Jan 152012

What is Cloud Hosting and is it for me

If you are comfortable with cloud hosting and only need to know about cloud hosting companies, then click on Review and Comparison of Cloud Hosting ProvidersOtherwise, if you have heard about Amazon Cloud and similar names but not quite sure what it is, read on ...

Many businesses find it hard to predict the hardware resources they will need over the course of a year. If they overbuild their data centers and the traffic does not materialize, they end up wasting precious funds. If they underestimate their requirements and traffic spikes, their servers can’t handle the load, customers and prospects are denied access and that translates to lost business. A business can't just go and buy all the resources they need on the fly. You have to go through the process of preparing a proposal, getting it approved, then contracting with vendors to get hardware delivered and installed. All this takes time and by the time it's done, you may have lost a lot of business. It may cost you a promotion and / or a raise. Ouch!

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a service that could provide you with as much or as few resources as your traffic requires. That service is called Cloud Hosting.

The amount of money you pay for an account depends on your specific needs. Cloud hosting makes it easy for the user to determine what services they need. Their biggest feature is their metering service that allows you to pay for the services you need. Some of the services are designed on the pay as you go basis. Many people opt to pay monthly for the services they use and others prefer to pay per service as and when needed. That way if they use less bandwidth this month they will pay less money, but if they use more bandwidth they will pay more.

Since cloud hosting is operated on several servers that are connected, the hosting company has the ability to provide you more resources when needed. They have redundancies built into their data centers. You will enjoy unlimited processing power because you have the option to add a new server at any time. Cloud hosting users enjoy the benefits of scalability and the service is cost efficient.

With cloud hosting you will not have to worry about sudden surges that can cause the server to crash.

Cloud hosting does have its drawbacks. Users will be sharing the same physical hardware that is also being used by others, thus presenting a possible security issue. The security question is always one of the first things that come up when people are looking into using cloud hosting services.

It also doesn’t work for small businesses and individuals because they don’t have the technical expertise to set up and manage cloud servers.

One of the most respected authors on cloud security is Chris Hoff. It is Hoff’s opinion that cloud security is simply impossible. Often things can go wrong long before you, the user, knows anything about it. By then, your security may already be compromised.

Some organizations only use cloud servers for items that require a lot of storage but their security is not that important like images, videos and backups.

Global organizations also like to host with cloud hosting providers that have data centers in several parts of the world. That way they can replicate their sites in 3-4 locations and provide their users better response times. That raises the issue of database synchronization but generally such large organizations have the technical expertise to take care of that.

Visit Review and Comparison of Cloud Hosting Providers to compare prices, resources and locations. See what suits you best.

Jan 142012

What is cloud computing? Who are the key cloud computing providers

With the advancement in the computing world, we are getting to see more advanced features and applications with each passing day. Amongst others, Cloud Computing has been gaining great popularity rapidly. It is a technology that uses the internet and central remote servers to maintain data and applications. The idea comes from the usability of the internet whereby you network with one another as a “cloud”. The term “Cloud” is used as a metaphor to conceal complex problems that one shouldn’t have to deal with. Traditionally there is a Data Centre, with a number of servers on it. On those servers are the physical resources, and then there is the operating system on which the applications are installed, which can be accessed by the end users.

The concept of Cloud computing came to life because a need was felt to cut down the costs that took place as a result of additional cost that incurred because of the need of accessing and installing myriads of applications that the user might want to use. With an easy internet access, having an efficient, storage memory processing and bandwidth, the experience of Cloud Computing gets much more pleasing and dependable. Thus, Cloud Computing is just like electricity, that comes to you on demand, has broad access, pools together necessary resources and offers a measured access. At the end, all one gets is a bill depending upon how much “resources” she/he uses.


Cloud computing is broken down into three segments: "applications," "platforms," and "infrastructure." Each segment serves a different purpose and offers different products for businesses and individuals around the world.

Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo email, itunes cloud are examples of cloud applications. Cloud Hosting is an example of Cloud infrastructure and is getting popular with large and midsize businesses.

