The internet of today is hugely different to that seen just 10 years ago; having gone through a huge change in how businesses use it and what they aim to get out of it. Originally, websites provided businesses with just another place to advertise their services; with two or three-page websites often coming with a phone number so people could call up to find out more. These days, of course, the business website is a wholly different beast; an incredibly in-depth and sophisticated device used to escort the user throughout the whole purchasing process, from browsing to buying.
It is understandable why this trend has grown – it gives the website a much more professional air, alleviates the need for talking to sales people, puts a site on a par with/ahead of their competitors, reduces transaction time and is open to browsers 24 hours a day; among numerous other benefits.
It is the competition spurred as a result of this that has seen ecommerce have the biggest effect upon the world of web hosting.
The internet has provided a platform for all businesses; big or small, near or far. This, of course, has had a huge impact on smaller firms; as they now boast exactly the same platform as their larger counterparts. Never before has there been such an even playing field for businesses to challenge their competitors, regardless of size or scope. Ultimately, it has meant that all businesses need to compete is a website and a firm to host it on the server.
Web hosting has also enabled those without computer proficiency to be able to publish an attractive and successful website. Businesses with no computing aspect will not have the hardware to be able to host their own website, but that needn’t sound the death knell. Instead, they can take on hosting services to enable them to head into the online world without having to utilise their own servers. This also frees up the time, space and expense that doing so themselves would bring.
Using web hosting for an online store also endears retail businesses to their consumers much more because it speeds up turn-around time on product orders. With a hosted site the order is placed immediately; meaning that the order’s delivery is by far the lengthiest part of the order process, with transactions now being able to take effect immediately.
Previously, of course, one of the key factors for any business was an ideal location. The same is still true today, although now it has moved online, instead of on the high street. Businesses are increasingly heading online, knowing that hosting their website online will give them their next new location and will be able to capitalise on the number of people using the service. As competition is high online, ensuring a website is hosted on a quality server will ensure their business is open all the time and not suffering from potentially costly down time.
So, the days when businesses would just have a rudimentary website with scant information and a telephone number are long gone. So too are the times when larger firms had a monopoly. Now, the field is wide open. Businesses of all shapes and sizes can find their niche then target it online; innovating in the online world even if they were not particularly tech-savvy. All it takes is a hosted web site.
Choosing an operating system best suited for your dedicated server is one of the first steps in selecting among the various server options offered by your hosting company. The choice is mainly between a using a Windows based server, or a Linux based server. Once the type of operating system is selected, there will also be a version of the operating system to choose – as in, a type of Linux server such as Debian, or the appropriate Windows server version. We’ll discuss the main differences between the two popular iterations of Windows Server below.
If your computer at work or home uses Windows, that does not mean you will need choose a Windows server over Linux, or any other operating system. The dedicated server is distinct from the computer you may use to connect to it, and may be accessed by any desktop computer – including those that use Windows, Linux, or Macintosh.
However, if you or your business uses specific Microsoft based software, it may be necessary to operate on a Windows server. On the other hand, there are other types of software that may only be run on a Linux based server. Therefore, you should be aware of the software you will need to use on the dedicated server before choosing the appropriate operating system.
The Microsoft software that requires a Windows server include:
Tools and websites that are developed using .NET
Databases that use MS Access, MS SQL and MS VB
Microsoft web development software likeVisual Interdev and FrontPage
The software that is used on a Linux server include:
*PHP, MySQL and Perl based websites and applications
*Databases that use PostgreSQL, MySQL, and mSQL
What is the difference between Windows Server 2008 and R2
Just when you finally got Windows Server 2008 up and running, Microsoft comes out with yet another update, Release 2. Before you make yet another upgrade, it’s probably a good idea to find out what’s the difference between Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server R2. As expected, Windows Server R2 expands upon existing technology found in Windows Server 2008, adding new features that allow you to increase flexibility and reliability in your IT infrastructure. Windows Server R2 includes features like the following:
New Virtualisation Tools
Windows 7 Integration
These exciting new features providing a platform upon which you can create scalable, reliable server infrastructures in a time-saving, cost-efficient manner.
