Hosting — is a service that allows organizations and individuals to post your own content on the Internet. When it comes to hosting, it is Internet hosting that is meant, and even more often  web hosting. The concept of Internet hosting comes from the English word hosting (host leading). There are many different options, levels and types of this service, as well as the provision of its services.

What is hosting?

In other words, if you have some content that you want to host on the Internet, freely manage it as you wish, and give other people access to it, you need to use some type of hosting service.

Most often, hosting is provided as a service by a hosting provider. In this case, we are talking about the fact that the provider hosts your files on their servers and gives one or another type of access to them from the Internet. The most common type of access is a web page with your content and desired functionality. It can also be a file storage, mail service, DNS service, etc.

Main types of hosting

Hosting can be full-featured or with limited functionality. The latter include the following main types:

  • File Hosting a file hosting service in which the provider allocates you space for storing information in the form of files, ensures their security, remote access, etc.
  • Mail Hosting a service that provides a private mail system that devoid of advertising banners, has some protection against spam mailings, has one or more own domain names and works on the most common mail transfer protocols (SMTP, IMAP, Pop3)
  • DNS Hosting a hosting service that provides a system for storing domain name records
  • Wiki Hosting hosting that provides servers with tools to create and manage own independent wikis
  • Game hosting providing various types of servers for organizing multiplayer online games.

Full-featured hosting types include web hosting — a service that allows individuals and organizations to create and host their own websites on the Internet.

Types of web hosting

Free web hosting. This type of hosting is provided by various hosting providers for free and has very limited functionality. In addition, in most cases, sites hosted on free servers contain ads and do not provide the proper level of security.

shared web hosting. virtual hosting is based on the principle of storing many client websites on one provider's server, and some minimal set of options is also provided. Thus, you are allocated the amount of disk space of the provider, a limited amount of RAM and some kind of control panel for your site. Such site hosting is widely used for small web projects that do not require powerful resources to function.

Virtual dedicated server. The principle of operation of a virtual dedicated server is based on the fact that the hosting provider provides you with a place on its physical server for use under a VIRTUAL SERVER with a specific operating system that you use and administer. You can use the VIRTUAL SERVER in any way, install the services, applications and other add-ons you need on it within the framework of what the physical resource and operating system allow.

Dedicated server. This type of hosting provides an active pledge of the whole physical server. You have full control over the server, you choose the operating system and other software for it, administer it, the provider ensures the uninterrupted operation of the server, its physical safety, constant access to the Internet.

Equipment Colocation is hosting, in which you are given a place for your equipment, usually in the provider's data center. The equipment may consist of one or more servers, routers, hubs, etc. In fact, you rent a part of this data center, put your equipment there, or rent it from a provider and administer it at the software and physical level. The provider ensures the physical safety of the equipment, access to it for technical work, uninterrupted power supply and access to the Internet.

Cloud hosting. This type of hosting is based on the cluster use of resources and cloud computing (model Infrastructure as a Service, IaaS — infrastructure as a service). Cluster use of resources is based on the use of several provider computers at once to deploy a project. In other words, you are provided with all the necessary computing resources to solve your specific problems, and payment is made according to the actual power consumption.

Существуют также гибридные модели хостинга, смешивающие в себе свойства вышеперечисленных видов хостинга.

How to choose a hosting provider and type of hosting?

Hosting is considered good if in day-to-day work there is no difference between using the provider's resources and own resources. In other words, the hosting itself should not be "visible"; at work.

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a hosting provider:

  • Technical capabilities of the provider. Having decided on your requests for technical resources, you need to evaluate the ability of the provider not only to provide them at the current moment, but also to expand the range of resources as your requests increase.
  • Price plan. The provider must provide you with an acceptable rate plan and the necessary additional agreements.
  • Technical support. 24/7 technical support, as well as real constant and uninterrupted communication with the operator — an important point when working with a hosting provider.
  • Backup. Providers that provide the ability to backup and restore data in case of an accident will provide you with the most reliable operation of your project.
  • Speed and load of the channel. These parameters are most important when implementing large solutions and large web portals.
  • Uptime. This parameter indicates the percentage of time during which the website hosted by the provider was continuously available. Despite the presence of services that measure this parameter, you can get its real value only by placing your site with a provider or using the recommendation of a client of this provider.

Which type of hosting suits you the task is individual and is usually solved by formulating your tasks to the provider and getting information from him about how he can achieve them decide. However, in order to most clearly understand the correspondence of the main types of hosting to your needs, let's draw an analogy of hosting with a swimming pool.

Imagine that the process of choosing a hosting provider is similar to choosing a swimming pool for your workout. When ordering free hosting, you get something like a city beach a lot of people, brochures, you will be offered to buy shawarma and you can most likely injure a nail on a badly cleaned beach.

shared hosting gives you a big and clean paid pool that you have to share with other people. This means that if you are lucky and there are few people, then you will be able to use the whole pool, if not, you will have to limit yourself to a part of it and try not to bump into anyone, swim at the speed that the neighbors allow.

Virtual Private Server gives you a dedicated lane in a nice clean pool that is yours alone and you don't share it with anyone. However, you are limited by the rules of the pool, the quality of the water, and still share a common body of water with other people.
If you are sure that the water quality and other factors are provided by the provider at the highest level, then the dedicated lane — perfect option for you. is VPS/VDS hosting.

A dedicated server is like renting an entire pool. When you own a pool, you get more freedom to use it, but also more responsibility for its upkeep and maintenance. Colocation of equipment is equivalent to renting a sports complex, and cloud hosting partial rental of certain premises and equipment in different buildings of the sports complex, for example, the entire swimming pool, a gym in a separate building, a sauna on Saturdays in the third building and 200 parking spaces for cars.

Since the choice of hosting most often fluctuates between the three most common types of hosting, we will give an approximate comparison of the main parameters in the table.

Hosting type Cost Power Difficulty Security Client rights
Shared * * ** * *
VDS/VPS ** ** **** ** **
Dedicated *** *** ***** ** **

As can be seen from the table, the most favorable combination of "price / quality" refers to VPS / VDS hosting, in addition, managing this type of hosting is not so difficult, since the provider himself solves many problems in ensuring quality work.

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