There are many different kinds of hosting for businesses to choose from, and depending on your business model, some kinds of hosting will make more sense than others.
When it comes to tech companies — i.e. companies that exist and operate primarily online — there two alternatives to actually having to invest in the infrastructure of having your own servers in-house. For companies that are relatively well established and are experiencing stable growth, dedicated hosting probably makes the most sense. But for newer companies still in the start-up phase of their existence, cloud hosting will probably make a lot more sense. Let’s take a look at how these two kinds of hosting differ, and why your tech company should rely on one rather than the other.
In a nutshell, if you’re a tech start-up that (1) relies on its web-based technology, (2) doesn’t yet have the resources to invest heavily into your hosting, but (3) plans to experience several significant growth spurts during the next few years, then cloud hosting is probably what your business needs. Basically, yours is a businesses that’s primarily web-based, so you can’t afford to experience any significant down-time. But at the same time, you still have to be prudent with your budget because you’re a start-up; you have to be careful to not invest in more than is necessary at any given moment because those resources might be better invested some other way.
Cloud hosting is a kind of hosting that lets businesses rent a virtual server, and then scale it as their business grows and fluctuates. This means that your hosting packages can be adjusted on an as-needed basis as your traffic fluctuates. Many cloud hosting providers will also let you choose your preferred operating system (Windows or Linux), will give you the self-service flexibility offered through dedicated hosting, offer flexible billing, and server configuration controls via an API or web-based interface.
Overall, with a cloud hosting package, your business can save money by not spending more than you need to, but still harness all the benefits of cloud computing — such as scalability and enhanced server performance. Such features are ideal for a company that’s tech- and web-reliant, but doesn’t yet have the resources or need to commit to something as comprehensive as a dedicated hosting package.
Granted, all this also means that your IT team will have to be standing by to manage your cloud hosting package to suit your business needs. After all, as your traffic and user-base fluctuate, so will your server configuration and hosting package. Of course, if you’re a web-based start-up, that’s probably most of what your IT team does anyway
What a dedicated hosting package consists in, is when a company leases one or many servers and has complete control over how it (or they) work. There are three main advantages that dedicated servers offer. First off, a dedicated server is located in a data center that is already secure and stable. This means that your business doesn’t have to invest in any hardware or infrastructure (e.g. redundant power systems) or the additional space that comes with having your servers on-site.
Second, a dedicated hosting is dedicated to your business’s websites, applications and platforms. This means that, unlike shared hosting where your site is sharing a server with other sites, your business enjoys the full and complete power and bandwidth of your dedicated servers, and nothing should affect server performance (such as load times), unless you choose to let it.
Finally, with dedicated servers, your IT team can fully customize server performance to the needs of your business. In other words, they can optimize server performance to best suite your business’s technology.
So who is dedicated hosting right for? Pretty much any large, stable business that depends on it hosting as part of its core infrastructure, but don’t want to have you own servers right on-site, then dedicated hosting is probably right for you. Essentially, your company can’t do business without the internet. It needs its site and applications to be running smoothly because it relies on them to interact with your customers and makes sales.
An example of such a company would be a large online retailer that uses a custom CMS to manage its immense inventory of stock. Such a retailer would be processing thousands of queries a minute, so every minute of downtown could mean a loss of hundreds or thousands of dollars in revenues.
Another example of such a company would be an online advertising network. This would be a business that would be operating an an ad platform that processes hundreds or thousands of ad campaigns across thousands of domains for dozens of advertisers. If those banners don’t render, clients don’t have to pay them, and publishers will stop working with them. So maximum bandwidth and up-time is essential to the businesses survival.
Choosing a Business Hosting Provider
Once you know what kind of hosting your business model calls for, choosing the right provider can be tricky. After all, while some hosting providers might excel at providing one kind of hosting, that doesn’t mean that they’re good at providing the kind of hosting your business needs. So start by looking for reviews not about web hosts in general, but on the kind of hosting you’re shopping around for.
Then, after you have a shortlist of potential hosting providers, involve your IT team in the decision making process. They are the ones who will be configuring your servers, so they’re going to be in a very good position to evaluate a hosting provider’s technology and help you make decision about hosting that makes the most sense for your business.