An Internet hosting service is a service that runs Internet servers, allowing organizations and individuals to serve content to the Internet. There are various levels of service and various kinds of services offered.
A common kind of hosting is web hosting. Most hosting providers offer a combined variety of services. Web hosting services also offer e-mail hosting service, for example. DNS hosting service is usually bundled with domain name registration.
Web hosting technology has been causing some controversy lately as Web.com claims that it holds patent rights to some common hosting technologies, including the use of a web-based control panel to manage the hosting service, with its 19 patents. Hostopia, a large wholesale host, recently purchased a license to use that technology from web.com for 10% of retail revenues. Web.com recently sued Go Daddy as well for similar patent infringement .
Generic, yet rather powerful, kinds of Internet hosting provide a server where the clients can run anything they want (including web servers and other servers) and have Internet connections with good upstream bandwidth.
Full-featured hosting services include:
- Dedicated hosting service, also called managed hosting service, where the hosting service provider owns and manages the machine, leasing full control to the client. Management of the server can include monitoring to ensure the server continues to work effectively, backup services, installation of security patches and various levels of technical support.
- Virtual private server, in which virtualization technology is employed in order to allow multiple logical servers to run on a single physical server
- Colocation facilities, which provide just the Internet connection, uninterruptible power and climate control, but let the client do his own system administration; the most expensive