Any business can profit from cloud computing as it helps to eliminate business barriers which in turn leads to increased efficiency in running your business. The other advantage is that you have access to the latest cloud technology such as back up, disaster recovery, data storage and much more. These are just some of the services it's able to offer to businesses no matter how big or small they are. A paradigm shift to cloud computing will affect many different sub-categories in computer industry such as software companies, internet service providers (ISPs) and hardware manufacturers. Thus because of the resourcefulness there is a little domain that is overlooked because of the increasing need of technology in all sorts of businesses.

There are many major players in the Cloud Computing industry. They have varied strengths competing in a competitive arena. Amongst them are:

  • IBM cloud computing:
    • One of the strongest companies in the realm of Cloud Computing. Offers:
    • Architecture for private and hybrid cloud
    • Cloud Computing as a service for IT 
    • Software as a Service business solutions
  • Akamai:
    • Pertains to almost 10 years of experience in Cloud Computing.
    • Enables the provision and deployment of "scalable clustered applications in minutes from anywhere in the world."
  • Amazon:
    • Offers "innovative platform technology" around the Mongo database
    • Shares unique insight into global software-as-a-service transactions
  • Cisco:
    • By virtue of its recent acquisitions, most significantly WebEx and PostPath it has developed a larger client owing to its more specialized outlook on a broader spectrum.
    • Smarter IT operations achieved through better automation of the underlying machinery.
  • Rackspace:
    • Large data centers located in several parts of the world
    • Years of experience in the area
  • Google Cloud:
    • Already a provider through Gmail and Google docs plus many other services
    • Aggressively trying to be the biggest cloud computing provider
  • Microsoft Cloud Computing:
    • Hotmail and other services
    • Like Google, aggressively trying to be the biggest cloud computing provider
  • Apple:
    • Itunes cloud

Akamai, Amazon, CISCO and Rackspace are more on the infrastructure side along with several smaller players. IBM, Oracle and others are trying to come up with reliable platforms to support cloud applications while Apple, Google, Microsoft and others are trying to conquer the applications arena. Some straddle multiple arenas like Microsoft that is trying to manage both the applications and the platform sides.

Cloud computing is an evolving area. The more things change, the more they become the same. In the beginning, there was one central computer and connected to it were a large number of dumb terminals. Then distributing computing evolved and the role of the central server was a little diminished. Now with cloud computing, we are again going towards an era of a central cluster of servers connected via the internet to hundreds of thousands of intelligent terminals / clients all over the world.


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Jan 132012

What is a dedicated server and is it right for me?

When looking for a web host, you have to consider the size of your site in terms of storage requirements, the processing power required and the bandwidth required to handle your traffic. Most people start with a basic shared web hosting service, then graduate to VPS hosting and then to dedicated servers. If you have a large website, that generates a lot of traffic, it would be better to consider a dedicated server.

Dedicated hosting or dedicated web server means that you are assigned a web server that hosts only your site(s) and is not shared with anybody else.

There are advantages and disadvantages associated with dedicated servers.

Advantages of a dedicated server

  • The main advantage is that your website is the sole user of the server. Other websites cannot affect your sites performance.
  • Unless your dedicated server is underpowered, your users will experience better response times that translate to greater customer satisfaction with your web services.
  • With dedicated hosting, you can have your hardware and software tailored to meet your needs. You can always change them as and when needed.
  • You get at least one static IP address that is unique to your site. That is a requirement for many secure sites that hosts a shopping cart. You can have several static IPs if your applications so require.
  • A static IP is also better for your SEO efforts. You don’t share your IP and accordingly the activity of others does not affect your site and your IP.

Disadvantages of a dedicated server

  • The main disadvantage is cost. The improved performance and the ability to customize to your needs come at a price and it better deliver in increased revenue or reduced costs elsewhere.
  • Another disadvantage of dedicated servers is the management of the server. You must have in-house technical support or outsourced support to take care of your server. If you are willing to pay more, you can always opt for a managed dedicated web server where the hosting service also provides you technical support.
  • If you don’t mind paying a little more, you can have a fully customizable dedicated server with better speed, security, storage and bandwidth for a better user experience and greater productivity of your own employees.

