Overview
Sometimes, the databases can grow so huge that they need to be hosted separately to maintain data security and also to isolate the precious data from the buggy applications hosted on a common web server. Depending upon your requirements, you can pick the kind of database hosting service you’re databasesinterested in. For instance, you’re looking for an Oracle database web hosting specifically, then it is always a good idea to pick a database hosting service provider that has been in the same field for long enough, and understands in and out of Oracle database hosting.

How is it different from Normal Web Hosting?
At first, you may be carried away with the notion that database hosting is done just to ensure that the database is hosted separately and it is quite similar to ordinary web hosting. But, in reality there are hundreds of consideration that are crucial in database hosting, and such concerns are never observed in case of normal shared web hosting.

First of all, whenever somebody opts for database hosting services, it is quite obvious that the nature of data that is stored in the databases in complicated enough and the quantity of course is massive. Moreover, heavy database queries usually eat up lot of bandwidth and even the usual 500GB bandwidth is not going to enough in most case. Therefore, database hosts usually offer minimum 2-3TB bandwidth and very high uptime guarantee.

Top Consideration in Selecting Database Hosting Service
Unlike the normal shared web hosting, database hosting services demand few specific things like higher levels of reliability, but above all, database hosting services always requires extremely proficient tech support team.  Remember, if the technical support team of your host can’t fix your problems quickly enough, all the queries executed on the database will fail and in turn the website(s), applications and other dependant things will get affected adversely. However, the worst part of the story is that even a basic Wordpress blog ceases to work to due to lack of database connectivity. If the database is down for some reason, you’ll see error messages like “error establishing database connectivity”, even if your website is perfectly alright, but just the database is facing downtime.

Database uses
This is a schematic about the way the databases are working. As you can see, each web visitor makes a hit to a website, and then the web server is making a call to the database that is used to host images and text for the specific website. Commercial database hosting is fundamental for large portals and ecommerce sites that require high uptime, availability and safety.

A good database hosting service provider must ensure that the database supports all the latest technological developments like MS-Access, Active Server Pages (ASP), FoxPro, Cold Fusion, Paradox, dBASE, FoxBase and Excel  You can always find interactive web database hosting at affordable prices, but your top priority must be higher uptimes and a host with an extremely capable tech support team that can efficient handle all your queries within few hours, (or preferably minutes) and get your out of trouble even before you can sense it.

Individual Needs
Some of the users may require database hosting of only specific databases such as Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle or MySQL. In such cases, it is always a good idea to look out for specific database web hosts that support the concerned database with maximum level of proficiency.

While most of the customers opt for database hosting package because their business requires handling of hundreds of databases with loads of information, some of the customers don’t get the basic database hosting option with their basic level hosting package and are forced to opt for additional database hosting services.

Therefore, the individual database hosting needs tend to differ greatly and those who just need a cheap database hosting solution need not really worry about aspects like high uptime, and additional features, because they have most likely got all the necessary things with their hosting package.

Specific Needs

If you’ve any misconceptions regarding database hosting that a database can only consists of relevant text information, then you should give it a second thought. If you think all the databases contain only alphanumeric data, then you’re completely wrong on this one. A database can be collection of passwords, text, articles, pictures, video files, music files and even sophisticated things like Ads or confidential data like encrypted data like Credit Card numbers, passwords and lot more.

How database hosting works


Sources of Problems
Insufficient Storage Space: Remember, if the size of your database grows as big as the size of the storage space offered by your database hosting provider, there could be several faults and your site may cease to work, during to shortage of storage space. Rightly guessed, it could turn into a permanent problem because the size of your database will only grow bigger. Hence, it is essential that your host offers you plenty of database hosting space, so that you don’t suffer a similar fate.

Low Bandwidth: Of course every single query executed on your database is going to hamper your bandwidth and unless you’ve very high bandwidth you could be asking for trouble. Remember, the complex queries can eat up a big chunk of your bandwidth and repeated execution of such complex queries that fetch thousands of results will mean that you’ll require bandwidth in Terabytes like rather Gigabytes.

Types of Database Storage Structure

The database storage structure may not make any difference apparently, but at the end of the day, it is going to make hell a lot of difference because the best database storage structure will ensure minimum level of fault and reduce the possibility of facing problems.

Flat-File Databases: These are the simplex database storage structures and are popular used in storing databases of small size and low levels of complexity. They usually contain only single record per line, that too with basic text information.

B-Tree and B+ Trees: B+ Trees are one of the most commonly used storage structures, which are also made use of in ReiserFS, XFS and NTFS.  B+ Trees are extension of B-trees and are also used as data structures in MySQL and PostgreSQL databases.

Heaps: Heaps are a bit advanced than flat file databases and usually good for storing data that needs to be frequently sorted. They’re never used for storing media files, or any other type of information, because heaps are ideal for storing data that needs to be frequently sorted.

ISAM: Developed by IBM, the ISAM is the backbone of MySQL storage engine. It is also extremely popular, though not as popular as the B+ trees. This database storage structure ensures faster search times.

Other Considerations
When you opt for database hosting you must never forget that it is extremely to tough to maintain databases manually, and you badly need MySQL database wizard. Even if your database host is not providing it by default, you should ensure that you avail this service – paying another couple of extra dollars is definitely worth it, rather than facing the pain of managing database manually.

As a matter of fact, it is next to impossible for a non-techie person to maintain a database manually. Even the tech geeks have a hard time in managing things manually. Moreover, you must also look for a hosting package that gives you PHPAdmin access so that you may be able to get access to everything right from website files, PHPAdmin down to databases.

In a Nutshell
Database hosting usually involves many concerns, which must not be ignored At the same time, it is extremely tough to find everything you want in a particular database hosting. Hence, you’ll have to settle for a trade-off somehow and pick whatever is more important in your opinion. Ideally the best database hosting provider ensures that you get 99.9% uptime in reality, and that there are no technical issues from their side. As far as your role in concerned, you must monitor that the data hosted is totally safe and that there are very low chances that you’ll lose any form of data. Furthermore, daily back-ups are extremely crucial in case of database hosting, because loss of even couple of rows of data can cause everything to get corrupted.

Last but definitely not the least; good tech support is one of the most important things that must be on top of your priority list, while selecting a database hosting solution provider. Remember, the chances are high that you face an awkward database problem some fine day that you may be unable resolve on your own. In such cases, the tech support team of your database web hosting provider would be your best bet. But, you don’t want to wait for days together to seek resolution, do you? Usually, it is a good idea only to pick database hosts that have been known to be the best in business, because trying your luck with a new database hosting provider may not be worth the pain. Sure thing, it may help you in saving few dollars every year, but unless you’re confident enough that you can fix up all kinds of database issues, you must never try doing so.

See more:
A collection of articles about each type of database

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