I started in the hosting business in 1997 and to give you an idea of the hierarchy on how this goes, it runs this way:
- Telecommunication Company – They give you the leased line that connects to the internet. This comes in various speeds measured in Megabits Per Second (mbps) and are given various nicknames for different data transfer speeds. If you are this company then you really shelled out a large amount of money as an investment. Some of us do not have that much and just go down in the hierarchy.
- Data Center – These companies house all the servers. Usually a large fully air conditioned warehouse with multiple backups of everything where electrical power failure is not part of their vocabulary. They make it a point that all servers are running well hardware-wise and is not only network secure but physically secure from illegal entries into the warehouse facilities.
- Colocated Server – You may own a server but is renting out space at a data center. Rates of the rental are viewed in the area your server occupies. Network rack servers are made in such a way that they are nice and thin compared to an ordinary looking CPU so more servers can be stacked in a server rack.
- Dedicated Server – Similar to a Colocated Server but you pretty much configure the server yourself. You may need to maintain it as well for security updates and work on various customer request type of installations. But initial software installations and high level server maintenance is still with the datacenter working on your server.
- VPS Server – A Virtual Private Server, somewhat like a Dedicated Server but most configurations are pre-set already. A VPS account could also be probably using only a portion of a server. But is given the freedom to create your own hosting packages and accounts still given full control in created, modifying and terminating hosting accounts.
- Hosting Reseller – Like a smaller scale VPS Server, and amount of control may vary from reseller to reseller. And resellers could also have any number of subresellers.
Depending on your initial investment and amount of time dedicated to run your business will dictate which type of hosting service you want to avail. If you are just a company looking for a hosting vendor. You can simply go to some hosting company selling shared hosting, but if you are looking for some extra specific features, you might want to look more into other hosting vendors.
One of the perfect places to check these out are at Web Hosting Choice. It gives you a good comparison of plans of hosting services from various vendors. But word of caution with websites like these. The cheapest deal is not really always the cheapest. The cheapest may also mean the less support you get. And you end up paying other people for much of the technical help you will need. If you want to minimize hosting issues due to lack of technical know-how, you might end up with a higher paying hosting service. With the tough competition of hosting nowadays, there are many that pad up the numbers of megabytes and bandwidth that are not really capable of delivering in reality and is gambling on the fact that not every subscriber will use the maximum extent of a service. With Web Hosting Choice, use it as a tool to help judge hosting companies well. Good luck!