When determining the right hosting platform for business needs, there are many factors that must be considered. Many businesses have fairly simple web hosting requirements. They will host a company website used to inform potential clients and patrons about their services, physical location, and operating hours. These websites serve a critical purpose, and can have a large impact on the success of the businesses they represent. Despite the importance web hosting will play for these sites, they do not have great resource requirements.
Who needs Dedicated Servers?
In comparison, businesses which rely more heavily on web presence than physical location for client interaction will have a greater need for hosting resources. For them, a website is their boardroom, their warehouse, and their storefront. For these organizations, under performing websites can leave the same impression on would-be clients as poorly kept or under-staffed brick-and-mortar locations. For this reason, many will require much more than a shared web hosting account to sufficiently handle their web presence.
Dedicated Servers are often described as the ultimate hosting service or the pinnacle of web hosting products. These single-tenant hosting solutions provide uncontested resources and a greater level of privacy (often perceived as security). The dedicated server is the backbone of the Internet, the infrastructure behind the information superhighway. For many organizations relying on the Internet as the foundation for their economies, dedicated servers are a requirement for operations to run effectively. Achieving the optimal mixture of premium hardware, network performance, and responsive support, with favorable pricing, is no simple task.
Who Offers the Best Solution?
With 60,000 or so web hosting companies competing, pricing has generally trended in the favor of the dedicated server consumers, making the financial aspect of the equation more easily
obtainable. Premium hardware will have a different meaning to each company, based on their use case. For some, a large amount of disk storage is most important, for others, computing speed will be of greater consideration. Network performance, maximum uptime combined with minimal latency, is a more universal desire for companies, as is responsive on premise support (remote hands). Network lag, and slow or inadequate support response, is not going to satisfy many server customers.
When remote hardware or network issues happen, a minute can feel like an hour to the company who’s website is down and is waiting for data center staff to bring them back online. It disrupts business, can cause loss of profit, and can be damaging to company reputation.
What is the Best Solution?
Seek out honest, organic feedback from the clients who have gone before. web hosting forums, social media, and Google can all be helpful in finding real, honest client reviews. Run network tests to see how IP addresses and file downloads perform from various locations where your clients would be accessing the network. It is fairly standard for dedicated server providers to have these readily available and accessible for the public to test. Don’t let the lowest price trump the other considerations. That’s not to say that a higher price equals higher quality, or vice versa. When your system is offline, however, price won’t seem nearly as important, as business comes to a halt, and your sense of urgency towards the support techs is met with little regard.
There is no “best hosting provider.” Find the one that best complements your business requirements, and then let the magic happen. Leave a positive review on a forum thread or on social media. The provider will notice, and may be further motivated to continue providing the high-level of service that earned your public praise. Quality providers will strive to meet client approval.
Sex Tape Teaser Trailer, in case you’ve missed it:
-(video obtained from IMDb)
As we await Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel’s latest comedy installment, Sex Tape, let us begin by opening with a quote from the teaser trailer:
“Nobody understands the cloud, it’s a f$&%^@* MYSTERY!” – Jason Segel.
Thank you Mr. Jason Segel’s character for articulating what is sure to be a deep, plaguing societal issue. I’m only half-kidding. So, it’s pretty obvious from the teaser-trailers Jason and Cameron’s characters don’t know what “the cloud” is… but we do, and I suppose that’s a good thing since we’re a cloud hosting company. All the more reason for us to demystify the issue.
Disclaimer: Read the following cloud explanation at your own risk; it might be to your comedic benefit to bookmark this post and continue reading after you’ve seen the movie so as to better partake in the cathartic confusion that’s sure to take place during your movie experience.
Cloud is still a fairly recent addition to the technology world and the society at-large. Plus, it doesn’t help the average person that the jargon surrounding its explanation can get a bit technical, so I’ll break it down for fellow non-techies out there… because that’s what we do, make things easy for hosting fans out there in the crowd. “crickets”
Ok, moving on then.
I would like to assume most people are familiar with the idea of a server as a “storage” place for data and can enable large numbers of users to access that data remotely. However, here’s a simplistic overview just in case. All other readers can skip to the paragraph following the sexy, naked server picture. Data can be a multitude of things from videos (as in the case of Sex Tape), photos, web sites, video games, and just about any digital thing you can think of, which is stored on the server itself. People then get online or on private networks and can ‘visit’ the data on your server when they visit a site, video game, or watch a video. People need servers for several reasons, but three of the most prominent reasons are:
1. Security – a server or hosting provider creates a hyper-secure connection between the data and its recipients to thwart attempts to steal that data. Also, hosting companies provide very secure locations where servers are housed, oftentimes with key card access, biometric scanners, etc.
