Internet hosting service providers administer and maintain Internet servers and server collectives (server farms) that are capable of delivering a diverse array of services to empower organizations and individuals alike to serve content to the Internet.
Internet Hosting Services
It is most important that we realize that there is also considerable variation in the levels/degrees of service provided by any given Internet hosting service provider for each of the Internet hosting services that they offer.
Web hosting services; while probably the most common and generally well-known, are but one of a multitude of services available which can also include the likes of email services hosting, FTP services hosting, application services hosting, ecommerce hosting services and DNS hosting services (usually bundled with domain name registration) to name but a few.
Generic Internet Hosting Services
Don’t be fooled by the generic label as even the most base of Internet hosting services do provide Internet servers upon which their customers can literally run practically anything they want. This includes web servers as well as any other servers and services they desire.
It is now very much the norm for even the most generic of Internet hosting services providers to have Internet connections with excellent upstream bandwidth. Bear in mind that it is the Internet hosting service provider that makes all arrangements; including any peering and IP transit negotiations, necessary for their customers to gain Internet backbone access.
Web Hosting Technology Patent Issues
Before I get into the types of Internet services hosting I will make note of the fact that web hosting technology has been controversially under the microscope in recent times with Web.com laying claim that it currently holds 19 patents specifically pertinent to web hosting and certain specific web hosting technologies.
In fact Web.com is currently pursuing litigation against web hosting services company Go Daddy for alleged patent infringements. Another large wholesale Internet hosting company; Hostopia, has just entered into a contractual license arrangement with Web.com for 10% of retail revenues.
Types of Internet Hosting Services
Internet hosting services fall into one of two categories: the full-featured hosting services or limited/application specific hosting services.
Full-Featured Internet Hosting Services
Let us have a quick look at the full-featured Internet hosting services first. This category of Internet hosting services comes in three basic flavors: managed Internet hosting services, virtual private server Internet hosting services and colocation Internet hosting services.
Managed Internet Hosting Services – This dedicated type of Internet hosting service is characterized by the Internet hosting service provider taking full responsibility for the ownership and supply of the machine(s) (the server(s)) to the customer who leases full control of said machine(s). The Internet hosting service provider in this scenario provides management of the server which may include:
- Monitoring services to ensure that the server functions effectively
- Backup services including disaster planning, strategy implementation and should the need arise recovery
- Administrative and security maintenance such as the installation of security patches, authentication and client administrative access
- Various customizable levels of technical support services
Virtual Private Server Internet Hosting Services – The virtual private server solution sees virtualization technologies deployed such that multiple “logical” servers can reside on and be run by the one “physical” server (host). This particular Internet hosting service implementation scenario is greatly favored by the Internet hosting service providers as it allows them to take maximal advantage of the newer multi-core microprocessors (CPUs) of today.
Another topical factor of influence here is the rapid continuing expansion and adoption of the Blade computing model in data center facilities. It also makes workload balancing more efficient and responsive (agile production environment deployment) and with greater efficiency of processing the greater the gains to be had on the weighty “green” front.
Colocation Internet Hosting Services – The colocation solution sees the Internet hosting service provider providing only the Internet connection, the uninterruptable power supply and facility climate control. The customer must supply all else including the servers themselves and all system(s) administrative and management functionalities.
Security however; is a shared responsibility since the Internet hosting service provider must by default implement all physical security initiatives; after all it is their facility (data center). The customer is responsible for all other security initiatives pertaining to their equipment. The customer of a colocation hosting arrangement will need to make specific arrangements concerning the terms, timing and conditions whereby they are granted physical access to their servers by the colocation hosting service provider.
Limited and Application-Specific Internet Hosting Services
Some of the limited Internet hosting services that may be negotiated separately or as packages include:
- Web Hosting Services – Can be free, shared, clustered, reseller
- Application Specific – Including blog hosting, image hosting, video hosting, wiki farms, social network hosting, application specific processing
- E-mail Hosting Services
- DNS Hosting Services
- Game Servers
Internet hosting services include the required Internet connection and the Internet hosting service provider may calculate the customer’s billing rates for bandwidth usage and data transfer speed options based on a flat rate per month or charged per bandwidth used. The most popular arrangement today is a payment plan with charges based around the 95th percentile bandwidth.