The users may have full access to their own virtual space (unmanaged VPS) or customers may have managed VPS service. The main reason using VPS over the classic dedicated hosting solution is the price, a lot cheaper on VPS.

Cloud Hosting

Is a relativelly new type of webhosting platform that allows customers to have powerful, scalable and reliable hosting based on clustered load balanced servers. Removing single-point of failures and allowing customers to pay for only what they use versus what they could use, is the big advantage of this hosting type.

Clustered Hosting

Having multiple web servers hosting the same information for better resource utilization, stability and reliability. Clustered Servers are a perfect solution for high traffic websites creating one of the best web hosting solution today.

Grid Hosting

This form of distributed hosting is when a server cluster acts like a grid and is composed of multiple nodes. Cluster-based are modern hosting services powered by hundreds of servers working in tandem to support websites, applications (email, databases) with best power and reliability.

Email Hosting

An email hosting is an Internet webhosting service that runs just email services (usually with a lot of features). Email offered by most top web hosting companies is usually more basic standardized POP3/IMAP based email and webmail based on open source applications like Horde or Squirrelmail.

Hosted Exchange

Microsoft Exchange server is one of the most popular email and collaboration platform for business, however building and managing an Exchange server environment is costly and complex, therefore some hosting companies are offering this product.

Some companies provides only specific applications over traditional types of hosting, like: File hosting service, Image and video hosting, Blog hosting …)


Note: See also, common hosting glossary and types of webhosting article.

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