Is it worth hosting a website at the office

Every month or year, we pay out a fee to our web hosting providers. The fee payments may differ depending on your subscription payment plan. This fee has increasingly become expensive, especially for the business website clients.

In general, the cost-effectiveness of having your website hosted raises a lot of red flags.

Running your hosting service may have been lurking at the back of your mind for some time now. So the question is, “Is it worth hosting a website at the office.”

To effectively answer this question, several factors come into play. Hosting your website may be an appealing idea. We would like to look into some aspects you should consider before you make your decision. 

Internet Service Provider Terms and Conditions

Before delving deeper into this subject, we must first discuss your ISP’s terms and conditions. In the case of your Internet service provider reviewing the terms and conditions under your agreement will save you a lot of headaches.

Running a website may go against your ISP terms and conditions. Be sure to inquire with customer service beforehand. ISPs generally deny customers from hosting their websites across their network because of traffic disruptions across their servers. In turn, it causes lags across the entire server traffic ports. 

All about Servers

When constructing a Web hosting environment, servers are a vital component. A server is a computer that provides resources, data, or programs to other computers on the same network. These computers in which resources are availed to are called clients/ workstations.

Servers operate over Local Area Networks and Wide Area Networks from which they disseminate data and resources to clients. There are three major servers utilized in web hosting.

  1. Web Servers
  2. Database Servers that you can combine with Web Servers
  3. Navision or Axapta Servers.

Hardware Requirements for Web & Database Servers

Hardware refers to tangible components that make up a computer system or device. When combined, these components perform various tasks. Here, we will be discussing the hardware requirements for establishing a Web hosting set up.

Note that hardware specifications tend to shift due to the influence of different factors that you should take into account. Therefore, a minimum standard specification does not exist, though one can make some estimation. 

Web Server / Database Server Requirement

1. CPU/Processor(Central Processing Unit)

➔     Recommended; 4 X 1.6 GHz(Giga Hertz) CPU

➔     Minimum;  2 X 1.6 GHz CPU

2. RAM (Random Access Memory)

➔     Recommended; 7 GB (GigaByte) RAM

➔     Minimum; 3.5 GB RAM

3. HDD (Hard Disk Drive)

40 GB of free space or more is recommended for System-drive and non-system drive.

4. Virtual Machine( VM) configuration

➔     Recommended; Basic Medium VM

➔     Basic Large VM

Software Requirements for all Servers

Under this title, we will be discussing the software features to look into for efficient website hosting. Software a broad term, but it essentially refers to a set of instructions used to execute a particular task. Like any venture, you look into requirements that should be satisfied for an efficient working system to take root.

1. Web Server Software – is a crucial step in setting up your office web hosting. When purchasing a server software, be mindful of the recommended requirements listed below.

2. Internet Information Services ( IIS) 7.0 or higher – it’s important that you enable IIS logging to aid in troubleshooting in the event website issues.

3. Windows PowerShell 2.0 or higherSimple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)

4. Net Framework 3.5, 4.0

5. Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Service/Pack 1 – SQL and Windows Authentic modes should be enabled for the SQL server instance.

6. Remote connection – establish a secure server connection through a Remote Desktop to help remote users log in with admin rights.

7. Bandwidth – a minimum bandwidth of 20 Megabytes per second (Mbps) up and down should be maintained be Axapta (XA)and Net Asset Value (NAV).

8. Network sharing – the network share feature should be temporarily disabled to restore the database.

9. Network Response Time – establish bandwidth  a 20 Megabytes per second (Mbps) up and down for efficient network response time

10. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Virtual Private Network(VPN ) / Secure Socket Layer (SSL)

You need to implement data configuration when running servers of ERP and website. Servers are not in the same network. There are 3 ways to go about the implementation;

  • If a VPN is incorporated in the infrastructure, ensure it is a tunnel VPN.
  • If the SSL is chosen to secure the ERP web service ensure ports used by the web service are in reach.
  • Last but not least, the SSL certificate, which is pre-self signed, is added to the trusted root certificates in the Web server environment.
  • Firewall Settings

11. Communication between Web Server and Payment Service Provider (PSP) should be maintained when an external PSP for handling payments for external traffic over HyperText Transfer Port Secure (HTTPS) 443 should be opened from the Web server to the PSP.

Queries about PSPS Internet Protocol (IP) are available in the PSP documentation. Communications between Web Server AX server and NAV server need configuration for HTTP/HTTPS upon installation.

HTTPS or HTTP depends on the selected communication protocol in the installation process.

Note that when co-hosting is in use, firewalls on both ends should be configured. 

The motives behind establishing a web hosting environment in your office may have been enthusiastic and highly optimistic. The painful truth is that web hosting providers can run websites at lower prices. Most web hosting providers have established themselves in their field for the past 20- 25 years, so they are highly specialized.

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