Windows Server R2 improves upon several key tools previously included in Windows Server 2008. Internet Information Services (IIS) version 7.5 is Microsoft’s most power, robust web application platform to date, offering updated Web server roles and greater .NET support. IIS 7.5 focuses on improvements enabling Web administrators to deploy scalable, reliable Web applications with ease. IIS 7.5 further includes streamlined management capabilities providing additional methods by which your Web serving environment may be customized to better suit your needs.
With virtualisation rapidly becoming more and more important in today’s datacenters, Microsoft released their newest version of the Hyper-V platform, allowing IT administrators to make better use of hardware through a variety of virtualisation strategies, including both Client, Server, and Presentation virtualisation provided by Hyper-V and Remote Desktop Services. Virtualisation on these three levels is the key to reducing operational effort and energy usage. This new Hyper-V version includes numerous improvements in its core functionality, including improved performance, increased availability, improved management, simpler deployment methods, and live migration.
The new Windows Server R2 also brings Windows PowerShell version 2.0 to the table, an extensible automation engine with improved command-line shell and scripting language abilities. PowerShell allows you to run Windows Server R2 without a graphical user interface (GUI).
More than likely you will want to upgrade to R2 as soon as possible, as so many features and updates have been added it’s hard to think of a case where one wouldn’t want the improvements.
Posted by admin on Thursday Jun 2, 2011
Filed under :Knowledgebase
Running a company as a reseller web host, you’ll often receive an email from your upstream provider reporting security violations. If you do not correct the problem in a timely manner, your upstream provider may block inbound and outbound traffic from the affected server.
Today, we received a security report from Savvis indicating that one of our Windows 2003 server is sweeping TCP port 445. This obviously violates their “Acceptance Use Policy”. Here is the snippet of their log entry.
TCP sweeping is a scanning of TCP port, in this case port 445. Since our client has no idea about TCP sweep, chances are the server is running a malicious code. The machine is either compromised, or someone unknowingly installed a malicious 3rd-party software. Regardless, the server is running a unwanted software which attacks other servers.
The best way to resolve this issue is to rebuild the OS, and restore the system back to a healthy state. It is a good idea to look at the software that are installed on the system, and determine the root cause of the compromise and prevent it from happening again.
Chapter 7. Choose Help Desk, Live Chat & Knowledgebase Software
No web hosting is complete without support system. To provide excellent customer service, you’ll need help desk software, live chat and knowledgebase software. It costs a lot of money to provide excellent customer service, and it really pays off if you do it well. One thing that you can do to reduce the number of customer service calls is by implementing a knowledgebase software. By allowing your users to search for frequently asked questions and answers, you could potentially reduce up to 50 percent of your call volume.
By adding frequently asked questions in your knowledgebase, as well as howtos for those frequently performed tasks will help your online users help themselves.
Chapter 6. Choose from Hosting Reseller Account, Dedicated Server or Colocation
How committed are you with the web hosting business? Are you capable of managing Linux or Windows servers yourself? Whether to resell hosting services provided by another company, or do it yourself largely depends upon your ability, risk tolerance level and commitment.
When I first started web hosting business in 2003, I have chose to setup Linux servers myself. I was pretty comfortable setting up servers, configuring them, and troubleshooting when problem occurs. I started out with only 3 servers, and within a few months I added a couple more servers for additional disk space. As the top end servers cost thousands of dollars, I bought a few year old high-end servers from Ebay. I didn’t have much problem in the first year with the server hardware, but there has been a few outages in the 2nd year and onward. The most troublesome problems were disk failures. Even though hard disks are configured as a logical disk in RAID configuration, when a disk fails it would take hours scrubbing for marking bad sectors and verifying health of the disk. Especially when you have 5 servers that are 5-6 year old, you’ll definitely expect to see a few failures months ahead. I didn’t anticipate this.
