A virtual hosting service is a type of web hosting service where you have one web server connected to the internet, with many websites. It is also widely known as shared web hosting service. Every website is placed in appropriate category in the server in order to keep it separate from other sites.
Since many users share the hosting service, it must include a system administration. The users who do not intend to deal with it have more benefit than the power users who face hindrances in order to gain more control. The shared web hosting services are not beneficial to those who require an extensive development in software outside the support of the hosting provider. Shared hosting is more economical than the dedicated server hosting.
A web based control panel system is used by shared hosting such as DirectAdmin, Ensim, Plesk, cPanel, Helm, Sphera, InterWorx and H sphere or any other products of control panel. Recently, some controversy has been caused by web interfaces and control panels as Web.com has claimed itself to hold patent rights for 19 patents to the hosting technology. A large wholesale host named Hostopia has recently purchased a license for using this technology for 10% of retail revenues from web.com, abtinfo.net has been recently sued by web.com for a similar infringement of patent.
In shared hosting, Technical support, server software installation, server management, security updates and other services are the responsibility of the provider. The Linux Operating system forms the base of the majority of servers. The software bundle LAMP is driven by the open source software of low cost. FreeBSD based or Microsoft Windows based solutions are also provided by some providers. An example of this is Ensim and Plesk control panels that are available for both operating systems, Windows and Linux. The version for either operating system has similar functions and interfaces. The main exception is the OS specific differences. For instance, the Microsoft SQL server or ASP.NET support under Windows has a greater stability and security under Linux.
Two basics types of shared/virtual web hosting service:
There are two ways of using shared web hosting services: IP based and name based.
IP based: Each virtual host has different IP address in IP based virtual hosting or dedicated IP hosting. The web server is configured with virtual network interfaces or multiple physical network interfaces on the same physical interface. The IP address of the client is used by the web server software in order to determine the website to be shown to the user.
Name Based: In shared IP hosting or name based virtual hosting; multiple hostnames on the single machine are served by the virtual hosts with a single IP address.
Thousands of shared hosting providers are from United States alone. They range from small design firms to million dollar providers with thousands of customers. Affiliate programs and PPC or pay per click advertising drives a large portion of market of the shared web hosting.