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Website Hosting Diagram

Website Hosting Diagram

Website Hosting Diagram

A web hosting service is a kind of internet hosting service that allows people and companies to make their website accessible via the world wide web. Web hosts are organizations that supply space on a server owned or leased for use by clients, as well as providing internet connectivity, usually in a data center. Website hosts can also supply data center space and connectivity to the internet for other servers located in their data center, called colocation, also known as Housing in Latin America or France.

History

Until 1991, the internet was limited to use only "...for research and education in the sciences and engineering..." and was used for email, telnet, FTP and USENET traffic, but only a tiny number of web pages. The world wide web protocols had only just been put together and not until the end of 1993 would there be a graphical web site browser for Mac or Windows computers. Even after there was more internet access, the situation was complicated until 1995.

To host a web site on the internet, a person or organization would need their own computer system or server. As not all organizations had the budget or expertise to manage this, web hosting services began to provide services to host users' sites on their own servers, without the customer needing to acquire the necessary infrastructure required to operate the web site. The owners of the websites, also known as webmasters, would be able to develop a site that would be hosted on the web hosting service's server and published to the internet by the website hosting service.

As the number of users on the world wide web grew, the pressure for companies, both big and tiny, to have an online presence grew. By 1995, organizations such as GeoCities, Angelfire and Tripod were offering free hosting.

Classification

Smaller Hosting Services

The simplest is aweb page and small-scale file hosting, where files can be uploaded via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or a web site interface. The files are sometimes delivered to the web "as is" or with very little processing. Quite a few internet service providers (ISPs) supply this service free to users. People and organizations may also get website page hosting from other service providers.

Free website hosting service is supplied by various companies with limited services, sometimes supported by advertisements, and generally limited when compared to paid hosting.

Single page hosting is generally sufficient for personal website pages. Personal web site hosting is typically free, advertisement-sponsored, or inexpensive. Business web site hosting sometimes has a greater cost depending upon the size and type of the site.

Larger Hosting Services

Many big organizations that are not internet service providers need to be constantly connected to the web so they can send email, files, etc. to other sites. The company may use the computer as a website host to provide details of their goods and services and facilities for website orders.

A complicated site will have a more expanded package that supplies database support and application development platforms (e.g. ASP.NET, ColdFusion, Java EE, Perl/Plack, PHP or Ruby on Rails). These options allow clients to create or install scripts for applications like forums and content management. Also, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is typically used for sites that wish to keep the data transmitted safe.

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Types of Hosting

Internet hosting services can run web servers. The scope of web hosting services differs a lot.

Shared Website Hosting Service

One's site is placed on the same server as many other websites, ranging from a few sites to hundreds of sites. Typically, all domains may share a common pool of server resources, such as RAM and the CPU. The features available with this kind of service can be fairly simple and not flexible in terms of software and updates. Resellers sometimes make available shared website hosting and web companies at times have reseller accounts to provide hosting for clients.

Reseller Website Hosting

Reseller web hosting allows customers to be web hosts themselves. Resellers may function, for individual domains, under any combination of these following types of hosting, depending on who they are working with as a reseller. Resellers' accounts may vary a lot in size: they may have their own virtual dedicated server to a colocated server. Many resellers supply a nearly identical service to their provider's shared hosting plan and supply the tech support themselves.

Virtual Dedicated Server

Also known as a Virtual Private Server (VPS), it separates server resources into virtual servers, where resources can be allocated in a way that doesn't directly reflect the shared hardware. VPS will at times be allocated resources based on a one server to many VPSs relationship, but, virtualization might be desired for varying reasons, which includes the ability to relocate a VPS container from one server to another. The users may have root access to their own virtual space. Clients are typically responsible for fixing and maintaining the server (unmanaged server) or the VPS provider may provide server admin tasks for the client (managed server).

Dedicated Hosting Service

The client gets their own web server and gets absolute control over it (user has root access for Linux/administrator access for Windows); however, the user often doesn't own the server. One kind of dedicated hosting is self-managed or unmanaged. This is typically the least expensive for dedicated plans. The user has full admin access to the server, which means the customer is responsible for the security and maintenance of their own dedicated server.

Managed Hosting Service

The customer gets their own web server but is not allowed full control over it (the client is not given root access for Linux/administrator access for Windows); however, they are allowed to control their data via FTP or other remote management tools. The user is not allowed full control so that the provider can guarantee the quality of service by not permitting the user to modify the server or possibly create configuration issues. The customer often does not own the server. The server is leased to the customer.