Working with old hardware was one thing, and working with a home-grown control panel is another area where I would spend great deal of my time. I was constantly changing my configurations make best use of my resources, and optimizing the configuration for easy of use and maintenance. It took me a good year worth of my time invested in the business to make the server farm. Looking back, I spent nearly 50% of my time fiddling with server configuration and making the farm secure. As I have added a few thousand “Free” web hosting accounts, I have start seeing DDoS attacks, phishing from vulnerable applications, spam abuse from internal and hacked applications. I spent great amount of time researching problems, finding and implementing resolutions, and manually banning users who are abusing the server resources. With free hosting accounts, there were a few users abusing our policy by making multiple accounts to gain additional disk space. Also, many user accounts are compromised due to vulnerable applications and weak password. The servers were constantly attacked and password cracking attempts were seen in the server logs. I was spending more and more time administering Linux servers than developing business. Regardless of size of your business and customer base, you’ll need a dedicated engineer supporting your server environment.
Whether you’re a tech savvy or technology enthusiast, you may want to revisit your decision when you’re just starting out. Cost of managing your server farm is not cheap whether you do it yourself, or hire someone to do it for you. Besides the time effort, you’ll also have to invest in server hardware. Buying a top of the line server hardware with RAID controller, SAS disks, and redundant power will not be cheap.
On the other hand, buying a reseller account from a reputable web hosting company is a lot cheaper than having your own server. Yes, you do not have an ownership of entire server, but do you really need the whole server all yourself? Assess your business need and hardware resouce requirements, and acquire needed resources when you need them. Adding additional resources to your existing reseller account will be snap like flipping a switch, and if you have enough paying customers it will not burden you at all.
Before fully commiting yourself to buy physical servers and colocate them in a data center, I would strongly recommend reselling hosting services provided by a reputable company. Expanding due to business growth is easily justified, and it will never be too late to begin setting up your own servers when you have the paying customers. Leasing a dedicated server from a big name host will fall in the same category as the colacation with less freedom. With dedicated servers, you’re risking yourself of possible server shutdown if your server(s) attack other servers due to compromised security or a vulnerable application.
With recent popularity of cloud virtual server, such as Amazon EC2, you may also opt to host yourself. Cloud virtal servers offer higher availability, easy upgrade path, and easy backup and restore. You have one less thing to worry about, which is hardware failure. Although it’s very tempting to host yourself, I suggest you to save your energy until you really need them.
Web Hosting is incomplete without a domain name, so it’s crucial that a web hosting company offer domain name registration services. About a decade ago, domain name registrars strictly sold domain name registration services while web hosting company strictly offered web hosting services. Today, many domain name registrars not only sell domain name services but also offer web hosting services. Web Hosting companies also resell domain name services provided by the ICANN accredited registrars while offering web hosting services. Web Hosting without domain name offering will not be able to survive as busy customers are looking for a turn-key solution from a single vendor.
Very seldom a customer will register a domain name from a domain name registrar, and buy web hosting service from a web hosting company. People are simply too busy, and also maintaining two separate accounts to manage your domain name and web hosting accounts doesn’t really make sense any more. So, how do you find a reputable domain name registrar? There are several things to consider when reselling domain names.
1. Avoid a middle man by signing up with a ICANN accredited registrar. Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers.
2. Find a reputable domain name registrar who can offer you good price. ICANN accredited registrars have to meet the criteria set forth by the ICANN in order to retain their accredited status with ICANN. They have the technical resources and financial support to stay accredited. Check with ICANN to see if intended registrar has high number of complaints.
3. The billing software that you found in previous chapter has to support the registrar that you intend to resell. Even if you can write your own application to communicate with 3rd-party API, why would you reinvent the wheel when you can find a reliable billing software for a few hundred dollars?
Some domain name registrars offer fully functional website that you can use to resell their domain name, web hosting and other value added services. If you have no desire build your own website, manage your own servers, and provide your own customer service; this option may not be a bad option to consider. Start simple and expand as you grow your business.
When I was initially searching for a domain name registrar in 2003, there weren’t that many registrar to choose from. I have contacted a half dozen registrars, and only a few responded. Not all registrars offered programming APIs to integrate their service with 3rd-party website. I have considered Directi, eNom, and Wild West Domains, and choose to use eNom even though they were not the cheapest. I was looking for a registrar offering programming APIs, so that I can build my own application based on the API provided. It turned out the be a good choice as I’m still using eNom for all domain name services.
