You may have heard the term “dedicated server hosting” and wondered what it meant or how it could be beneficial to you and your business. In a nutshell, dedicated server hosting offers the capabilities and resources of an entire server to one business or website without having to share that server with other sites and businesses. That may seem like a lot. Lets’s start with the basics and move forward.
What is web hosting? And why do you need it?
Web hosting is the business of providing storage space and access for websites. But what does that really mean? Let’s break down some of the technical jargon around what we do for our clients in a way that anyone can understand.
Supplying the World Wide Web
A major portion of the world is now connected to the internet. Many of us interact with it every day. We contact one another or access information that would otherwise be difficult to find. Can you remember life before Google? It may be difficult. The information on the web is stored on millions of websites around the world. Each of these sites is composed of data – like text or images. Data is stored on a physical computer somewhere, most likely at a data center.
Sites like Google.com or Facebook.com don’t just float in the air for us to send and retrieve information. Cloud computing actually happens on solid ground. The information accessed when visiting these sites is recorded on hundreds (if not thousands) of computers known as servers. These servers are connected by a network. The data we request is delivered – via routers – to our devices.
For example, you turn on your computer and open your web browser (Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc). When the web browser opens, you type in Midphase.com and press ‘enter’. At that second, a request leaves your computer and heads to your internet provider who searches through IP addresses (the numerical representation of a domain name) to find the IP associated with Midphase.com. Once found, the request will retrieve the data you are requesting from a server in our data center that manages Midphase.com.
All of the data comes together to display the Midphase.com website. It is waiting on a server for citizens of the web to access 24 hours a day. Without the server holding the data, Midphase.com would not work. Instead, those sending requests to our IP would receive an error message stating that the site cannot be reached.
How is data stored?
The way data is stored and served across the network can change, depending on the demands of the website or application that a server supports. The three types of hosting that Midphase offers are on shared servers, dedicated servers, and VPS or cloud servers.
Shared hosting is one server that stores data from many different users. It is a cheap and reliable way to host a website. The hosting is fully managed by our technical support team. For those who are looking to host small personal or business pages and for those who are new to the world of web hosting, shared is an excellent way to go.
Dedicated hosting is one server that is dedicated to a single user and they also allow users to have complete control over how the server is configured. Since all of the resources on the server belong to one user, that user benefits from improved data transfer speeds (bandwidth) and increased storage space. It is helpful to have some technical knowledge before hosting a dedicated server but is not essential.
VPS or Cloud Servers
Cloud hosting is made up of multiple servers working together to provide more power and redundancy, meaning that if there is a problem with an individual server’s hardware another server can pick up the load, and service will not skip a beat. VPS or cloud hosting is flexible and affordable, allowing users to quickly and easily add more or less storage depending on what is needed.
Why Do You Need Web Hosting?
In a nutshell, you need web hosting if you are looking to run any personal or professional website. Blogs, online retail stores, and any other web pages need a web host to keep them up and running.
Web hosting from Midphase is cost-effective, reliable, and offers around the clock technical support, taking the stress out of trying to host sites yourself. Having our experts on hand day or night makes hosting your site a breeze, and allows you the time you need to worry about the important stuff.
So, let’s get back to dedicated hosting. If you are looking for total control and security, then a dedicated server is exactly what you are looking for. Dedicated hosting can be beneficial for a myriad of reasons including the following…
The beauty of dedicated server hosting is that you don’t have to worry about other websites using up all your bandwidth when you need it most. In case you don’t speak ‘techish’, you can find out the definition of bandwidth in the glossary at the end of this article. When you have a dedicated server, you also don’t have to worry about other businesses on that server sapping all the resources. Therefore, dedicated server hosting makes server crashes much more unlikely and gives your site the ability to offer reliable service to large volumes of traffic while offering things like video streaming and high-quality images at the same time.
When you don’t have to share a server you’re able to enjoy a lot more flexibility. With dedicated server hosting, you can manage the configuration of the server. This means you have more control as your business grows and flourishes without having to worry about whether or not a shared server is going to be able to accommodate your changing needs.
Ability to Customize
With dedicated server hosting, you can manage the configuration of the server. Need one to act solely as a mail server? No problem. Want one to manage a database? OK. The way your dedicated server works is your prerogative.
A certain level of security comes with dedicated server hosting. No one else has access to your server except for you and the web hosting company. Shared servers are also less likely to be PCI compliant than dedicated servers – see the glossary for a rundown of what this means.