Colocation Web Hosting Service

Similar to the dedicated website hosting service, but the client owns the colocation server; the hosting company offers physical space that the server takes up and takes care of the server. This is the most powerful and costly type of web hosting service. In most cases, the colocation provider may offer little to no assistance directly for their client's server, providing just the electrical, internet access, and storage facilities for the server. In most cases for colocation, the user would have their own administrator visit the data center on-site to do any hardware upgrades or changes. Formerly, a lot of colocation providers would allow any computer configuration for hosting, even ones housed in desktop-style minitower cases, but most hosting organizations now insist on rack mount enclosures and standard system configurations.

Cloud Hosting

This is a new type of hosting platform that permits users strong, scalable and reliable hosting based on clustered load-balanced servers and utility billing. A cloud-hosted site might be more stable than others as other servers in the cloud can take over when an individual piece of hardware stops working. Furthermore, local power disruptions or even natural disasters are less of a problem for cloud hosted websites, as cloud hosting is decentralized. Cloud hosting also permits providers to charge users just for resources consumed by the user, rather than a flat fee for the amount the user assumes they will use, or a fixed rate upfront hardware investment. Alternatively, the lack of centralization may give clients less control on where their information is located, which could be problematic for users with data security or privacy worries.

Clustered Hosting

Having a number of servers host the same content for stable resource utilization. Clustered computers are a wonderful solution for high-availability dedicated hosting, or having a scalable web hosting solution. A cluster may separate website serving from database hosting capability. (Generally website hosts use clustered hosting for their shared hosting plans, as there are multiple benefits to the mass managing of clients).

Grid Hosting

This variation of distributed hosting is when a server cluster acts like a grid and is composed of multiple nodes.

Home Server

Typically, a sole machine placed in a private home can be used to host one or more sites from a usually consumer-grade broadband connection. These can be purpose-built servers or more commonly older PCs. Some internet service providers purposefully work to block residential servers by stopping incoming requests to TCP port 80 of the customer's connection and by refusing to provide static IP addresses. A well-known opportunity to attain a reliable DNS hostname is by creating an account with a dynamic DNS service. A dynamic DNS service will automatically update the IP address that a URL directs to when the IP address changes.

Some specific kinds of hosting offered by web host service providers:

  • File hosting service: hosts files, not web pages
  • Image hosting service
  • Video hosting service
  • Blog hosting service
  • Paste bin
  • Shopping cart software
  • Email hosting service
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Host Management

The host might also supply an interface or control panel for managing the website server and installing scripts, as well as other modules and service applications like email. A web server that doesn't use a control panel for managing the hosting account, is generally referred to as a "headless" server. Some hosts specialize in certain software or services (e.g. e-commerce, blogs, etc.).

Reliability and Uptime

The availability of a site is measured by the percentage of a year in which the website is publicly available and reachable via the internet. This is different from measuring the uptime of a system. Uptime refers to the system itself being online. Uptime does not take into account being able to reach it as in the event of a network outage. A hosting provider's Service Level Agreement (SLA) may include a reasonable amount of scheduled downtime per year in order to perform maintenance on the servers. This scheduled downtime is sometimes not included in the SLA timeframe and needs to be subtracted from the Total Time when availability is calculated. Depending on the wording of an SLA, if the availability of a server drops lower than that in the signed SLA, a hosting provider sometimes will supply a partial refund for lost time. How downtime is calculated is different from provider to provider, therefore examining the SLA is important. Not all providers release uptime statistics. A lot of hosting providers will guarantee at least 99.9% uptime which will provide for 43 minutes of downtime per month, or 8 hours and 45 minutes of downtime every year.

Obtaining Hosting

Website hosting is often provided as part of a complete internet access plan from ISPs. There are also many free and paid providers offering web hosting.

A client must evaluate the requirements of the application to choose what kind of hosting to use. Such considerations include database server software, scripting software, and operating system. Many hosting providers provide Linux-based web hosting which offers a wide range of various software. A typical configuration for a Linux server is the LAMP platform: Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Perl/Python. The web hosting customer may want to have other services, such as email for their organization domain, databases or multimedia services. A customer may also choose Windows as the hosting platform. The user still can choose from Perl, PHP, Python, and Ruby, but the customer may also use ASP.NET or ASP Classic. Web hosting packages sometimes include a web content management system, so the end-user does not have to be concerned about the more technical parts.

Security

Since website hosting services host websites belonging to their customers, online security is a very important worry. When a customer agrees to use a web hosting service, they are relinquishing control of the security of their website to the organization that is hosting the website. The degree of security that a web hosting service offers is very important to a potential client and can be a major issue when considering which supplier a client may choose.

Website hosting server can be attacked by malicious users in different ways, including uploading malware or malicious code onto a hosted site. These attacks {may|might| be done for various reasons, including stealing credit card info, launching a Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDoS) or spamming.

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