Jan 122012

Who needs VPS hosting and why

Anyone who plans to create and publish their own website on the internet needs an efficient web hosting server to do so. While looking for the right host for your website, you will find that there are various web hosting options to choose from, at various rates and with various resources.

The cheapest option you have is shared web hosting where quite a few websites share the same server and the most expensive option is a dedicated server where you have a whole server for your website. In the midst of these two options is a third type of web hosting service, the VPS or Virtual Private Server hosting account.

In case of VPS hosting, only a few clients share a robust server. The server has a very special software installed that makes each client believe they have a dedicated server – even though it’s not. They have guaranteed resources available and one client’s load does not affect the others. They can even reboot their VPS server without knocking off everybody else.

VPS hosting does cost more than a shared plan but considerably less than a dedicated server.

Advantages of VPS hosting

The main advantage of VPS hosting is that when compared to cheap hosting options, its packages are much more flexible and robust. You have more control over its resources. Unlike shared hosting where you have limited resources and no control, with VPS hosting, if you experience an increase in your website traffic, you can easily buy more resources to help handle this traffic.

The second advantage of VPS hosting is that you are provided with a unique IP address. With this unique IP address, you don’t have to bear the brunt of any problems all the other people using the same server and IP go through in a shared setup. So unlike shared hosting, you need not worry about getting knocked down the Google search results for your site just because somebody else sharing that IP was doing something that Google frowns upon.

As you have your own IP address in VPS Hosting, your site is provided with excellent security and high flexibility. VPS hosting has the advantages of a dedicated server without the high price tag and is suitable for small businesses that are not yet ready to have dedicated servers.


Like all web hosting options, VPS hosting has its share of disadvantages. The main disadvantage is that since you are in control of software installation, maintenance, security and updates, you need to have in-house technical expertise to handle it. In other words, you are in charge of monitoring and maintaining your own web hosting service. If you don’t have such expertise in-house, you will have to outsource it and that raises your cost.

Visit VPS Hosting – Review and Comparison for a list of companies that provide VPS hosting along with their pricing tiers and resource allocations.

Jan 112012

What is shared hosting and is it right for you?

If you are looking for the right web host for your hosting needs, you are sure to come across shared web hosting services. As the name suggests, various websites share a single server platform in shared hosting.

The number of websites they host depends on the hosting server’s capacity in computing cycles, data transfer allocations, bandwidth and disk space. Like all hosting services, there are various pros and cons related to it, which you should be well aware of before you finally make your web hosting choice. Basically, the choice of your web hosting services depends on the type of website you will be setting up.

Advantages of shared hosting:

  • The main advantage of shared hosting is that it is rather cheap as the server costs and profits are spread over many websites / accounts. So if you are on a tight budget, this could be the preferred hosting service for your personal or small business website.
  • The second advantage is that there are quite a few hosting providers for you to choose from. However do compare prices and resources of all these competing shared hosting services so that you get the best hosting option for your site. Visit the page Shared Hosting Reviews for a comparison of various providers and their rate charts.
  • The third advantage of using shared hosting is that it takes care of all the technical aspects of the running of your website. This includes the technical management of your hardware, security, software, maintenance operations, resource upgrades and software and installation of operating systems.
  • The fourth advantage is that most shared hosting options provide sufficient resources to handle the hosting requirements of small websites. So if you plan to set up a personal website using advertisement and affiliate marketing to earn some online income, shared hosting could be the best hosting option for you.

