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Virtual Hosting Concepts – Multi-Tenanted Hosting

What is Multi-Tenanted Hosting?

Hosting has its own challenges and two types of hosting can be more challenging than most. These are web-hosting and containerized hosting. True virtualization (HVM) totally isolates the VM from the environment. The Hypervisor has only one function – to emulate a hardware platform for every VM.

Multi-tenanted hosting is where multiple tenants share certain common resources such as Applications (Web Server, Database. DNS server. etc) or libraries and system kernel (the way Docker or OpenVZ does).

When done right, multi-tenanted hosting is great. It is faster and more efficient than full virtualization and usually also cheaper for the clients. Each client is limited to a percentage of the total resources.

On some systems, you can set up a service priority or QoS system. This means that if total resource usage is low, a single VM can access all the available resources. When resources are being highly used, the same VM will be throttled back to use only their allocated resources.

Some clients, however, get confused by this and wonder what happened to their performance. This is why many hosting providers rather provide a “buffered” QOS which gives you a bit more when available, but not all.

What can go wrong?

When done wrong it can go very wrong…

If not planned and configured properly, a single client can take the whole server down. This causes inconvenience and loss of revenue to the clients and the hosting provider. This is why many hosting providers are also very strict on any form of resource abuse.

If a VM is found spamming or hosting pirated content and streaming or redistributing this content, hosting providers will shut down the service first and ask questions later. This is because many copyright and anti-abuse laws will hold the hosting provider at least partially responsible, especially if they have been warned.

The other reason is that hosting providers like HOSTAFRICA also try to keep a fair balance so that all users get a good service. Any VM owner who causes a service issue with other VM’s will be shut down and warned. Some service providers will refund the guilty party their hosting fee, but not all do.

If you plan on starting up a VM, keep your passwords secure and access to your VM to a minimum so that you do not accidentally become a spam host or a VPN endpoint for criminal activity.

Check your traffic and CPU/Memory usage on a regular basis and learn the patterns of your server so that you can spot any unusual activity.

Happy Hosting!

The Author

Michael O.

Michael is the founder, managing director, and CEO of HOSTAFRICA. He studied at Friedrich Schiller University Jena and was inspired by Cape Town's beauty to bring his German expertise to Africa. Before HOSTAFRICA, Michael was the Managing Director of Deutsche Börse Cloud Exchange AG, one of Germany's largest virtual server providers.

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