Just as dedicated server hosting offers more reliability, it also offers higher performance levels for similar reasons. If you tend to post lots of photos or video clips you will require plenty of bandwidth. You might also find yourself experiencing a lot of traffic from regular visitors. Your traffic doesn’t want to sit and wait while your website pages slowly load. Dedicated hosting helps your site runs smoothly and pages load with ease. This means that your visitors are a lot more likely to frequent your site.
You still may have some questions about what exactly a dedicated server is in the physical sense. Many of our clients are interested in exactly what their server looks like and where it is housed. Rather than understanding servers as a concept, they want to know what happens behind the scenes.
Look behind the scenes of web hosting
Midphase customers are often online store experts and web design heroes. But how much consideration do you have for what goes on beyond your CHI account? Following the many cords and cables back to the heart of the operation – the data center – we can see the wheels turning, a sight that few of our clients ever witness.
Unless you consider yourself something of a technical expert, you might not understand what goes on behind the closed doors of a data center. In fact, even self-professed technical experts might not understand every nook and cranny of a server. While we can’t exactly dive into the more complex concepts in a blog post, we can definitely scratch the surface of the basic components that are at work behind the scenes, keeping your data safe and available. Let’s get started…
The power behind the website
Whether you have shared, dedicated, or virtual private servers, they are all supported by a physical machine. The only difference between these primary types of web hosting is how much or how many parts of a machine you have access to. No matter what type of hosting you have, your data is tied to a physical machine in a data center somewhere in the world.
Our data centers take care of the power, cooling, network, and security of your physical machine to ensure that it is up and running around the clock. Within each of these data centers are thousands of individual physical machines. Each belongs entirely or partly to a client of Midphase. Within these physical machines are basic components, much like your own personal computer, but with some extra features that can turn a Clark Kent machine into a Superman machine.
Inside the box
Each physical machine is made up of hardware and software, and understanding the difference between these two is pretty easy. Hardware is any part of the machine that you can hold in your hand, and software is the data and applications that exist within the machine to create operating systems and functioning tools. The software you have implemented depends on your specific needs, but the hardware is usually similar in each machine unless specifically designed differently.
The hardware within each machine is composed of the following six primary features:
This is the primary circuit board of a computer, and all other hardware within the machine is routed through this device. Think of the motherboard as the common room to which all other rooms are connected for communications and control of each of the attached portions. A motherboard has connecting ports, called slots, for keyboards, monitors, and mice along with a few extra for anything else that might need to connect or expansions that might come later.
Basic Input/Output System (BIOS)
The BIOS gets to work as soon as you turn a machine on. It contains all the program controls for the autonomic functions needed. The name pretty much says it all. A basic system for input and output functions between the computer’s operating system and other devices attached to the motherboard. The BIOS boots up and checks all the hardware attachments for functionality before it continues with the boot process. It will then manage the data flow between the operating system and other hardware.
Random Access Memory (RAM)
This part of the machine is used to store data for your operating system and application programs. The machine’s processor will access this storage for quick access to important information. RAM is faster for read/write operations compared to other storage methods. Think of RAM as your server’s short term memory, whereas the hard disk drives that we will discuss later act as long term memory.
In a shared hosting environment, RAM can run low quite quickly as each user allocates RAM for their own use. Alternately, in Virtual Private Servers, each user is allocated their own portion of RAM so that each user has a specific amount of RAM available. Dedicated servers allow for much more available RAM due to the fact that the entire server is dedicated to you.
Central Processing Unit (CPU)
The term ‘central processing unit’, or CPU, encompasses processors and microprocessors. This unit contains all the logic circuitry within the machine. In other words, it keeps all of the instructions and commands and will order the machine to perform certain tasks upon the user’s request. Think of the CPU as the ‘brains’ or the power behind the machine. The more CPU cores your machine has, the more it can ‘think’ and the faster all tasks will be performed.
Hard Disk Drives (HDD)
The hard disk drive is a moving part within the machine. It is the long term memory of the server. Think of it as something like a CD or DVD. An arm extends across a stack of metal disks to magnetically store data on the disk as it spins at high speeds. The larger the HDD the more memory it has for storing files and programs.
Solid State Drives (SSD)
An SSD is more like the flash drives attached to our key chains. Solid State Drives store large amounts of data in a relatively small space without moving parts. They have an array of semiconductor memory organized as a disk drive, but without magnetic storage. SSDs use integrated circuits to store data. The data can quickly and easily be written or retrieved.
If you have more hosting questions, feel free to chat with ur expert support team. We are available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.
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