As I was also offering website design services, I wanted to resell SSL certificates. I wasn’t able to find a good company offering reselling package for SSL certificates. Based on pricing, I was very tempted to go with RegisterFly, where I have personally purchased more than a dozen SSL Certificates; but I soon realize this company wasn’t very reliable as I wan’t able to reach them when I needed to. RegisterFly started out as an eNom reseller, but became an ICANN accredited registrar by an acquisition. Although this company was very successful at attracting new customers, they weren’t very good at providing customer service. Due to negligence, ICANN officially removed Registerfly’s accreditation on March 31, 2007 and ordered Registerfly to cease operation.
When I was looking for a commercial billing software, eNom was supported by majority of software I was considering. I have chosen AWBS as the billing software, and one of the reason for choosing AWBS was because it offered fully functional domain name services right out of the box which made it very easy for me to setup a custom website for my own business.
Domain name industry and web hosting industry have converged, and the landscape has changed completely from a decade ago. There are many ICANN accredited registrars offering reseller programs tailored for web hosting companies. Finding a reputable registrar isn’t too difficult in today’s market. The question is whether to purchase a fully functional website offered by a domain name registrar, vs. building your own website from a billing software and integrating it with the control panel of your choice.
Chapter 4. Decide on Billing and Control Panel Software
4.1 Billing Software
Whether you are just starting out a reseller hosting business or you host tens of thousands of web hosting accounts, you’ll need a website with all the features you’ll need to manage your web hosting business efficiently. The frontoffice of your website will allow your customers to create accounts, register domain names, and purchase web hosting plans and other value added products such as SSL Certificates, website templates, and search marketing packages. The backoffice of your website will include email notifications on expiring domain names, expiring credit cards and charge failures, and expiring web hosting accounts as well as automating recurring billing, and managing user accounts.
The software that will allow web hosts to build a website with front and backoffice features are known as “web hosting” billing software. There are more than a dozen billing software both free and commercial with varying levels of features, user friendliness, and integration with domain name registrars, control panel software and payment gateways. When choosing a billing software for your web hosting business, there are a number of key decision criteria that you will have to evaluate prior to making the final decision. Once you chose a billing software and use it for your web hosting business, switching to another software will not be an easy option.
As with any software purchase, price of the product plays important role when deciding one over another. The price tag of web hosting billing software range from Free (open source) to a few hundreds (owned license) for a featured commercial product. Billing software are offered for a leased license product for a recurring monthly or annual fee, or offered for a one-time upright price generally with 1-year support. With this type of price tag, the price of software should not be a major decision maker. If you are opt to build your own billing software, you may write one from scratch or take one of many open source software and tailor to your need. Or, if you choose to resell products from a web host whom offers billing software as a fully integrated package, your job will be even easier as you’ll just have to replace the website logo and pricing of the services you’ll offer.
Aside from price of the software, the first thing that you’ll have to evaluate is the compatibility of the software with other type of products you’ll be using. The billing software work with (1) payment gateway to process credit card payments, (2) domain name registrar to offer domain name services, and (3) control panel software for provisioning web hosting services. Most popular billing software support a large collection of payment gateways, domain name registrars and control panels, so chances are that the chosen software will work with the majority of popular 3rd party solutions. However, if you are thinking about using a not-so-popular solution you’ll have to evaluate compatibility or write your own module to support the integration.
4.2 Control Panel Software
Choosing a reliable, maintenance-free and easy to use control panel software is a vital part of running a successful web hosting company. Customers will be using the control panel software to manage their web hosting accounts. Control panel allows a user to create FTP accounts, Email accounts, databases, and anything that pertains to creating and managing a website. Some control panels allow reseller accounts, where a user will be assigned as a reseller, and the reseller will be able to further manage their sub web hosting accounts and resell web hosting services to end users.
There are more than a dozen control panel software are available in the market both FREE (open source) and PAID, and the features, easy of use, scalability, price vary greatly from one control panel to another. Finding a reliable, cost-effective and error-free control panel make your job easier as a web hosting provider.
