Windows Server Hosting

By | November 4, 2010

A Windows VPS server or Windows dedicated server will provide you with a dedicated Windows web hosting environment capable of supporting the standard features that you would expect from a Windows web hosting service, as well as the additional benefits that come with using dedicated web hosting. When choosing a Windows server you will want to consider your requirements specifically so that you can choose a server that can provide you with the resources that you need; Windows servers are available with varying specifications, with low specification servers being the cheapest whilst a high end Windows server is going to cost you more. Although Windows server hosting is going to be slightly more expensive than a Linux server, it is important to remember that you are only probably considering Windows server hosting because you have a specific need for the Windows operating system. Microsoft produces a number of enterprise-level applications that are used by businesses to power their internal infrastructures and website backends; because Windows is usually the only operation system that these applications will run on, there is always going to be a distinct need for Windows web hosting services amongst larger businesses, although individuals are always open to using Windows web hosting.

VPS Server vs. Dedicated Server

When choosing a Windows server, you will be offered the choice between Windows VPS hosting and Windows dedicated server hosting; although both are quite different, they both provide the main principle of a dedicated web hosting environment. Windows VPS servers are going to be cheaper but in a sense are still a form of shared web hosting as your VPS server is going to be hosted on a physical hardware node with other VPS servers; however, you are given the added advantage of being able to manage your server through a web control panel as well as the option to reinstall the operating system if something goes wrong. A Windows dedicated server on the other hand can provide you with a completely dedicated hosting environment that no-one else will have access to; as well as being able to make full use of the resources that you have purchased, a dedicated server is probably going to be the most stable form of web hosting available to you as you won’t be sharing with anyone else unless you explicitly wish to.

ASP Web Hosting

A Windows server can provide you with the ideal dedicated hosting environment for a website that has been developed using classic ASP or ASP.NET. As well as providing the only web server application capable of hosting scripts developed using either, IIS (Internet Information Services), a Windows server can also provide hosting for Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Access databases that are commonly used as the backends for dynamic websites that have been developed using an ASP scripting framework. Classic ASP and ASP.NET are the two most popular scripting languages to use when developing a website for hosting in a Windows environment because as they are Microsoft developments, you can be sure that the websites that you create will be able to function fully with the Windows VPS server or Windows dedicated server that you are using. On the other hand, you do need to consider that other scripting languages can also be used in a Windows hosting environment such as PHP and Ruby on Rails.

Database Hosting

Windows server hosting services can also be used for database hosting where appropriate as Windows is the only operating system capable of hosting Microsoft SQL Server databases and Microsoft Access databases. It is also a good idea to consider that MySQL Server and other database applications may also be compatible with Windows servers, although you may not necessarily have any use for these. Databases can be used for a number of different purposes and so it is likely that you’ll need to have some sort of database engine installed on your Windows server so that you are able to make the most of it. Various database engines are designed for different uses; for example a Microsoft Access database is only going to be suitable for small deployments, whereas an SQL based database engine will be more scalable and so will be ideal for use in corporate environments where high usage is going to be a common characteristic of a database server.

Hyper-V VPS Hosting

If you choose to use a Windows VPS server then you will have a virtual server that is hosted on the Hyper-V virtual machine platform, a feature that is an integral part of Windows Server 2008. As Hyper-V is part of the operating system, you can be sure that you will be offered a higher level of reliability than Virtuozzo was able to provide Windows Server 2003 VPS hosting users. Although Hyper-V can only be used for Windows Server 2008 VPS servers, it does mean that you know that you will be provided with a VPS serer that is using the most up-to-date Windows software.

If you choose to use a high-end Windows dedicated server then you are offered the option to having Hyper-V installed as part of Windows Server 2008. If you have the resources then hosting multiple virtual machines on a dedicated server can save you time and money because it allows you to consolidate the roles of several different physical machines into one physical server without compromising stability or the level of uptime that you are achieving.

In conclusion, Windows server hosting is a recommended practise if you wish to make the most of what the Windows operating system has to offer in a server hosting role. Although Windows comes at a premium with web hosting services, most businesses find a way of justifying the cost and this is usually through the benefits that applications such as Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft Sharepoint are able to bring to productivity and employee relations. You will always be able to choose between a Windows dedicated server and a Windows VPS server because users don’t always require the kind of resources that Windows dedicated servers offer, but still need that all important dedicated hosting environment.