What is Database Hosting?


Database hosting providers deliver services that enable you to run data and database-intensive applications. The underlying server can either be exclusively used for databases or other applications such as a website, all of which depend on your requirements. This type of hosting is particularly useful for clients with a need to run programs such as CRM (Customer Relation Management) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software or custom-built applications. Because they typically require more memory, customers often turn to database hosting solutions to increase the speed and reliability of their applications.

The Benefits of Database Hosting

A database server is an intriguing piece of software as it has the ability to store tons of information. Unlike the average web server application, this type of server stores information in tables, which consists of columns and rows. Through the use of a database, users can get the information they need in a matter of minutes. For example, Google aims to keep its online searches below a half a second, all made possible by the more 3 trillion pages in its extensive database. What makes a database such a good source of retrieval is that it mainly pulls data out of memory opposed to a hard disk drive, something it does up to 10 times faster. Since the database is the core of the entire application, it tends to have more RAM and therefore, functions much faster than the typical web server.

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Downside of Database Hosting

Similar to the software application side of a dedicated server, a database server calls for heavy administration. For this reason, it may be a good idea to go with a managed service if you lack the experience this type of hosting requires. A managed service will get you a package where the hosting provider handles some or even all of the database server administration on your behalf. These services generally range from simple management operations to more demanding tasks such as system security patching. If your plans call for a complete database server but you do not have time or skill needed to maintain it, you might be interested in a managed solution or at least one that allows you to purchase some sort of service upgrades to ease the pain of administration.

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Do You Really Need Database Hosting?

While there are tremendous benefits involved, database hosting is not made for everyone. For example, if you simply have a need to run a small online business with shopping carts and other e-commerce features, you can probably get by with a normal web hosting package that provides you with access to multiple databases opposed to the entire server. It is imperative to keep in mind that there are significant differences between database hosting and simply having access to one, or even multiple databases. In this type of arrangement, the database system is the most essential element of the entire application as this is where all the processing is handled. True, there are similarities, but the MySQL database server is an entirely different animal than the Apache web server.

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