Hosting Content, Web, and Data

If your company is just a web page, then the concept of hosting might seem simple: pick a good web hosting provider, set up your pages, and be done with it. For larger companies, hosting is much more complex. It is not only about hosting a web site, but also hosting applications, data, and even content for public availability, separate from your web site.

For high volume websites that distribute large chunks of contents, such as video or high resolution images, companies will often outsource to a Content Distribution Network (CDN), such as Akamai, which replicates data from your website on servers distributed across the major internet service providers. A user connecting to your site receives a home page that is customized so that links to your large content lead to the content being loaded directly from a server closer to the user. This reduces the bandwidth requirements in the core of the network, and on the inbound links to the ISP's, as well as to your primary web site. It also can reduces latency for the user, providing a better user experience.