Depending on the types of service you’re planning to offer, your choice of control panel selection may vary. For example, a majority of control panels that are available today only runs on Linux platform and a few are only available for Windows platform. And, yet a narrow selection of control panels are available on both Linux and Windows platform. If you wish to offer both Linux and Windows based web hosting accounts, you may wish to select a control panel that will run on both Linux and Windows platforms; which will make your learning curve a bit less steep as the interface will be similar on both platforms.
I have personally found a web hosting company, edula.com, in 2003. At the time, I didn’t have any web hosting or data center experience so I ended up making a couple of critical mistakes in building the website and provisioning services. The biggest mistake I made was building the integrated billing software and control panel from scratch. I wasn’t aware of any 3rd-party solutions (other than re-branding someone else’s hosted website) that are available to quickly build a own web hosting business.
Coming from software background, I was very tempted to use Java programming language to build a web hosting application, but soon turned to use PHP for quick development and easy deployment. It took me nearly 3 months to build a frontend website, and began offering service with an incomplete website. I bought 3 Dell PowerEdge Tower servers from Ebay, and setup 3 Linux servers with a single T1 line dropped in a 400 sq foot office. As I was building customer base, I came to realize that I needed a backoffice functionality that automates recurring billing, email notifications for expiring domain names and credit cards, and day-to-day maintenance of the business. I had to set aside another 3 months to compliment the website with backoffice functionality, but I didn’t have the time for development as most of my time was consumed supporting customers and marketing the business. As I learned more about web hosting industry, I came to learn that there are off-the-shelf applications that I can easily setup to run web hosting business. I debated for a week whether to spend extra 3 months of development, or spend ~$500 and rebuild the website using commercial software.
After 6 months into running the web hosting business, I offered FREE web hosting services in the hope of converting them into paying accounts. The FREE accounts are entitled to 25MB of storage space, 10 email addresses, and NO MySQL database. Running this promotion on Google Adwords, I was able to obtain more than 2000 signups in less than a month. The trouble was that single T1 wasn’t able to accommodate all the bandwidth required by the newly signed up users. I quickly brought down my FREE campaign, but the network was so slow that I was unable to obtain new customers and the existing customers were very unhappy due to slowed performance. It was a time for an upgrade.
The upgrade was a big issue for me at the time, as I had to make another critical decision. I had to decide whether I would upgrade my T1 or move into a data center. It was a tough decision, as I flipped my decision multiple times. At the end, I decided to move into a new office space and upgrade my network. At this time, I had 6 tower Dell PowerEdge servers, and if I wanted to move into a data center I would have to convert all of them into 1u or 2u servers for rack-mount. It was a mistake on my part to purchase the Tower Case servers due to lacking web hosting experience. To convert the tower servers (6u) into 1u servers, it would cost me a lot of money, and also a few overnight work. To make things a bit easier on my part, I chose to upgrade my network.
I moved into a new office space with a dedicated computer room, and signed a 3-year contract with XO and brought bonded 2xT1 service to my new location. The service I subscribed was upgradeable to 8xT1, and if I needed more bandwidth I would then have to upgrade to either T3 (44.5Mbps) or OC3 (155Mbps).
After spending more than a year running a web hosting business, I told myself I cannot continue to offer customer service myself. I should be spending all my energy in sale and marketing, not development nor customer service. I was still running the web hosting business alone. To offload customer service duties to other staff, I thought replacing my home-grown application with 3rd-party commercial software with paid support will do the trick. I decided to revamp the website with commercial billing software and control panel software. I spent a week evaluating various application, and decided to use AWBS and Direct Admin as the replacement software.
The new website was rebuilt in about a month, but the two application didn’t know how to share the common login. It was a bit of nuisance as compared to the home-grown app, but I had to go live with it. Transferring existing account to the new application wasn’t easy job as the transfer had to be done manually. There were several thousand accounts, of which most are FREE accounts, I only moved PAYING accounts and decided to deal with FREE accounts at a later time.
