Often when business owners think about hosting solutions, they’re operating within a website hosting mindset. This is typically what business owners are really concerned about when it comes to hosting. After all, that’s generally what people associate with hosting companies. They provide a way to put your website online so you can sell things or blog or whatever your business model is.
But, depending on your specific business, it’s not just website hosting you need to worry about. Large e-commerce sites or even large-scale informational sites have to worry about their databases as well. Any business that receives, manages, and uses huge amounts of information has to be concerned about the ability to process it all via a database. In fact, some businesses are only concerned about finding a hosting solution exclusively for their database needs. Whatever camp you happen to fall into, a managed VPS can provide you with the hosting solution you need to run your business.
You need to take your database hosting just as seriously as you would your website hosting. While poor performance and downtime have immediate, easy to see negative results on your business in the form of higher bounce rates and low sales, a database that can’t properly function is just as disruptive. You rely on having access to your information. Whether it’s an e-commerce product database or customer information, you can’t run your business without it.
Even if you aren’t running a massive “Big Data” sized database, you’re probably still going to be managing some kind of MySQL (or similar) powered database. So, what do you need to look for in a hosting solution for your database? Are you going to be hosting a website as well? Does it make sense to separate the two? Let’s take a look at hosting solutions for business owners concerned about keeping a database online.
Should you try to keep a database local?
The first thing that needs to be addressed is the idea that a database should be separate from a website. What separate really means in this instance is different servers for each. We’ll get to that concept shortly, but there is also a belief that a database can be housed locally for “security” reasons. Often, this is considered when there are concerns about certain regulatory issues or remaining in compliance with PCI or HIPAA.
A couple of points about those kinds of serious compliance issues. For one thing, the amount of resources required to be compliant would be outlandishly expensive to maintain at a local level. The sheer amount of encryption, guaranteed uptime, security measures, and more is best handled by a third party. Secondly, you’d need to find a highly specialized hosting company that is explicitly in business to provide compliant hosting. If you’re in the medical field handling EMRs, these kinds of general database hosting conservations don’t necessarily apply.
For the vast majority of business owners, they don’t need to worry about serious compliance issues. They just need to make sure their database is reliably online. Even then, local solutions are more expensive and unreliable than having your database hosted with a third party.
Is a VPS enough?
For the average business with a MySQL database that is either powering their WordPress installation or is the backbone of their e-commerce product offerings, yes, a VPS is probably powerful enough. A dedicated server really only comes into play if you were running an unusually large database that needs as many resources as possible. Or, you’re trying to run a demanding website alongside a large database on the same hardware. But, on average, a VPS will be powerful enough to meet your needs.
Interestingly, there are some who feel that at a certain point you’d be better served to split your website and database off onto two different VPSes. Some people obviously opt for this setup. For the typical business owner that probably isn’t necessarily and may offer needless complications. But, for the sake of providing information, let’s quickly look at the pros and cons of this setup.
The argument in favor of keeping the two separate but finding some way to link them is that the resources required to keep both operating at a high performing level won’t interfere with one another. So, if your site requires all the broadband, CPU power, and storage space it can get due to high traffic and complexity, not having to share all of those hardware resources with an equally demanding database would on paper benefit both sides of the operation. There is also a perceived security benefit where if a website gets compromised, for example, the database would remain untouched and recovery wouldn’t be as difficult comparatively.
Sounds reasonable enough, but the downsides are paying for two VPSes, having to worry about maintaining both, and worrying about the infrastructure and linking the two servers to one another. However, since this is such a common practice, you may find yourself in a situation where using two VPSes makes sense. In the early days of your business, this probably isn’t necessary.
Why managed hosting?
What you will want to look for is managed hosting. Managed hosting is a great feature to have when dealing with databases because it takes some of the IT concerns off you and your team. There are many benefits to managed hosting. Convenience is a leading one. You’re already worried about fulfilling your customers’ needs. Do you really want to spend time monitoring the server to ensure your database is online? Do you want to set aside one of your employees to do that? Probably not. It’s better to play to your strengths. With managed hosting, you get uptime monitoring, some security assistance, automatic backups, and peace of mind knowing that your hosting company is keeping an eye out for you.
Uptime and databases
Finally, you need a hosting solution that will keep your database connected and online as consistently as possible. That’s why it’s important to partner with a host that offers a service level agreement that guarantees 99.9% uptime. This is beneficial to every part of your business. Whether it’s your website or a business critical database, being online as close to always as possible is imperative to your success. Downtime of every kind costs businesses billions of dollars a year cumulatively. If you can’t be reached, you can’t sell anything. If your site can’t populate products or handle credit cards, that’s money going out the door. This also ties back into managed hosting. With a managed host, you can minimize downtime because any system abnormalities will be noticed. If you manage your own hosting environment, you’re responsible for finding the fixes to get back online.
When it comes to keeping your business running, you need solutions you can be confident in. After all, you’re essentially trusting another company to help keep yours functioning. That’s not something that should be taken lightly. At KnownHost, we take that responsibility seriously. That’s why we offer powerful hardware and expert customer service that you can rely on. If you’re looking for a managed VPS to power your website and database, contact us today. We’ll help you find the hosting solution you need to power your online business.