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Web site hosting (internal vs. external)

Posted on 2006-07-05
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Last Modified: 2013-12-24
Currently we host our corporate web site, without any issues.  We are however expanding to other countries and with a new web site planned for later this year I wanted to get some pros and cons for hosting our own web site.

We currently have locations in the UK, Poland, Germany, Dubai, and India.  The company is talking about opening offices in the far east and Russia, yes those languages will be supported on the site.

We currently have the connection and hardware in place to host the new site.

My thought is we have 2 options;
Continue to host the site
Have the site hosted by someone.

My main concerns are access from these remote countries, the web site must be accessiable to all.
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Question by:yortb
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John-Bayles earned 84 total points
ID: 17049160
Well even if the website is hosted locally it shouldnt make any difference if browsef from overseas!

Own Hosting
You have fast access to update your site
You have to worry about server and backups
Expensive

External:
Dont have too worry if the servers goes
Dont have to worry about backup
Less accessible
Less expersive...dont have to pay for high amounts of internet, server maintenance,
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by:Julian Matz
Julian Matz earned 83 total points
ID: 17051974
With all the major carriers linked up across the world, I don't think accessibility should be much of a problem, as long as you're using the proper hardware and bandwidth carriers, but then again it also depends on the amount of traffic you'll be getting.

As far as I know, it also helps to have the same TLD on your nameservers as the domains hosted on them.
For example: example.de should be hosted on ns1.nameserver.de (same TLD).
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by:periwinkle
periwinkle earned 83 total points
ID: 17218144
Here's an answer I often give to my clients who are thinking about hosting inhouse versus using a dedicated server;  much of the discussion that applies there also applies to you, although I suspect that you have more than a DSL line, and probably have some system administration skills inhouse :)

You have a number of options:

(1) You can host inhouse
(2) You can host on a shared server
(3) You can host on a dedicated server
(4) You can host on a colocated server

While it may appear 'cost effective' to house inhouse, some of the disadvantages of (1) include:

. You must maintain Hardware
. You must provide all security, redundancy, etc.
. It could be a legal liability if your server is broken into and used to hack or spam other servers.
. If you have ADSL (asynchronous DSL), your download rate is much faster than your outgoing rate, and your hardware will appear very slow.

Let me explain why I usually recommend to recommend to people that they use a dedicated server over an inhouse server - this will help illuminate the problems with inhouse hosting.

A dedicated server solution is similar to a co-located solution where a server sits on another person's network, but for a dedicated server (sometimes known as a managed server), the server hardware is leased to you, and 100% maintained by the data center.  Coloction will provide you with similar features - see the notes at the end.

 A dedicated server will give you:

*  Security.  Dedicated servers are most often located in a locked down facility (your cost: uncertain!)  that specializes only in dedicated servers, and that is monitored 24/7/365 (your cost: sleep, or the cost of employees).  Most likely, only server farm administrators are allowed in the area that houses your server.  The server farm will have hardware and software firewalls in place (your cost: > $300), and will monitor against hackers and other drains of unusual bandwidth (your cost: once again, sleep!)

*  Reliability.  The server farm places each server on a UPS (your cost: $200 - $1000 and up, depending upon the number and quality), may be located on multiple power grids (! I have no idea of the cost!) and often has an emergency power generator in case of power outages (I would expect this to cost $1000 and up, depending upon the size of the generator).

*Bandwidth and Redundancy.  The server farm is located with high speed direct connections  (usually T1, DC3, OC3, etc.) to multiple backbones on the Internet - if one of the main routers at Sprintlink.com goes down, your service is rerouted transparently. (Your cost: it varies, although smaller ISPs that I've talked to that only have 2 or 3  links report monthly  costs of > $10,000).

* Fully outsourced hardware support.  The hardware and network are monitored and maintained by server farm staff (your cost: cost of initial server hardware, support and maintenance contract, plus hourly rates to get things replaced and/or fixed)

*  Scalability.  The server is easily upgraded to meet increased usage needs, from both a software and a hardware point of view. Components often cost less to add (as the server farm will buy in bulk) than it will to add to your own server, not to mention the hours of labor incurred.

If you bought and co-located your own server, you'll still have a rental fee (often similar in price to the dedicated server lease costs).   You also lose the outsourced hardware support advantage, and sometimes there are actually tax advantages to leasing over owning.  Generally, the cost of buying a large pipe to your facility usually cannot be justified, until you are running a facility with a good sized support staff.

I would still recommend colocation over hosting inhouse - you gain most of the advantages of the dedicated server, but be prepared - if your hardware goes down, it will stay down until you fix it!

Finally - you haven't mentioned how sharp your system administration skills are.  The responsibility of having your own server means that you need to keep up on all the latest security patches, and understand fully what you have opened to the internet.  Depending upon your skill set, you might be better off securing good shared hosting that allows you to resell accounts, and leave the security issues to the sys admins at the facility.
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Author Comment

by:yortb
ID: 17385232
We have been working with a Web Developer and have changed the scope of work.  In addition to a new web site it looks like we will also be including an Extranet site.  This will allow us to setup access to select clients.  While the extranet is an add on to the original scope I would like to know if that changes any of responses.
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