MySQL Web Hosting
Category: Web Hosting Categories
MySQL (pronounced /MYE EHS KYOO EHL/) is one of a set of variations of Structured Query Language (SQL), which is classified as a relational database management system, abbreviated RDBMS. MySQL is one of the most popular database management systems, and is used as the database on a number of popular websites, for example, Facebook, Flickr, Google, Wikipedia, and YouTube.
MySQL is an element of a variety of platforms that are known by acronyms that denote their operating system, server, database, and languages, in that order. The platforms that take advantage of MySQL include LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP and/or Perl and/or Python), and the similar BAMP (with a BSD for Berkeley Software Distribution), DAMP (with Darwin OS), MAMP (with Macintosh OS), SAMP (with Sun Solaris), and WAMP (with Microsoft Windows). It also occurs in WIMP, in which Apache is replaced with the Web server IIS, Internet Information Services.
Finding MySQL Web Hosting
MySQL's ability to work on different platforms is one of the things that gives it an edge over Microsoft's MSSQL, designed to only work with Windows, and Oracle's PL/SQL, which only functions in an Oracle environment. However, some web hosts will offer MySQL only with Unix/Linux and offer MSSQL with its Windows servers.
You should also check the available access methods for your MySQL database. Possibilities include:
- A MySQL account control panel (check this to see its features)
- JSP (JavaServer Pages) through Java Database Connectivity (JDBC)
- Java Servlets (through JDBC)
- PHP3 scripting
- Perl scripting through the Perl database interface (DBI)
These choices may be restricted by the level of hosting you choose and/or the server type you choose (for example, JSP access may not available on Windows servers).
Another important item to check is the number of databases you can run and the storage allowance. For example, GoDaddy's "Unlimited Plan" allows you an unlimited number of databases, but has a 200 MB storage limit for each one. This may or may not suit you. The data transfer/month is also an item to consider. For all of these three, you should find out what happens in the case of overage and if upgrades are available.
Once you're working with databases, the issue of back-up may become even more important. Check the MySQL web hosting program to see if it offers daily back-ups and restore features. Depending on how important your data is, you might want to check to see to be sure that data storage is redundant, which means that duplication is employed to prevent data error and loss. A redundancy system can involve duplication of data, through RAID storage (Redundant Arrays of Independent Disks), as well as redundant servers, power supplies, networks, and datacenters.
Reliability is another area to scope out carefully in connection with your MySQL web hosting package. One important element of this is "up time." Some MySQL web hosting programs offer a guaranteed up time. MMA, for example, guarantees 99.8%. Other elements of reliability to consider are the response query time for your site visitors, which can be adversely affected by shared web hosting if others sharing the server are using up more than their share of the joint resources.
Reliability also extends to a secure system, and this means both that it is well-maintained and that it has been safe-guarded from potential types of damage, as well as that any client data you may collect is kept secure. Finally, reliability concerns the support options that you are offered. A site that depends on a database, not just static pages, may be much more impacted by any issues that arise, and this makes the ability to contact support 24/7 and get an immediate response more important.
Some MySQL web hosting sites will offer additional types of support in setting up and configuring databases. This can be a real asset either if you're new to MySQL programming, or like to try new things but want to have a safety net to prevent your site from going down.
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