Archive for April, 2010

Choosing a Dedicated Server

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

A dedicated server is the most expensive form of web hosting that you can purchase and because of this it is important for you to make sure that you choose the right dedicated server for your requirements. There are many different factors that you should consider in a dedicated server if you wish to make the right choice, including all of the separate pieces of hardware that will form your dedicated server. As well as the factors related to the dedicated server itself, you will also need to consider the web hosting provider that you are going to use for your dedicated server hosting services; your choice of web hosting provider will affect how much you pay for your dedicated server, the product/service you receive and the level of uptime that you are provided with.

What are the physical factors that I should consider in a dedicated server?

There are several different hardware factors that will form the centre of any dedicated server hosting service that you may be looking at using. The physical factors that you should consider include:

  • CPU (central processing unit) – the CPU at the centre of your dedicated server is responsible for handling all of the applications and services that you have running on your dedicated server – most web hosting providers offer dedicated servers that use a wide variety of CPUs with dual core and quad core CPUs being the most effective and popular since they allow for a large number of applications to run at once, furthermore multi-core applications and services will also make good use of multi-core CPUs in order to deliver the highest level of performance – each CPU core is equal to an entirely separate CPU with each core running at the same clock speed
  • RAM (random access memory) – the amount of RAM that you have installed in your dedicated server will also affect how many applications you are able to run at once since all applications and services will require access to memory in your server at some point – the standard amount of memory found in dedicated servers these days is around 2GB and this is sufficient for the requirements of most users and when coupled with a powerful CPU this will allow the server to host a large number of websites – the busier your website is going to be, the bigger the amount of RAM you will want to have installed in your dedicated server
  • Hard disk space – as a dedicated server is a physical form of web hosting, you will be able to make full use of your own physical hard drive that will be installed in your dedicated server – depending on the type of configuration that you require you may have more than one hard drive installed in your dedicated server, for example if you require a large amount of storage space then more than a single drive may be required, and similarly if you are going to be using a RAID setup to help protect the data stored on your server then you will require a minimum of two hard drives regardless of the RAID configuration that you choose to go for.

The physical factors of a dedicated server are common to all dedicated server hosting services, regardless of the web hosting provider that you choose to use or the specification of the dedicated server that you purchase.

What are the external factors that could affect my dedicated server?

There are several different factors that could affect your dedicated server and it is important for you to consider these since you think you may be purchasing a decent server only to find that it is unavailable on a regular basis. The external factors include but are not limited to:

  • Network – the network that your dedicated server is hosted on can play a huge role in the availability of your dedicated server as if the network is down, your dedicated server won’t be accessible externally – most web hosting providers have reliable internal networks that peer with multiple external connection providers which will provide you with a fast connection to your dedicated server from any computer in any part of the world
  • Power – the power supply that provides your dedicated server with the power that it requires to run can also have an affect on your dedicated server since if your dedicated server loses power, it won’t be accessible in any way – however, most data centres will have employed multiple back-up power supplies to help ensure that if the main power line does go out, there will always be at least one other source available to keep the servers hosted in that data centre running.

In conclusion, choosing a dedicated server is a task that can be made simpler if you know what you need to look for in a dedicated server. Dedicated server hosting is available from most web hosting providers and some of the larger web hosting companies should be able to provide you with assistance when it comes to choosing a dedicated server if you inform them of what your requirements are.

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MySQL Web Hosting

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

MySQL is an open source database server and is one of the most popular database servers available due to the support that it can offer for both Windows web hosting servers and Linux web hosting servers. When developing a website it is always a good idea to use open source technologies as they can save you time and money in the long term; for example, PHP is a very popular scripting language for developing dynamic websites as it is open source and MySQL databases can be integrated seamlessly into PHP websites and web applications. MySQL web hosting is something that can be achieved when using either Windows or Linux servers, but to help save money you may wish to consider Linux web hosting package for your MySQL web hosting requirements.

Advantages of MySQL Web Hosting

MySQL web hosting can provide web developers with many benefits when it comes to hosting their database driven websites if they choose the right web hosting package. Some of the main advantages of using MySQL web hosting include:

  • Low cost – if you choose to go for a Linux web hosting service that can provide you with the facility to host MySQL databases, you will find that you won’t need to spend a large amount of money on your web hosting package as Linux is an open source operating system, thus reducing the costs that web hosting providers need to factor into the overall prices of their Linux web hosting services – cheap web hosting may be seen as cheap and nasty by some, but for the most part you can be sure that you will receive good value for money, granted that you choose the right web hosting provider to use from the outset
  • No limits – as MySQL is an open source database server you can be sure that you will be able to use the application fully without having to worry about any limitations as would be the case if you were using a free edition of Microsoft SQL Server – this means that if you are running a high traffic website that will be putting a high load on the database server, you can be sure that the database server will be able to handle all of the requests thrown at it and can process the data appropriately – however, the only limit there is to be found will be the physical resources of the database server that you are using and a high specification server may be needed to handle the highest loads
  • Ideal for PHP web hosting – MySQL web hosting services are usually specially optimized to handle the hosting of PHP websites that make use of MySQL databases to power their backend – regardless of whether you choose a Windows web hosting service or a Linux web hosting service, the chances are that you will be able to host your PHP based website on your web hosting package without facing any issues – any web hosting service capable of hosting a MySQL database will have the necessary PHP modules installed to allow you to host a website that will need to connect to a MySQL database on a constant basis.

