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The Hosting Analogy
The hosting world is quite confusing for not only non-tech people who aren’t exposed to it daily, but also for many developers and people who work in the industry of technology. We often get questions about the kinds of hosting there are and how they differ from one another, and one of the best ways to explain this has been to ask our customers to envision the following real estate analogy.
Imagine that your business is a person. If that person lives alone and has very few possessions and doesn’t throw grand parties, such a human could live fairly comfortably in a dormitory. A dormitory is a great way to illustrate shared hosting. As you share a bathroom and kitchen as well as many common spaces in a dorm, you would share your CPU, RAM, and storage resources with other tenants of the same shared server.
Often, if a website is very small, that is quite enough and there isn’t a need for anything bigger. The comfort will of course largely depend on whether your dormmates throw parties or otherwise engage in disruptive behavior. Hosts can only monitor so much on shared hosting accounts, and sometimes you’ll get locked in the same dorm with spam proliferators, sites that have massive spikes of traffic, and such – then quickly life becomes not so great.
There are 2 main reasons why sites decide to “live in an apartment” instead, choosing a VPS. Those are either security or simply the need for more space. If your possessions become more valuable than a dorm would allow keeping safe, you opt for a larger space which the apartment will allow you to have. Once you have more needs for storage, CPU, and RAM than a “dorm” of shared hosting can offer, you’re bound to need a VPS. In an apartment, you have your own facilities: the bathroom and kitchen are your own, so you don’t have to worry about sharing those with other tenants.
Apartments vary by size from a studio or one-bedroom to whole penthouses, but at the end of the day, you’re still sharing walls, hallways, and the elevator with other tenants of your apartment building. With a virtual server, your resources are jailed to your account only, so you no longer have to share storage, CPU, or RAM resources with other website owners. This also encompasses cloud hosting. A cloud instance is also an apartment, though very scalable – you can quickly buy other apartments in the same building. However, following this analogy, a cloud is simply a very large apartment building. Though you can buy any size “penthouses” with cloud hosting, those are usually going to grow fairly expensive.
When your security and space needs outgrow an apartment, you’re bound to start looking for your own house. A standalone house will allow for a number of customizations (CPU, RAM, Storage as well as uplinks and other configurations are very flexible here at MojoHost), You can choose how large or small you want it, so you will own your own space and won’t ever have to worry about neighbors on the other side of the wall. That is a great way to explain what a dedicated server offers.
Dedicated server means getting your own land and building a house on it that won’t be interfered with by anything short of traffic on the roads nearby (network). In terms of networking, MojoHost offers top-notch routing through an intelligent platform called Noction, so you’re never worrying about network congestion interfering with your data delivery.
Your maintenance team
Managed hosting ties into this analogy very well. When you get managed hosting, you are buying real estate that comes with its own maintenance and upkeep team. They’ll fix plumbing, electricity, furniture, get rid of infestations, re-pave the driveway, clean up or do anything else needed to make the apartment or house comfortable and livable. If you decide to opt for unmanaged, everything will be your own responsibility.
How does CDN fit in to this? Well, CDN isn’t really hosting so we can’t readily call it real estate. But imagine that the person is a very busy businessman. He or she must travel and cater to many customers around the world. When doing that, it makes no sense to own real estate in all of the busy locations, but they could get a hotel room whenever they’re in town.
That’s how CDN works. When your content and website are actively being used in a certain location, the data will get placed in a “hotel room” – a part of a CDN node in that location. This will allow for the data to quickly be delivered to your customers. Once the content is no longer “hot” in a certain area, that hotel room gets occupied by someone else’s data. So, CDN is similar to a network of hotels worldwide where you can temporarily store your data for easier access to the target audience in an area.
Here at MojoHost, we do not offer shared hosting – simply not our line of business. Our plans start with very small Virtual Private Servers AKA VPSs and go to multi-server private cloud solutions which can easily be called estates under our analogy. If you have any questions about hosting plans and need help choosing a solution, please feel free to reach out to MojoHost or register an account today.