Dedicated Web Hosting : The Executive Summary

Written by Rodel Garcia

Continued from page 1

Server administrators must be able to apply kernel upgrades, service packs, and software patches, as well as provide ample security, monitor traffic, update server applications, balance server loads, and configure email, FTP, and DNS services.

In exchange for competency inrepparttar above functions,repparttar 105950 best uses for a dedicated web server environment would be:

· mission-critical sites requiring custom server management and software implementation. · dedicated hosting resellers, web developers and designers who need greater flexibility, reliability and security for their clients · backbones of corporate intranets · robust and dependable servers for streaming media, online gaming, and e-mail or chat applications · complex application sites with high traffic and secure information such as ecommerce, database, and multimedia sites. · enterprise-level web sites · Web sites which may have content restrictions if hosted elsewhere (e.g. adult targeted sites.)

How to decide: Overall,repparttar 105951 cost, security of data and equipment, bandwidth availability,repparttar 105952 knowledge and integrity ofrepparttar 105953 web-hosting provider, uptime, hardware maintenance, and any technical support offered byrepparttar 105954 dedicated web host are important deciding factors. Although your specific dedicated web hosting needs may be unique in a few ways, generally, one can make a decision on a dedicated web server provider by consideringrepparttar 105955 following things:

Data Transfer Rates: Data transfer will need to be determined based onrepparttar 105956 amount of information that will be downloaded, as well asrepparttar 105957 type of content a site will be sharing (general text vs. high resolution graphics and multimedia). A dedicated web host will generally have various packages that will allow one to chooserepparttar 105958 data transfer level, normally measured in “gigabytes per month”. Higher levels of data transfer rates normally mean more cost, so utilization ofrepparttar 105959 first few months to correlate data transfer rates and traffic patterns is key.

Platforms: The two most common systems available are Windows based servers versus some flavor of UNIX (Linux and Solaris). Windows is historically more expensive, but is generally regarded as more user-friendly, especially withrepparttar 105960 ubiquitous presence of Windows-based pc’s and administrators. Linux, onrepparttar 105961 other hand, is less expensive to install, but harder to maintain, as a steeper learning curve exists for those unfamiliar with it. Therefore,repparttar 105962 operating system installed on a dedicated web server should depend on a couple of factors.

First,repparttar 105963 platform should be conducive torepparttar 105964 coding in whichrepparttar 105965 website and necessary applications are developed. Next, since administration ofrepparttar 105966 dedicated server will be done byrepparttar 105967 subscriber,repparttar 105968 necessary skill base to supportrepparttar 105969 platform must be in place. Commands and administration techniques are definitely platform-specific.

Monitoring: Dedicated server monitoring works to prevent service interruptions. The web host will provide a service that can, at a pre-set frequency, check a website to see downtime.

Automation: Although dedicated web servers may require a greater degree of skill, certain dedicated web hosting companies may offer software that will automate common procedures, thus lesseningrepparttar 105970 high level knowledge necessary to maintain servers and implement new services.

Data Backup: Some dedicated web hosting providers assistrepparttar 105971 web hosting subscriber with data backups. Finding a dedicated server provider who will assist in this process could alleviaterepparttar 105972 hassle of doing it yourself and can allow one to devote time to other things.

Scalability: Dedicated web hosting providers should be able to account for major growth. Progressive expansion can be accounted for by asking a web host if modules of extra space, bandwidth, or better yet, larger packages can be purchased to allow easy transition to better hardware and software.

Service Level Agreements: More dedicated web hosts are publishing their SLA’s, which thoroughly documents what they will do in exchange for whatrepparttar 105973 customer is responsible for. For instance, some dedicated server hosts are offering features such as: 100% uptime guarantees, unlimited live answer technical phone-based support, free upgrades of patches, hot-fixes, personal Dedicated Sales account managers, maintenance staff with spare parts for all server configurations, and more. A full understanding ofrepparttar 105974 commitment that a dedicated web host is offering will help in a decision to utilize that service.

