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Web Hosting - Terminology
Published: Monday, November 24, 2003


Bandwidth (Data Transfer)

Bandwidth or data transfer is the measure of the traffic generated from your website. It is measured in bytes, kilo bytes (KB), mega bytes (MB) or giga bytes (GB). If a website delivers 100,000 pages each month with average page file size of 20 KB, the bandwidth per month will be 2 GB. Almost 80% of websites on the internet uses less than 5 GB of bandwidth per month.

CGI Bin

This is a directory on the webserver space where the CGI (Common Gateway Interface) executable code is placed. The CGI bin directory is kept secure from the internet users by allowing specific permission, so that malicious user or hacker cannot run any program by accessing that directory.

Control Panel

A control panel helps a webmaster to easily access the settings, tools, utilities provided by the web host via a user friendly interface. With the click of a mouse, he can administer the web space, domain names, e-mail accounts, directories, cgi-bin (program script storage area) and all the special features offered, including site statistics and shopping carts.

Colocation Servers

Colocation servers are servers owned by the customer, but located at the hosting company's data center. These servers are connected to the network backbone of the hosting company. The customer pays for the bandwidth, power supply and the physical server space. Since the customer owns the hardware, if any component needs to be replaced, the customer has to pay for it.

Dedicated Servers

Dedicated servers are web servers owned by the hosting company, but leased by only one customer. The hosting company is responsible for hardware and software failures. The customer usually has full control over the server and has the ability to configure it to his needs.

Disk Space

Disk space is the amount of space that is provided on the web server to hold the website's content. It is measured in bytes, kilo bytes (KB), mega bytes (MB) or giga bytes (GB).

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

FTP is a method of uploading or downloading files to or from a remote computer. The remote computer acts as an FTP server, whereas the local (home) computer is a FTP client. FTP is very commonly used to upload the web pages to a remotely located web server.

Virtual Hosting

Virtual hosting is a shared hosting concept where multiple customers lease the same web server for hosting their websites. In a virtual hosting environment, the server resources (CPU, memory and disk space) is shared by all the customers. Usually monitoring for the allocation of resources is possible in case of memory and disk space, however, it is difficult to track CPU utilization by each customer. Therefore, if one website consumes 50% CPU, all other website on that virtual server will suffer.
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