Initially, I somewhat regret switching the self developed billing/control panel application with the commercial software as the replacement didn’t integrate well and the learning curve involved in handling day-to-day tasks weren’t too easy. The good side was that it saved me alot of time by automating frequently performed maintenance tasks, and also allow our staff to work with the software vendor to resolve customer problems instead of me getting involved in every support task. The billing software worked well for 6 months, and when we were ready to upgrade to the next revision it all break down as the software wasn’t designed to allow customized template. The functional code was mingled with the templates, and many things were broken after our first upgrade. Every time we needed to upgrade the software, I had to manually make same changed to the newly installed software — which was a nightmare. I had to limit our software upgrade to bare minimum, and we were able to survive 3 years without major problems. The application initially required about 128M of PHP memory_limit to run a maintenance php script, but as time elapses we had to increase this limit to 256M, 512M, and 1024M in order for the application to run daily maintenance scripts scheduled to run as cron jobs. Today, our memory_limit is 1,024M and the script won’t run. What are poor software design!! We are opt to replace the AWBS billing software with a new one.
The control panel software we’ve chosen, Direct Admin, worked quiet well for us for last 6 years. There has been a few issues transferring accounts from one server to another, and minor issues relating to upgrades and configurations; but I was very happy with the software. Although we didn’t have the support contact with Direct Admin, responses to our email support requests were very responsive — generally, within 12 hours.
Finding a billing software and control panel software that suits your business model is research intensive, and time-consuming if you’re trying out demo software prior to commiting a purchase. There are a lot to choose from, and it’s very time consuming to customize the software for your business. Integrating billing and control panel software with your intended web site with ticket system, knowledgebase, and FAQ among other feature may not be trivial. If you try to replace one software after going live, you will soon learn that you wish you’ve spent a little more time finding a “right” software for your business as switching is not as easy as it sound as you’ll also involve in transferring existing data. Doing it right the first time will save you money and a lot of hassle down the road.
Decide on your service offerings and the operating platform
When starting an ecommerce business such as the web hosting, the first thing to decide is products or services that you will be selling which is more commonly known as product sourcing. Choosing a product (or service) that has the demands is the very important decision criteria of any retail business. If product has no demand, you’ll have hard time finding the buyers.
Types of web hosting that are available to consumers include shared hosting, windows hosting, sharepoint hosting, vps hosting, managed hosting, dedicated server hosting, ecommerce hosting, and cloud hosting to name a few. You may choose to offer any web hosting service that you can offer to end customers, and you may choose to host services yourself or resell someone else’s web hosting. There are many advantages of hosting servers yourself, and there are disadvantages of doing so. You may also choose to resell web hosting services offered by a reputable web hosting company rather than providing the services yourself.
If you wish to provide the web hosting service yourself, you’ll need technical knowledge to configure and maintain servers both Linux and Windows; and also be able to find a data center where you’ll want to colocate. If you are technically capable of doing this, you may opt to choose this option. However, there are upfront cost associated with this option. For example, you’ll have to purchase physical web server(s) for your website, as well as web hosting services; and also incur monthly colocation service fee. If you’re just starting out, this option may be a bit costly until you find enough customers to cover the colocation fee. Also, even if you’re capable of maintaining Linux or Windows servers, you’ll have to set aside your time configuring and supporting your customers (unless you planning on using 3rd party support company).
Another option is to resell web hosting services provided by a reputable company. Depending on the type of reselling plan you sign up, your job will be a lot easier than hosting servers yourself and also providing technical support to your customers. Many reputable companies offer 24×7 technical support on behalf of your company, and provide server resources for you to run a successful web hosting company. There will be no upfront cost associated with this option, and the monthly reseller plan may only cost fraction of colocation service you’ll obtain from a reputable ISP.
The third options is the combination of the above two. You’ll lease cloud computing resource from Amazon EC2, or any cloud hosting companies; and maintain your own server resources without maintaining physical servers. This option becomes very popular in recent years as maintaining virtual servers doesn’t require upfront capital resource, and you can grow your hadware resources as your business grows. This is a great option if you can manage your own servers.
Regardless of the option you choose, you’ll also have to decide which type of web hosting plan you’ll be offering to your customers. If you resell, your options are very simple. You’ll markup a few percentage points of margin to the plans offered by your provider. Or, you may purchase a reseller plan and offer shared hosting plans at a discounted rate. As your customers deman more storage space and bandwidth, you may upgrade your plan accodingly without much risk. When choosing a “seller” web host, you’ll have to evaluate the company for reliability, customer support capabilities, SLA (Service Level Assurance), and cost.