Disadvantages of shared hosting:

  • There are many shared hosting companies that tend to oversell their services in a bid to gain more profit. This means they add more websites than the handling capacity of their server platform. This leads to a slowing down of the working of the server as its bandwidth, memory allocations and CPU cycles cannot manage its websites’ demands. So if you plan to start a website with lots of applications and traffic, it’s better to use a VPS server or a dedicated server rather than shared hosting service. While personal websites can function well with shared hosting services, business websites can function well only if the server’s resource allocation capacity meets its hosting requirements.
  • The second disadvantage of shared hosting is that any failure in the functioning of its server can lead to the temporary shutdown of the operations of all its resident websites. This is obviously because the shared hosting provider does not provide its resident website with separate and independent partitions.
  • The third disadvantage of this hosting option is its security as various websites share the same server platform. Moreover you may not be able to access all the server resources as all the sites will be sharing its resources. You never know when you get the opportunity to actually use its resources.
  • While most hosts claim that they offer you usage of unlimited domains, bandwidth and storage and extremely low rates, they don’t tell you that your site may shut down if you use more than 8 – 10% of their resources. So the best thing to do to avoid this complication is to move to a VPS as soon as you find your site generating a bit of traffic.

With so many disadvantages and advantage associated with shared hosting, you actually have to make your final choice and decision based on the type of website you plan to start and the web hosting resources you need.

Visit the site Shared Hosting Reviews for a comparison of various providers and their rate charts.



Jan 102012

What is needed for self web hosting?

First you need an understanding of the Internet and how it works. You have to visualize all of the computers in the world coming together to form the largest computer network. All computers connected to the Internet can potentially link to each other. Computers fall into two groups. One group is called the user group and the other is called the server group. The user group is used to connect to the Internet and surf the various sites. Servers, on the other hand, are used to store and serve information.

Most websites are hosted at web hosting providers who have large data centers with thousands of computers and a ton of telecommunication bandwidth, i.e., the cabling through which data travels around the world. They let you host your website on their computers and charge you according to the resources you need.

Can you host your website at home or in your office and bypass the web hosting providers. Yes you can. However; self-hosting requires good technical knowledge of hardware, software, bandwidth, and DNS routing.

Computers that access the Internet are assigned an IP address that is unique to that computer. The IP address can be compared to your home address. It identifies the place where you are. It also allows certain information to be sent directly to you. A port number is used to send information to a certain person; perhaps somebody else in your household or business.

When you connect to a website there are several things that happen beneath the surface that you may not understand. You use the website address to connect to that computer. Once connected to that computer you then request the webpage which is then displayed on your computer. All of the information on the Internet is stored somewhere on a server.

If you plan on self-hosting, you will need to have above average technical knowledge because you will probably find that you will have to install Linux, PHP, Server Management software like Apache, mail management, and plenty of other security and management utilities. The average computer user does not have that type of knowledge. It is possible to get all of this at a reasonable price but the average person probably will not have the technical knowledge to set it all up. If you do not have this expertise you can outsource the setup and day to day management to somebody who has the knowledge to do so.

You must have certain hardware if you plan on self-hosting. The most important thing is to have a fast internet connection. The hardware you need really depends on the traffic you expect. You will need the services of an intermediary DNS routing service such as Nettica or ZoneEdit. When you sign up with such services users who attempt to connect to your self-hosted website will be routed to the static IP address on your self-hosted server.

If you plan on self-hosting you will need a robust server with abundant computing power, memory and storage space along with sufficient bandwidth. If you don’t have the right resources, your website will perform very slowly or even crash under the load depending upon your traffic. People don’t have much patience to wait for information to load. There are plenty of other sites out there where they can get the information they want at a much faster pace. So make sure you have plenty of hardware and bandwidth.

With the availability of high bandwidth fiber cabling in many large metropolitan areas, self hosting is increasing becoming viable. If you can handle the technical / administrative side of it, then self hosting becomes a cheaper alternative to dedicated servers or VPS servers.


Jan 092012

In 1998 a corporation was formed to assign identifiers that form a domain name. Because of that corporation you will find that you have plenty of choices when you want to register your domain name.

Of course there are a lot of different domain name registrars but it is important for you to choose a domain name registrar that is accredited. Many people are concerned with price, and price is an important part of the equation. But you should remember that a cheap price is nothing if you don’t choose a company that has exceptional customer service. If costs are important to you there are a couple of reputable domain registrar that have great customer service and a fair price. See link below.

