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What Unlimited Linux Web Hosting Really Offers You

Updated on January 26, 2012
A Linux web server can be shared between many different hosting accounts which allows maintenance costs to be low and hosting companies to offer unlimited resources.
A Linux web server can be shared between many different hosting accounts which allows maintenance costs to be low and hosting companies to offer unlimited resources.

A huge number of companies are now competing for business, and in order to get a portion of that business, some of them are now offering what they call unlimited web hosting services on Linux servers. There are many cases in which using these kinds of services can actually be a very good deal for an individual or a company, but it is important to understand what you are getting for your money.

Unlimited Really Isn't

If you stop to think about it for a moment, it will be clear that these unlimited Linux web hosting services can't possibly be completely unlimited. The simple fact is that no company is in possession of infinite resources that they can make available on demand at any given moment. In fact, some of the largest and richest companies and organizations in the world have been subjected to Denial Of Service attacks that amounted to a huge number of computers attempting to access their servers all at once. Even with their tremendous monetary resources, under such a deluge of traffic the responsiveness of their servers is noticeably affected.

What you really get when you sign up for unlimited hosting services, is a service where the company is assuring you that they won't cut you off when you hit some designated cap. For the needs of the typical person or business setting up a site, the capacity being offered is large enough that they will never need so much that they notice any deterioration in performance.

Performance Guarantees

It is important to have a clear understanding of whether the provider of unlimited Linux web hosting services is offering any specific service guarantees. This kind of service is typically provided by having a certain quantity of resources, and then selling more than that quantity. This works from a business perspective because the vast majority of customers are using less than their allocation at any given time.

This model means that there are times when one customer can affect others. For example, if there is someone hosted on the same server that becomes a major news item and suddenly receives a huge amount of traffic, their spike in bandwidth use will cut into what is available to others and may degrade their performance. In some cases, but not all, companies offering something like unlimited Linux web hosting services will include a minimum service guarantee that sets a bare minimum resource level that they assure the customer will always be available to them no matter what else may be going on.

The important thing to understand about unlimited web hosting services, is that they can not truly offer completely unlimited service. What they can offer, however, is access to enough resources that it is extremely unlikely that the typical site owner will ever have a need to worry about the limit. Therefore, the experience that most people will have of the service is that it behaves as if it truly was unlimited. Whether this is close enough, or whether the pricing is acceptable, depends on the needs and budget for a particular site project.

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