If you’re providing your own web hosting service by deploying physical servers or using cloud hosting services from 3rd party company, you’ll have to configure server resources for each type of services you’ll be offering. Some of the most popular web hosting services offed include Shared Web Hosting, Windows Web Hosting, VPS hosting, Ecommerce Hosting and ASP.NET web hosting services. If you have your own physical servers, you may also offer dedicated server hosting. Evaluate your customer requirements and carefully decide what type of web hosting services suits your business. You can always start small, and expand your offering at a later time when your business grow.
You’ll also have to decide whether you’ll be offering web hosting on Linux or Windows platform. Linux is a lot more popular and cost less to provide as all software required to offer the services are available for free; whereas Windows web hosting requires you to purchase a number of software such as Windows Server, Email Software, and SQL Server database to name a few. The cost of these software could cost thousands of dollars per server, so you’ll have to charge more to recoup your investment. Even if you choose to purchase virtual hosting to provide Windows hosting services, it will cost more to lease Windows virtual server than the Linux vitual server.
Product sourcing is one of the very important aspect of ecommerce business. Whether you’ll add more servers to source your own web hosting services, or resell someone else’s web hosting services; you’ll have to source a reliable and re-obtainable services. If you’re starting out, we recommand that you start small by reselling a reputable company’s services and migrate toward offering your own services as your business grows.
Posted by admin on Thursday Apr 14, 2011
Filed under :Knowledgebase
What is cloud hosting?
Cloud hosting is a web hosting service evolved from the cloud computing, which is offered from a network of “clustered” servers that are working together to offer a reliable service. Depending on the size of the cloud, the network may consist of tens or hundreds of servers that are located in the data centers that are scattered in all over the states. The companies like Amazon, Google and Yahoo offer their services over a cloud network, which delivers fault-tolerant availability.
Web hosting service offered on a traditional dedicated server encounters multiple points of hardware failure. Even with redundant hardware setup such as dual power, RAID disks, and dual LAN of a dedicated server, a dedicated server do fail time-to-time and the service outage occurs either planned or unplanned. Hardware expansions, software upgrades, and other planned maintenance all lead to bring the server down for minutes to several hours. When a dedicated server experiences an outage, your business is at risk and the reputation will be severely tarnished as visitors are unable to reach your website or experience interrupted service. Search engines also penalize your website on search rankings if outage occurs multiple times.
On the other hand, cloud hosting service is offered by a network of server resources scattered over multiple data centers and single failure will not affect your hosting service. Users can easily expand their server resources without an outage, and enjoy enhanced security, performance and high availability. Unlike traditional dedicated hosting, the cloud hosting enable you to add additional hardware resources to your server with no interruption to your business.
A video from GoGrid on cloud hosting
The following video released on YouTube helps you understand “Cloud Computing” in plain English.
Cloud Hosting Scalability
One of the biggest advantage of using cloud hosting is the scalability. As your server requirements grow, you can easily expand your server resources without worrying about physically moving your server from one machine to another. With cloud hosting, you’ll only pay for the quantity of computing resource consumed. If you don’t need your server to stay up 24×7, you can turn it off and save money. It’s like a flipping a switch to turn on or off your server; and only pay while the server is servicing the requests.
In order to get a web site started for yourself, you’ll need to choose a web hosting service that caters to your specific needs and interests. Luckily for you, there is no shortage of web hosting services available on the internet. However, due to the massive amount of companies dedicated to creating your website, it may be daunting figuring out exactly where to start. Specifically, you should be asking yourself questions, like: what am I going to use this web site for? Which company is the best at what they do? How can I get a web site while spending as little money as possible? The following is a guide to the aggregated best web hosting services, giving you their pros and cons, to help you find the best, most efficient way to get your web site up and running.