Some offer you services such as domain name, bulk domain name registration, and bulk domain transfers. You can also get auctions with them allowing you to bid, make an offer, or buy and sell domain names that are registered.

Some provide a transfer service that allows you to transfer your domain to them quickly and easily. This would allow you to keep the same domain name if you are not satisfied with your current registrar. Some offer free private domain name registration, an email account, a five page starter website builder, and customer support any time you need it.

One way they hook you is offering you a low price initially but then they get you on higher renewal costs. They figure by the time it is time for renewal you will pay the price just so that you don’t have to change domain registrars.

There are some registrars whose interfaces are very easy to use. Others take a little getting used to, and others are a nightmare. Find a registrar that has an interface that is simple to use and allows you ease of managing your website. You can usually tell from the registrar’s website if it is easy to use. If you can navigate around their website and get where you want to go easily, chances are you will have the same ease with your own.

You will want to have full control of the domain name so that is something you should ask the seller up front. You should be allowed to list your contact information as the administrative and billing contact. Most of the larger domain registrars will gladly allow you full control of you domain.

Most any domain registrar will attempt to sell you other services such as hosting, email etc. Some registrars offer these services free but they are usually not very good quality. Keep in mind that you do not have to get all of these services at one place, regardless of how hard they try to talk you into it. If you desire hosting for your website there are plenty of hosting services out there that will provide you with great hosting service.

There is a list of ‘Domain Registration Services’ that let’s you compare prices beyond the first year. Peruse that and then go with one that you feel the most comfortable with.

Good Luck!

Jan 082012

If you plan to create a website, you not only have to think about designing it and writing relevant content for it, but you also have to choose the right web host for hosting it. There are various web hosting companies online, so you have to make a few comparisons of services the hosts provide before you actually choose your host.

Here are some points to bear in mind to help you make your choice.

  1. First of all, you have to ensure the web hosting services has the necessary equipment and capacity to provide your site with reliable web hosting. You don’t want to hire a web host first, only to later find out that they cannot comply with your hosting needs. 

  2. Take a look at the web hosting company’s policy to find out what their stand is about using illegal content on their customer web pages. This is important because there are various hosts that entertain illegal content, and thus end up with their site getting frequently blocked. You don’t want your site to suffer only because the server of your web hosting company was taken down because of hosting objectionable content.

  3. Though most web hosts quote and promise 99.9% uptime, it is always better to choose a host who also gives you a QoS guarantee and money back guarantee in case of equipment downtime. This not only safeguards your money, it also proves that the host is committed to providing good service to their customers. 
  4. Similarly, choose a web host that offers a maintenance and backup policy. Also check out the frequency of their equipment maintenance and server data backup as it gives you an idea of the reliability of the service and how safe your data is in their server in case anything happens to their server.
  5. While hosts may promise 24x7 technical support, the only way you can verify this is by talking to some of the web host’s existing customers. There are many hosts who only make false claims of round the clock technical support, and implement it only for a few weeks or month. you can find out if your host speaks the truth by asking people who have used their services.
  6. You have to find out if the web hosting company will register your chosen domain name in your name or not. This is important because it can get expensive resolving disputes over the domain name ownership.
  7. Don’t forget to compare rates of various web hosting companies to find the right host who will fulfill your hosting needs within your budget. Though there are many free web hosting services around, they follow stringent rules on the customization and resources on their servers. So unless you are on a very low, shoestring budget, it is always better to avoid using free web hosting services.
  8. If this is the first time you are looking for, and using a host, you could choose hosts that provide training on building websites. There are some web hosting services that provide templates that you can cut and paste to get your site ready and running.
  9. Web hosts that not only provide web hosting, but also provide advertising credits from sites like Miva, facebook and Google are a better choice as it helps offset your running expenses.

A better choice is a reasonably priced web host that offers realistic guarantees on their web hosting services.