Web hosting has always been complex. However, modern hosting options have complicated things even further. In particular, it can be difficult to understand shared hosting options and the processes which run within them. A good example can be found with PHP Web hosting. The simplest example of this in action is a standard dedicated server. This is one computer which runs a PHP interpreter. The interpreter listens for a call from an outsider user, creates a process, communicates with the local database, and then sends out the results to the Web server on the machine. This is a fairly large amount of communication between processes. However, shared servers can further complicate the situation.
On a shared server, this is all still taking place. However, the server itself is a computer program rather than a dedicated piece of hardware. Each of these visualized instances within the larger hardware is also running the vast amount of services which come from loading a page that uses PHP. And this is where one can see the benefits and issues which come from the different hosting options.
With a shared server, the most immediate benefit comes down to cost. Use of a dedicated server means that one needs to pay for the entire machine. Whether one is paying a monthly fee, or purchasing the machine, it’s going to come out to a larger amount of money. Of course this is also where the benefit of dedicated hosting comes in.
Shared hosting comes at a lower price, however it’s also sharing resources. Even light use of resources can become significant when repeated. And with PHP processes on a shared server, this growth occurs on an exponential basis. Multiple PHP based services running on a shared server can ramp up to some rather intimidating levels.
The other aspect of shared services which needs to be considered is the single machine it’s running on. Multiple shared servers running on the hardware can build up resource usage on the service which creates the virtualization. This heavy use can end up crashing the virtualization. In turn, this means there’s always a possibility that one virtualized server running on a shared host can take down every other shared server within it.Read More