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What does Managed Shared Web Hosting mean?

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Managed Shared Web Hosting is a term that refers to Shared Hosting (Shared Web Hosting) service, which is technically administered by the web hosting provider.

Most web hosting providers that offer personal or small business Shared Hosting (Virtual Hosting) services do self-service web hosting. Although there is no term as “Self-service” in the web hosting industry the pharase can be used to explain a web hosting service, which is managed by the account owner.

A Managed Shared Web Hosting service requires the web hosting provider to support the customer’s account client-side, to fix install apps and service, to monitor the resource usage, to do backups, to resolve issues inside the Shared hosting account and to troubleshoot it when necessary.

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What does Managed Web Hosting mean?

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“Managed Hosting” is a popular term in the web hosting industry. It describes a It hosting service provided from a isolated instance – a physical dedicated server or virtual server (VPS). “Managed Hosting” means that the provider is responsible for technical administration of the server, including but not limited to installation, OS installation and maintenance, network administration, security policy, updates, backups, maintenance and trouble shooting of any server-side programs and applications.

Term “Managed Web Hosting” is a broad term, that might or might not refer to “Manage Hosting”. It might would be used to describe in general that a certain type of IT hosting service is managed by the web hosting provider. It could be either physical server (Managed Dedicated Hosting or Managed Dedicated Server), Virtual Server (Managed Virtual Private Server, VPS, Managed VDS) or any custom-buit or clustered system.

For managed service term that applies to Share Hosting, review “What does Managed Shared Web Hosting mean?”.

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What does Colocation mean?

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Colocation is a term used to describe a certain type of IT Hosting service provided by telecommunication facilities and data centers to clients who own equipment and need to house it. There are different levels of Colocation – from colocation of a single standard desktop computer or rack server to rack enclosures (cabinets) used for colocation of multiple computing appliances.

The minimum services provided by the host facility (data center) to a client are: space, power feed, access to internet service, power and cooling. The facilities usually house IT equipment into rack cabinets (See “Server Cabinet”, “19-inch Rack” and “Tower Server Rack”), mount them into rack units, connect them to special types of power distribution units (PDU) and connect them to networking equipment (network switches) to provide them with Internet connectivity.

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What does Cloud Server mean?

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Cloud has become a broad term used to describe various products and services, which is supposed to be utilizing the distributed computing model. Strictly speaking “Cloud Server” is just a virtualized computer instance, a Virtual Private Server. However the term “Cloud” should mean that a “Cloud Server” is a computing instance created on top of an IT infrastructure in which the processing power (processing nodes) – CPU and RAM for example – reside on different physical machines than the data storage (SAN or storage nodes).

Some companies define “Cloud Server” for example as “on-demand virtual machine, created to deliver customizable performance and reliability”, although this is pretty much marketeer’s language. Please also be advised that billing a any virtual server hosting service (whatever it is labeled) on per minutes, per hour or per day basis doesn’t make it “Cloud”. What makes it a “Cloud Server” is the ability to scale up the allocated computing resources on demand.

To understand term “Cloud Hosting”, please read article “What does a Cloud Hosting Mean?

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What does OpenVZ Hosting mean?

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OpenVZ Hosting refers to a Virtual Private Server created through OpenVZ operating system-level virtualization (OS Virtualization) technique. OpenVZ virtualization is based on the Linux kernel and Operating System. OpenVZ allows anyone to to run multiple isolated operating system instances (also called “Containers”) on single physical web server. Those instances are called Virtual Private Servers (VPS) or Virtual Environments (VEs). VPS is definitely more popular term however.

OpenVZ virtualization technique is the basis of the popular commercial virtualization software Virtuozzo Containers owned by Parallels Inc. OpenVZ is licensed under the GPL version 2. It is also supported and sponsored by Parallels. The company does not offer commercial support for OpenVZ however.

Unlike other familiar virtualization technologies like Xen or Kernel-based Virtual Machine, the OpenVZ requires requires both the host os on the underlying physical server and Virtual Private Servers which run on top (guest OS) to be Linux. The VPS users can use different Linux OS distributions in their virtual instances. The VPS users can not run Windows or MacOS for example on a Linux based OpenVZ host server. Such machine requires reboot if the virtual environment processes get I/O hangs.

There is a certain performance advantage of OpenVZ based VPS compared to other form of virtualization. OpenVZ website says that, there is “only a 1–3% performance penalty for OpenVZ as compared to using a standalone server”.

OpenVZ is not considered as a “true virtualization” but as a technique that creates isolated containers (like FreeBSD Jails does). Other virtualization technologies like Xen, Kernel-based VM or VMWare virtualize the entire underlying server and allow the users of the Virtual Machines to run Operating systems (OS) different from the one of the physical machine. OpenVZ uses a single patched Linux kernel and therefore can run only Linux. However because it doesn’t have the overhead that a hypervisor do, and that’s it is considered as quite fast and efficient. The disadvantage is that all VPS function with the kernel version of the underlying physical server. Among other advantages is easy to allocate the unused RAM to any of the virtual servers, something which is not possible with full virtualization techniques.

OpenVZ based server system and the host VPS use a common file system. Each VPS instance  is a directory of files which is isolated using chroot. The new versions of OpenVZ also allow the container to have its own file system. Any VPS can be cloned by just copying the files in one directory to another and creating a config file for the VPS.

To find out more about OpenVZ, please visit http://wiki.openvz.org/Main_Page.