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How to select hosting for highload web site

Lack of resources caused by the growing load on the IT system and working at maximum capacity can lead to hardware failure. High loads on the IT infrastructure slow down the work, taking over all server resources.  As a result, system performance drops, connections are dropped, issues cannot be solved by standard means, and as a consequence, the business starts to incur losses.

How to choose hosting for a highload web site

You can prevent such a scenario by optimizing your infrastructure and moving your highly loaded project to a secure corporate highload hosting. Despite the large number of offers from providers on the market, it is necessary to take into account many technical details and required functionality.


It is important not only to focus on the pricing policy, but also to select a dedicated hosting server for a highly loaded web site in accordance with business goals. To facilitate the task of selecting a provider, we have studied the rating of secure hosting and identified the key criteria that should be paid attention to. Download the checklist here.

Loads that are demanding on server resources

Loads that are demanding on server resourcesIt makes sense to think about buying secure hosting on a virtual server if more than threefold spikes in traffic and resource-intensive requests are recorded. Also, the load increases when performing the following actions:

  • caching;
  • analysis of database queries;
  • processing scheduled jobs for the data bus;
  • reading and writing logs from databases, applications, and web servers;
  • disk operations with large file sizes, etc.

In the case of server slowdown when performing the above actions, you can solve this issue by purchasing hosting on a dedicated server with parameters that will ensure the stability of websites, security, and high response speed. To do this, you should select a powerful server with the optimal configuration and the necessary set of services in the data center, as well as take into account the hidden factors that affect the efficiency of work.

When selecting a powerful, high-speed hosting, it is important to select a technology stack offered by the provider, designed specifically to work with highload sites. For example, it should include tools for monitoring failures and malfunctions, automated server hardware configuration management, database load analysis tools, SQL query optimization, prioritization utilities, specialized software for interactive SVG visualization, etc.

Olga Boujanova

When you select safe and high-performance dedicated hosting for websites and applications, and for corporate use, it makes sense to opt for a physical server.

Why Dedicated is indispensable for hosting highload servers

Hosting resource-intensive sites on a physical server is recommended in the following cases:

  • strict requirements for performance, full access to computing resources (processors, memory, network interfaces), minimal delay in processing requests;
  • maximum control, flexibility of settings;
  • high multi-level protection against threats.

Hosting on a physical server allows you to use custom solutions for fault tolerance, clustering, geo-distribution across different data centers, backup creation, etc. You can rent an entire physical server in a data center and place your operating and file systems, software, on it.

  • Customization is often an important factor for high-load projects. Increased resource requirements often demand availability of component replacement, use of external or physical buckets, and connection of additional network hardware to meet the customer’s needs. Preferred service providers are those who are customer-oriented and offer flexible solutions tailored to individual requirements.
  • The location of the data center offering dedicated server hosting in Europe should be within the boundaries of a single cluster of a huge communication hub. This is a prerequisite to protect projects that utilize complex computing from any disruptions and smooth out peak loads.
  • Isolation of resources. This is the most private hosting option, optimal for large-scale projects. At clients’ request, hardware is placed in locked or dynamic pin-coded cabinets, which cannot be accessed without the owner’s permission. The client configures virtualization, security, and software systems independently, working remotely with the KVM console and control panel.

Renting a powerful server hosting in a data center allows you to get access to modern technical solutions with a minimum of investment.

In the data center you can not only rent a server, but also use colocation services: migrating client hardware to the data center. Such service is in demand for highload projects and productive hosting.

Operating their own servers allows clients to maximize control over hardware and software components, operating resources within corporate standards. In this case, it is necessary to pay attention to the extent to which data center administrators are ready to provide free assistance, relieving the client of concerns about infrastructure migration and logistics, paperwork, deployment and maintenance of hardware.

A powerful website on a physical server always requires significant hardware, management and maintenance costs, but provides more computing resources and predictable performance. If this option is not suitable, you can try hosting on VDS.

Is it possible to use VDS for highload servers?

Placing highload websites on a separate virtual machine, isolated from others and with guaranteed virtual resources, is a compromise and cost-effective solution when performance and website load requirements are secondary to financial constraints.

Virtual dedicated hosting on a virtual dedicated server for resource-intensive websites is acceptable only with a powerful disk subsystem and guaranteed dedicated cores (in this case, Xeon is better than AMD).

Virtual servers are usually more affordable in terms of cost because they share a physical server with other virtual machines.

  • All hardware resources are assigned to a specific project, and virtualization technologies such as Hyper-V, VMware, Oracle, KVM, Proxmox VE, Xen, etc. are used.
  • Only the server owner has access to the file system and files, all data is isolated, thus ensuring security and privacy.
  • Fast scaling during peak loads, as well as the ability to temporarily change performance for resource-intensive tasks.
  • Deployment and maintenance is provided by administrators on the provider’s side.

If it is necessary to build an IT infrastructure including continuously working servers in the provider’s external and internal network, it is possible to rent several VDS servers. System administrators and engineers of the provider offer services for deployment and maintenance of real dedicated servers on the basis of virtual hosting.

Dedicated cloud is provided by IaaS providers in secure loops and with physical isolation of hardware, which makes competition for resources impossible and mitigates vulnerability risks through guest OSes. Hybrid solutions include both hosting server infrastructure in the cloud and on hardware. The performance of VDS is always lower than that of a physical server. Therefore, before placing a highload website on a separate virtual machine, it is necessary to analyze the requirements for the project and financial capabilities.

How to select hosting for highload web sites

First of all, it is necessary to determine the maximum level of possible loads.

  • For example, if they are not explicitly expressed, you can select hosting on a virtual secured server with the ability to quickly scale during peak times.
  • For periodic high loads, it is better to purchase a VDS cluster with dynamic scaling service.
  • For applications that are highly loaded for a significant period of time, it is better to create a cluster of physical servers so that they can be scaled horizontally, eliminating the overhead during virtualization.

How to select hosting for highload web sites

After selecting the option of hosting for corporate data, mail, web applications, it is necessary to clarify a number of other issues with the provider.

  • Internet bandwidth. It is better to select a service provider that does not limit incoming and outgoing traffic, providing a connection with a fixed speed.
  • Service support. This item is important for clients who place their own hosting hardware in a data center. Not all data centers are ready to assume warranty obligations for server maintenance (including the colocation model).
  • Cost of hosting. The contract can be concluded not only on general terms, but also at the client’s request. If the contract with the data center is concluded for a long period of time, additional preferences are possible, such as freezing of prices for colocation and service maintenance. The more transparent the financial policy, the better.
  • Provision of account manager for maintenance of resource-intensive servers and projects.
  • Administration of highload hosting by both in-house specialists of the provider and highly specialized engineers from the client’s side. The efficiency of service depends on the experience of the team. A definite plus if the team worked with cases involving support of resource-intensive IT infrastructure, for example, 200-400 servers.
  • Technical support of the hosting. The provider’s administrators are on call 24/7/365 and are able to find a solution to any issue related to dedicated hosting in particular and IT infrastructure in general.

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In addition to the involvement of data center specialists, the practice of outsourcing part of managed services is also applied. In some non-standard situations, data center specialists can take over the fourth level of technical support, interacting directly with developers and hardware vendors to solve client issues.

To make it easier to select a provider offering dedicated server hosting services for highload applications and projects, we have analyzed more than 20 offers from large data centers in the European market. The list of important criteria is fixed in the checklist, which we offer for free download.

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Olga Boujanova

cloud technology expert
and a business development consultant

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