Rodel Garcia is a freelance programmer and web developer. Owner and webmaster of

SimpleNet Director of Marketing

Written by Bob Roth

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6. What levels of redundancy doesrepparttar web host provide? Failures that cause your site to lose connection can happen. Therefore, it's crucial to find a provider whose hosting architecture providesrepparttar 105949 least-risk of failure. Redundancy is necessary. Single points of failure are very bad, but many hosts attempt to cut costs by risking single points of failure. Ask your web host about their redundancy in server architecture (web, email, and DNS servers), load-balancing, and file storage. A web server isrepparttar 105950 hardware and software combination that serves requested web pages, files, or other information. Servers answer requests from web browsers to provide information from web sites, email, and databases. They then send that information torepparttar 105951 requesting browser. Load balancing dividesrepparttar 105952 amount of work that a server has to do between multiple servers, which also adds redundancy, so that more work gets done inrepparttar 105953 same amount of time and, in general, all web sites requests withinrepparttar 105954 network get served faster. The load balancers stay in constant contact withrepparttar 105955 servers to determine how busy they are and/or if one of them has failed. It may sound like a no-brainer, but having your site connected torepparttar 105956 Internet isrepparttar 105957 whole reason for having a web site and a load-balanced, redundant network is vital to that endeavor. Has your email server ever been down? Redundancy is also vital for email and DNS servers. A Domain Name System (DNS) server translates requests to locate a web site. As you can imagine, keeping email and DNS servers online is a mission-critical task for a web host. For file storage, seek a host that uses a reliable storage solution with multiple auto-fail over and hot-swappable drives to ensure continuous delivery of your web site.

7. Doesrepparttar 105958 web host automatically backup customer web sites in case of data loss? How often? Backing up web sites should be a routine part of your web host’s operation. Backup isrepparttar 105959 activity of copying files or databases so that they will be preserved in case of equipment failure or any other catastrophe.

8. What isrepparttar 105960 web host’s billing policy? Look for a web host that provides a money-back guarantee. This will allow you to try outrepparttar 105961 host’s service. Should you find thatrepparttar 105962 service is sub-par in site performance, reliability, or lackingrepparttar 105963 features that you seek,repparttar 105964 ability to request your money back, withinrepparttar 105965 parameters ofrepparttar 105966 guarantee, is priceless and liable to save you from later trouble. It is always a good to idea to inquire aboutrepparttar 105967 web host’s cancellation procedures. There are many out there who require you to send them an email or make a phone call to cancel, which can extendrepparttar 105968 time frame to cancellation. A host who is confident in their service will have a cancellation form or online avenue within their control panel. Now, they will likely also have a retention program, so don’t be surprised when they call or email you to ask why you are leaving. After all, your feedback helps them to evaluate their service.

9. Doesrepparttar 105969 web host providerepparttar 105970 features that you need for your web site? Sometimes people choose a host because it hasrepparttar 105971 exact feature set that they need, but later find that feature set means nothing when access to those features is unreliable. Make sure that a host has your desired features and is also reliable. To make sure thatrepparttar 105972 host you are evaluating has everything you need, userepparttar 105973 following list: •A domain name, but be sure to look for hidden registration fees or renewal fees •An ample amount of versatile email accounts including web-based, POP3, and IMAP •Email spam filtering and virus protection are a must these days, unless you are providing this on your own •Enough disk space to meet your site’s needs •Monthly bandwidth allotments that will cover your traffic andrepparttar 105974 ability to increase that allotment based on your site’s success •Site building tools such as extensions for FrontPage or other online/downloadable site building programs •Ease of upload to your site via FTP or other means •Access to a robust traffic analysis program orrepparttar 105975 raw logs for you to process yourself •Programming languages, including CGI, PHP, MIVA (if needed) •Ecommerce shopping cart alternatives •Database capability, dependant upon your application preference

10. Doesrepparttar 105976 web host haverepparttar 105977 products and services to handle your growth? You might be surprised how many sites that once started for fun or as a hobby have grown into some ofrepparttar 105978 most popular sites onrepparttar 105979 Internet. Hence, you never know when you’ll outgrow your current product or service and need to move uprepparttar 105980 ladder torepparttar 105981 next rung. Make sure that your web host can meet your anticipated growth, not only withinrepparttar 105982 product range of shared hosting, but should you ever need a dedicated server or co-location solution, your host is there to discuss and providerepparttar 105983 best solution.

Do your homework by usingrepparttar 105984 above questions as a template and you will likely save yourself some major headaches downrepparttar 105985 road. If you’ve gathered information about multiple hosts, you can now compare apples to apples and decide onrepparttar 105986 best host for your needs. Hopefully,repparttar 105987 work that you’ve done will avoid forcing you to use your gut, but rather make an informed decision based onrepparttar 105988 facts. Perhaps,repparttar 105989 best piece advice that you will find in any article or forum about choosing a host is, if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

Bob Roth is a former employee of and Yahoo!. He is currently the Director of Marketing for industry icon Web Hosting. He can be contacted at Distribution of this article allowed by linking back to .

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