The advantages of MySQL web hosting will allow you to make the most of the web hosting services that are available today. However, in some situations MySQL web hosting may not be what you require as you may choose to use another database server or application as the backend for your website.

Disadvantages of MySQL Web Hosting

There are some disadvantages to using MySQL web hosting services that are worth considering before you commit to purchasing a web hosting service. Such disadvantages could include:

  • Limit of number of databases – depending on the web hosting service that you choose to use, there may be a limit on the number of MySQL databases that you are able to host under your web hosting account – for most people this shouldn’t be an issue as a single MySQL database will normally fulfil most people’s requirements – if you require a large number of MySQL databases then some web hosting providers will be able to provide you with the facility to host an unlimited number, but you do need to be aware of the fact that your database usage will contribute towards your overall disk space usage
  • Features – in some situations you may find that certain features you require of MySQL server may not be available which could cause compatibility issues if you have developed your website in a particular way – if you require specific features of MySQL server that may not be available in some situations then VPS server hosting or dedicated server hosting would be a recommended choice for you.

In conclusion, MySQL web hosting services are a good choice for web developers who create websites using both PHP and MySQL. If you choose a Windows web hosting service then your web hosting package will also provide you with support for ASP scripts and Microsoft SQL Server databases, although Linux web hosting is recommended as a more cost effective form of MySQL web hosting.

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PHP Web Hosting

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

PHP is probably one of the most popular scripting languages available and has been used for the development of some of the largest websites on the internet. As PHP is an open source scripting language you can use it for free; you will also be able to modify the core code of the system if you wish to have PHP run in a certain way. As PHP is open source it can be used on any platform and is supported by both Windows and Linux; this provides you with a wide variety of web hosting services to choose from if you require PHP web hosting. However, PHP functions best when used in a Linux web hosting environment and so LAMP (Linux, Apache MySQL and PHP) setups are popular with both individuals that have small budgets but also for larger businesses that want the most cost effective solution available.

What should I look for in a PHP web hosting package?

There is a combination of factors that will help to produce the best PHP web hosting package for your requirements and so it is important for you to take into consideration the different factors that could affect a PHP web hosting service. It is important for you to look for the following:

  • Support for MySQL – MySQL is the main database application used in conjunction with PHP and if you wish to create dynamic websites using PHP then using MySQL as your database backend is going to be a wise move – MySQL is an open source database server that will function well on both Windows and Linux servers – MySQL performs best with PHP and is used by some of the world’s largest websites to power their operations, although in such situations the likelihood is that the core of the application has been modified to use less system resources
  • cPanel hosting – if you are looking to make the most of PHP web hosting then it is recommended that you choose a web hosting provider that is offering cPanel web hosting services – cPanel is the most popular control panel for Linux shared hosting services and can provide you with advance support for PHP by providing you with various features related to the scripting language including a script editor that is part of the File Manager – cPanel will also be able to tell you which version of PHP is running on the server that your web hosting account is hosted on as some applications are only able to function with certain versions of PHP
  • Third-party components – in some situations you may wish to make use of third-party components that can be integrated into PHP scripts with ease, or the use of the components may be a requirement if you wish to use an applications that has already been developed – some web hosting providers will be able to offer you premium components as a free extra with some of their web hosting services, but if you have a specific component or PHP module that you need to use but isn’t available then you may have to consider your own VPS server or dedicated server in order for your web hosting requirements to be met.

What are the disadvantages that could affect the functionality of a PHP web hosting package?

It is important for you to take into consideration the factors that could affect the functionality of PHP based websites. It is a good idea to consider the following disadvantages of some web hosting services as they could have a negative impact on you:

  • Security measures – the security measures implemented by some web hosting providers could have an adverse effect on the functionality of your PHP based website – some web hosting providers may choose to disable specific PHP modules that your website may require if it is to be able to function correctly – mod_security is another security measure that could restrict your ability to accept certain data that is entered into forms on your website, although on the other hand this is something that can be disabled by request with most web hosting providers
  • Disk space – the disk space that you have available to use could greatly limit you if you wish to create a website that relies upon a large database as the amount of disk space that your databases use will eat into your overall disk space allowance – it is a good idea to go with a PHP web hosting package that will be able to offer you a disk space allowance that doesn’t put the hosting package out of your budget but will still be able to sustain the growth of your website.

In conclusion, PHP web hosting services are available for a low cost and will offer you the resources that you require to sustain the growth of your website on a budget. Most PHP web hosting services are feature-packed which will help you to ensure that you are getting good value for money.

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