A hosting environment generally refers to the infrastructure and architecture a business uses for its website or workload management.
In website management, a hosting environment refers to the kind of network host a business uses—dedicated or shared. A dedicated host, also known as a “dedicated server” or “managed hosting service,” means leasing an entire server not shared with anyone else. The leaser thus maintains complete control of the server, including its operating system (OS), hardware, and other components. A shared host, meanwhile, hosts many websites on one Internet-connected physical web server.
In workload management, a hosting environment refers to how a company’s network is set up to make day-to-day operations seamless. It encompasses the corporate desktop, sandbox, development, data-oriented development, test, and production environments.
Read More about a Hosting Environment
Let’s tackle what a hosting environment is in the two processes mentioned above—website and workload management.
Website Management Hosting Environment
The digital age has made websites a must for all businesses that wish to thrive, not just survive. And as mentioned earlier, they can choose from two kinds of hosting environments—dedicated or shared.
How Do the Two Website Hosting Environments Differ?
Dedicated web hosts
Dedicated web hosts are more flexible in that they allow complete control on the users’ part. They are also more secure since no one can access them without the proper credentials or access levels. Given these pros, though, they are more costly to maintain as they require dedicated development and administration teams, typically employed as full-time staff. As such, they may be more ideal for large enterprises.
Shared web hosts
Shared web hosts, meanwhile, are easier to maintain as their providers take care of the clients’ hardware, software, and support requirements. They are, however, less secure since many companies may share them. But so long as their provider is reputable, they’re enough for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that may not have enough financial and human resources for dedicated hosting.
Take a closer look at the table below for their comparison.
How Do You Choose the Right Website Hosting Environment for Your Business?
Your website hosting environment should match your digital marketing goals and available resources. Consider these factors, then.
- Specialization or expertise: Choose a provider specializing in your content management system (CMS) or website software. If you’re a WordPress user, look for an expert in WordPress site hosting.
- Staging environment: Look for a provider that has a staging environment that lets you test your website or copy without affecting your live site. You should be able to test security patches, custom code, and feature updates on this environment before deploying them to the live site.
- Backups: Select a provider that provides automated and manual daily backups. That way, should problems arise, you can quickly revert to a previous working version of your site.
- Content delivery network (CDN): Choose a provider with CDN capability. That way, your website loads faster regardless of where a visitor is on the globe. A CDN distributes copies of your website in different countries or regions.
- Performance: Look for a provider with great user comments, reviews, and reputation in comparison articles. How long they’ve been in business and the sites they currently host also matter. Ensure their service is scalable to handle growth (e.g., visitor numbers) and traffic spikes (e.g., Black Friday, holiday sales, etc.).
- Cost: Select a provider whose pricing meets your budget.
Workload Management Hosting Environment
In the realm of workload management, several types of hosting environments exist, namely:
- Corporate desktop environment: The architecture that manages a business’s entire network of user clients. It determines what access level each employee should have and shared resources they can access and use to perform their jobs.
- Sandbox environment: It can only be accessed by employees with significant administrative access to modify, maintain, and update a network’s components if needed. It is not connected to the internal network, services, and data.
- Development environment: It is an extension of the corporate desktop environment that lets developers carry out tasks that typical corporate desktops can’t handle.
- Data-oriented development environment: It is a mix of the development and production environments specifically for data scientists and data engineers to develop and perform tasks requiring access to production data.
- Test environment: It is where network configuration changes are validated before they are implemented in the production environment. It is secured and managed like the production environment, so tests are performed in a production-like environment, and issues are detected before release.
- Production environment: It is a highly secured, formally managed hosting environment where the production data and workloads reside.
- A hosting environment generally refers to the infrastructure and architecture a business uses for its website or workload management.
- In website management, a hosting environment can be dedicated or shared.
- In workload management, a hosting environment encompasses the corporate desktop, sandbox, development, data-oriented development, test, and production environments.