#5. Host For Web
Hostforweb.com’s web service providers have primarily used by medium or high-status business companies with established internet experience. If you (or your company) know what you’re doing when it comes to creating and sharing a website, than this should be a good candidate for web hosting usage. Host For Web has three major plan options: Reseller, which cater to those starting websites to complement their own businesses, VPS, for users that operate with Linux, and Dedicated, for large companies with previous web site creation experience. Dedicated servers get 24/7 customer service treatment, free set-up, and the largest amount of available IP addresses. With Host For Web, you can only register one domain name at a time, but that domain name/web site has unlimited disk space and unlimited bandwidth.
#4. Host Gator
Host Gator is designed for use by all sorts of computer users wishing to start their own web site. Their friendly company logo welcomes in all sorts of computer users, from newcomers to the web site creation game hoping to start a blog or personal website, to experienced programmers in search of dedicated servers. A notable feature of Host Gator is that it is a very green company: their servers are powered completely by wind energy, and the company is involved with Texas Wind Energy to offset server emissions and create a safe, powerful internet hosting service that all can agree upon.
Host Gator has some of the best customer service a web hosting company can have, with around-the-clock, 24/7 tech support eager and willing to help your web site get off the ground. Host Gator only allows you to use 1 domain name at a time, but that domain gets unlimited storage and bandwidth. The cheapest options for Host Gator’s web hosting services runs as low as $3.96/month, one of the least expensive options available on the entire Internet.
Multacom is another web hosting services that caters to companies with a good profile or in need of many computers and server space. Multacom’s web hosting services are capable of working on both Windows and Unix systems. You have a choice of plan coverage, from a dedicated, immovable web site, to a web site with shared hosting, with an interface that can work with operating systems going back to 2003. Multacom allows
up to 10 domains to be used and operated at once, each with 4 GB of storage space and 100 GB of bandwidth. If you are in need of any support, 24/7 tech support is a call or email away. Multacom has one major detractor in that unlike the other companies on this list, Multacom’s lowest starting price is $5.95. It may be slightly higher priced that most other minimum start-up costs, but the amazing variety of features, available space more than make up for the additional dollar.
#2. Winhost (Windows Hosting)
Windows Hosting is specifically designed for use by computers using Microsoft operating systems and products. Windows Hosting offers two plans for hosting: basic and max. Basic hosting offers 2 GB of storage and 50 GB of available bandwidth, incredibly at only $4.95 per month, while the max plan has double the disk space and four times the available bandwidth! Both plans are user-friendly, and have interfaces that cater to both ends of the spectrum: master programmers with the newest equipment and technology, and those new to web site creation. One of the most interesting features of both plans is that two months of the annual hosting cost come free!
Lunarpages.com has been determined to be the best overall web hosting service available. Backed by unlimited bandwidth space, unlimited storage of information, and unlimited available domain names, the opportunities for your web site are limitless at Lunarpages. In addition, the domain name you choose to register is free, as opposed to most other web hosting sites that charge an additional fee for the domain name alone.
Lunarpages.com operates on a multi-tiered system that directly corresponds to the services you require out of the website. There are five levels offered: Basic, Windows, VPS, Business, and Dedicated. Basic hosting is designed for use by the layman; anyone just starting out with their first site, or making a blog or other personal site should consider the basic package. It is the cheapest option for users, starting at $4.95/month.
A note about type of hosting you’ll need to build your website:
Windows hosting is used for Active Server Pages (ASP.net), informational sites and staging environments. The options available are more varied and advanced than the basic set-up. Business hosting is used for businesses and e-commerce sites, and has numerous features designed to spread information about the company to potential clients across the country, in addition to raising company notoriety. It is a great place to begin for brand new, start-up companies. VPS hosting is designed for use by Linux or highly advanced Windows computers. People who work with computers for a living and have an advanced knowledge of programming and technology should consider VPS. Dedicated hosting, a.k.a. hosting that cannot be deleted or taken down, is the priciest option available, but the materials given as a result are well worth the cost. It is used by medium and large previously-established companies looking to bring their products to the internet at large.
Other people who should consider dedicated hosting are any internet companies with massive internet traffic and a need of server space.
The sheer variety of programs available at Lunarpages will help anyone looking to start their own website. The choice they offer is enough to put them at the top of the web hosting hill. Hosting costs at Lunarpages run from $4.95/month for the basic option to $109/month for the dedicated hosting.