If air travel and the television shrunk the world, the Internet has for all practical purposes gathered businesses across the planet into one office. The click of a mouse can connect a businessman in Tokyo with his client in New York, London or Paris; he can send files, images, audio and video all over the globe in an instant. He will also have a website which will allow clients to browse his range of products and services, send messages, order and pay for goods and services online, and even leave feedback. His physical whereabouts, and those of his head office, matter not at all, apart from the actual delivery of ordered goods.
The same can be said of business web hosting companies, who provide the means for the Tokyo businessman to publish his website, by way of their servers and operating systems, saving him the trouble of having to have a department devoted to this function. While many businesses might think it obvious to seek a web hosting provider in the same country or even the same city as themselves, this idea is growing increasingly irrelevant. Many providers have offices in multiple countries, not really being based in any one location. They may also have employees in many locations working from home, or be completely online companies with a token registered address but no real head office at all. This may cause concern to a prospective user hoping to rent business web hosting, but should not be a genuine worry. The need to have a customer support office at least based near your own company premises is also obsolete, as support by email or messaging can work as well as support by telephone.
Whatever your situation or location, web hosting is the most efficient way for a company to publish their website, which in turn is the best and most modern way to get goods, services and company pledges under the eye of the prospective customer, communicate with him and accept orders, payment and feedback.
Web hosting requirements for each company will vary widely, from small businesses who may be content to use free web hosting with its limitations and onscreen advertising, to multinational giants like eBay and Amazon, who have their websites hosted in multiple data centers on different continents. Thus if one data center fails the users on the site are automatically – and invisibly to them – redirected to another server on another site.
With such large multinationals the underlying database is used on large business sites or replicated continuously across data centers so that if one data center suffers a catastrophic failure or data loss an up-to-date copy of the database will survive in the other data centers. Multi-hosting is always implemented on different continents for large multinational companies, and business web hosting centers are designed to deliver “five nines” – reliability, meaning that they provide access to the website 99.999% of the time. Cluster hosting, which is used by larger companies who need more bandwidth and reliable access for their customers, can deliver 100% uptime by using several servers to host the same website.