Web hosting through the years, how things have changed
There is no secret about the unending wars over customers in the world of web hosting. The wars have brought about changes all in the race for more customers. When combined with the advancements in computer technology, web hosting has had a changing face ever since it started. Actually, no one can tell of a year the web hosting industry remained the same. There are records that are decades old that show how web hosting was handled back then. Here is the story of how web hosting evolved:
Once upon a time web hosting was all about work stations in large offices divided into small cubicles. The system was often compromised by simply unplugging or neglect. This was a primitive form of web hosting where web servers were run beneath peoples desks. These kinds of operations are still used today by a few individuals and companies that have refused to change with technology. Web hosting then, was also in the hands of the cleaners who could unplug the systems and trigger a day full of problems.
At some point the workstations grew big and with the increase in noise, they were shifted to server cabinets and hosted together with other servers at data centers. This time round, the cleaners with their vacuum cleaners were taken out of the picture The data centers brought about great advantages such as power, connectivity and redundant hardware. They also offered services such as physical security and fire suppression since only authorized users were given access to the servers.
In addition to the security, there were special teams that had specialized in keeping the systems running by application of patches, testing backup systems and replacing any failed hardware. This type of web hosting is still widely used today and represents an important part of the modern web hosting technology. More advanced solutions are replacing it fast as a result of the high capital investments involved, scaling challenges, space, inflexibility and management overhead, which can be avoided.
This form of webhosting is by far better than the workstation version but it is quickly being absorbed by the better and more efficient cloud solutions.
The population of the physical servers was growing at an alarming rate and fighting for resources such as space and electricity. This is what led to the creation of virtualized servers which basically drew a line between operating systems and the hardware that the systems were running on. Virtualization offered unlimited benefits though there were finite resource issues that developers had to deal with. When virtual servers started cooperating and working as a team within virtual clusters, the system became extra powerful. But the server capacity was still a hindrance due to the finances used in purchasing hardware that remained underutilized.
Eventually many data centers found themselves working on a similar problem and had to device means to maximize on resources. They built code that "magically" allowed them to rise to the clouds. Thus cloud computing was born. This form of web hosting has great advantages such as reduction of operation costs, global reach, and distribution capabilities among others.
Today, we are at cloud computing and with technology advancements, we can only expect to move on to another form of web hosting with more benefits.