Obamacare : Hosting Lesson
The United States might be divided on the issue of Obamacare, but it's here. On the day the program launched, Americans headed to the online marketplace to research plans they qualified for, or sign up for a plan.
However, the volume of users logging in at once led to outages galore. Healthcare.gov dedicated servers were overloaded due to the immense amount of traffic, leaving frustrated consumers scratching their heads and national healthcare opponents saying “told you so.”
Obamacare issue teaches all businesses trying to launch a website an important lesson. It is imperative you entertain the possibility of a high volume of traffic visiting your shared hosting website and ask yourself, “Is this a possibility, and can the servers handle that?”
Basically, if you don't want to end up like the Obamacare site on launch day, you need to decide if there is a possibility of site overload. If it is possible, even in the most remote way, you'll want to steer clear of certain hosting options.
Let's break down two hosting scenarios that seem similar but are actually completely different, so you can see which is better for your website.
Obamacare Hosting Options:
Most cheap hosting companies will provide this type of hosting to customers. You pay a monthly rate in order to rent space on a server that is shared with many other websites. So if your site gets a sudden spike in traffic, you're affecting not only your own site, but the other sites that share your server. The same can happen to your site if one of those other sites receives a high volume of traffic. If you determine there is a risk of a spike in your traffic, you should probably consider renting out a dedicated server. It can be on-site or off-site in your provider's data center, but it is a good option to ensure others' sites don't cause yours to go dark. The problem: it can be costly, so it isn't always the best option to start out with
This is similar to shared hosting, except with a twist. You pay to rent space on a server, but this space has been partitioned off from the rest. It is more like a server made up of smaller servers. Hence the name “virtual private server.” If you want cloud hosting, VPS is a great option for many reasons. It is more reliable than shared hosting, and extremely scalable so it's great for the growing website.
Do you see why VPS hosting is the way to go? It is cheaper than dedicated hosting because you don't need to pay for an entire server. However, it's a smarter option than shared hosting due to its reliability. As long as you stay on top of traffic, you can re-partition the server whenever you need to.
Just about every website starts as shared hosting (unless you're a large company with your own in-house data center, or you expect a high amount of traffic from the outset.) However, as you grow, it is wise to switch to a more reliable hosting method.
You would think that the designers of Healthcare .gov would have assumed the site would receive a high amount of traffic when they were building it, assuring their servers could handle the load! Guess not!
What's your hosting environment? Thinking of switching anytime soon?