A broad term for a service where a third party "hosts" (physically stores) computers, content or services that are managed and/or maintained by the customer.

There are many types of hosting service employed today, including:

  • Dedicated hosting service, also called managed hosting service, where the hosting service provider owns and/or manages the machine, leasing full control to the client.

  • Virtual private server hosting, in which virtualization technology is employed in order to create multiple "virtual" servers that are leased out to customers

  • Colocation facilities, which provide the Internet connection, uninterruptible power and climate control, but let the client do his own system administration.

  • Cloud hosting, which can also be termed time-share or on-demand hosting, in which the customer pays for the system time and space used, and capacity can be quickly scaled up or down as computing requirements change.

Additionally, there are a number of popular, limited or application-specific hosting services, such as file hosting services, where customers store files on a service provider's machines, web hosting services, where a web page is hosted by a service provider, e-mail hosting service, where email services are hosted by a provider and DNS hosting services, where a service provider hosts DNS services and/or nameservers for a customer.

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