2. Connectivity – It can be a hassle when you save a document on your work computer and plan to go home and work on that same document only to realize you can’t access it. A server becomes a virtual storage dump for such instances which enable authorized users to access that document or other data from anywhere in the world that has an internet connection. This can be for both private information and public, such as in a web site or application. Due to the robustness of server hardware, it can withstand the onslaught of hundreds, thousands, and even millions of users accessing that information simultaneously, depending on the hardware, etc.
3. Redundancy and failover – Another major component of server hosting is that it provides its users, whether they be application users, website visitors, or company employees, a personal security knowing that their data will be safely stored and protected in case of a power outage or another type of issue. This means that your customers or users will still be able to access the remote data regardless of geographic utility issues.
Ok, we have servers. Now, in order for us to wrap our head around the concept of cloud, let us think of servers as waffles. Everybody loves waffles. For the purposes of this delicious analogy, each square on a waffle represents a server and the syrup represents data in the servers and the server visitors being hosted. The more traditional dedicated servers described above would look something like a waffle with each square having its own lid to prevent syrup from getting into another square. Therefore, as a square becomes filled with syrup, and in order to continue pouring syrup (everyone wants abundant amounts of syrup, it makes everything go down smootherJ), you need to buy another square in which to contain newly poured syrup. Now, I hope everyone is following my sweet analogy, because cloud is about to makes SO MUCH MORE SENSE.
Now for the big “aha!” moment. Imagine a waffle without the containment lid on each waffle square. It’s a regular waffle. Got it? If we pour syrup into one square until it overflows, where does the overflowing syrup go? Well, into the adjacent waffle square of course! And as that one overflows, it goes into yet another adjacent waffle square and so on and so forth. That, my friends, is cloud in a waffle-fied mental contraption. Cloud is the entire waffle. It is made up of multiple virtual servers (waffle squares) housed within a single storage solution (the waffle in its entirety) which can then facilitate scaling to different levels of processing and capacity according to need (syrup spillover). Furthermore, each waffle is connected to a larger array of waffles whilst being backed by cloned cooks with bottomless vats of waffle mix (power) in a building made up entirely of kitchens (networks). Thus, waffles can be offered at high-speeds and are always available! Er… I mean cloud. Cloud is always available! I let that analogy get away from me.
So what’s the big deal about cloud?
You get what you pay for. During any course of interaction between a server and its clients, the processing power required to maintain those connections ebbs and flows. With traditional dedicated servers, it doesn’t matter if you’re using 1% of its capacity or 100% of its capacity, you’re still paying the set amount each month or year to have that allotted amount of hardware set aside for your use. Cloud technology is an alternative to that mentality. It’s a super secure, highly scalable virtual server and you pay for the actual processing resources used. If you’re using 1% processing power then you’re paying for 1% processing power and if you’re using 150% of your designated processing power, not a problem, you’ll just be paying for 150% processing power. Payment arrangements for cloud are usually established by the hour or month. The model of cloud hosting is great for applications and websites that are unable to predict what their user volume is and therefore need the ability to scale from 2 users to 165,000 users in real-time. The same is true for seasonal businesses or businesses needing resources with a high degree of availability in order to scale up or down in the future since, with cloud, it can be done on-the-fly without any downtime.
At a boiled down non-techie version of things, you’ve now graduated from waffle university, where every aspiring cloud guru can get his/her start. Congratulations! If you’ve found this to be helpful, please share the wealth of knowledge by passing this on to someone you know. Thanks for taking the time to read and educate yourself!
If you are enlightened to the point of needing a server, please visit Limestone Network’s homepage or go directly to the cloud solutions, or better yet, speak with an account specialist using the chat box below!
Dallas, TX, June 2, 2009 – Limestone Networks, Inc., the Dallas-based dedicated server company, has partnered with a new transit provider, NTT/Verio. NTT is one of the few Tier 1 transit providers across the globe that currently offers native IPv6 connectivity. This is an advantage for Limestone Networks as IPv4 space becomes increasingly scarce over the next few years. Logan Vig, CTO of Limestone Networks, comments that, “This will be a huge asset as we plan to begin researching IPv6 options and working to build a relievable, native, and scalable IPv6 offering for our customers.”
NTT, the world’s top ranked Tier 1 IP backbone, features the largest capacity between Japan and the U.S. and will improve routing for Asia-based Limestone Network clients.
Limestone Networks already provides clients with Tier 1 bandwidth carriers including Level3, Time Warner, Global Crossing, and Internap.
The new changes, which were put online earlier this week, are in conjunction with network changes made previously this year. Limestone Networks has already upgraded the existing network by implementing Internap® Flow Control Platform™ (FCP) solution. This change allows data to flow through the best performing route on the network.
These upgrades are all part of Limestone Network’s continued commitment to innovation and improvement. Contact the Limestone Networks Sales Team at firstname.lastname@example.org to experience a simple, solid, and superior network.