An Overview of Cloud Hosting
Cloud hosting employs a virtual server to host websites. In comparison, traditional web hosting services usually house one or multiple sites on one physical server. If you’re wondering whether cloud web hosting fits your needs better, this guide will help answer that question.
We’ll explore all the cloud hosting essentials – from how it works to what types of websites can benefit from it. Then, we’ll compare cloud hosting to other types of web hosting.
What Is Cloud Hosting?
Cloud Hosting is a type of hosting that enables a website to use the resources of multiple servers, thus resulting in a faster performance.
Cloud hosting services provide hosting for websites on virtual servers. These servers pull their computing resources from an extensive underlying network of physical web servers.
Cloud hosting is when your hosting plan taps into a network of potentially unlimited virtual machines. All of these virtual machines rely upon an underlying network of connected physical servers. With all of these virtual machines connected together, cloud hosting functions somewhat like one big VPS.
The key difference between Cloud hosting and a VPS plan is that instead of having a single server that’s dedicated to your site (as is the case with VPS), the resources are spread out amongst a bunch of different physical machines.
With a cloud hosting platform, you benefit from the use of multiple servers, so you have more available resources at your disposal. You can increase the power of your server whenever you’d like to meet varying traffic needs. While cloud hosting offers more flexibility than VPS hosting, it doesn’t allow for quite as much customization.
How Does Cloud Hosting Work?
Cloud hosting works through virtualization. It’s a technology that splits a physical server into multiple virtual machines called cloud servers. Then, these connect to create a single network for hosting a website.
Due to its interconnected cloud structure, this type of hosting is also called cluster server hosting.
Cloud hosting’s underlying infrastructure makes it different from traditional web hosting. The latter typically uses a centralized approach, where a single server stores several sites at once.
The main benefits of using cloud hosting solutions include:
- High availability : When one server fails, the rest will cover for it and keep the website running. This makes cloud hosting more reliable than traditional web hosting, where a site has to rely on its server being up at all times.
- Traffic load balancing : When the website experiences traffic, the infrastructure will spread it across the cloud servers. This helps maintain the site performance as it sees more visitors.
- Scalability : With cloud hosting, webmasters aren’t limited to the bandwidth, storage, or computing power available from a single server. They can use additional resources in the virtual environment to support their site’s growth.
What Types of Websites Use Cloud Hosting?
The usual types of websites that use cloud hosting are eCommerce stores, news publications, search engines or aggregators, social networks, and other high-traffic projects.
Basically, it’s perfect for all websites that need plenty of processing power, bandwidth, and disk space to accommodate many visitors and the high amount of files and data they store.
The cloud hosting architecture makes it easy to anticipate traffic surges – which usually happen during big sales or when a blog post goes viral. The load balancing will ensure that the traffic doesn’t overwhelm the resources of any virtual server.
Furthermore, some of these websites may require tighter security to handle sensitive data, like customer information and payment details.
In this case, they may opt for a private cloud as opposed to a public cloud. It usually comes with a dedicated cloud infrastructure, hosted on a private network to prevent unauthorized parties from accessing it.
For these reasons, web hosts generally charge more for cloud hosting services than shared or VPS, which are usually more suitable for small to medium-sized sites.
Below are the advantages and disadvantages of Cloud hosting:
Cloud hosting is best for businesses with changing bandwidth demands. With cloud hosting, you can easily scale up your usage as your needs increase and cut back again when the demand reduces. This level of flexibility can give businesses using cloud hosting a very big advantage over their competitors.
2. Cost efficient
Cloud hosting reduces the high costs of owning the infrastructure to host your website. You are only required to pay for the resources you use, and therefore you don’t waste money on unwanted resources. Additionally, its setup and management are very easy.
3. Better performance
For the reasons mentioned above that cloud hosting offers greater scalability, it also offers better performance. That’s because in addition to the increased capacity leading to increased availability for your customers, it also allows for load balancing across multiple servers. The end result is less strain on any one server and better user experience for everyone.
4. Reduced costs
Cloud hosting can remove the need for you to buy, house and maintain your own hardware, which reduces capital expenditure. And the ease with which you can scale up or down means you don’t have to pay for unused capacity.
If you and your web host are following best practice, the security risks associated with cloud hosting are minimal. That said, some organisations feel more secure knowing that all their data is within a metal box that they can put their hands on. A private cloud is usually the sensible compromise in these circumstances.
This is dependent on the type of cloud hosting your choose but certainly for cloud hosting firms that are perhaps resellers or not particularly thorough in their setup, downtime can be an issue.
Since your web hosting infrastructure is in the cloud, your access to your data is dependent on internet access. Generally, internet access is not hard to come by but it still raises the possibility of your ability to maintain your data and website being tied to the reliability of your internet service provider.
Despite all the Cloud Computing advantages and disadvantages, we can’t deny the fact that Cloud Computing is the fastest growing part of network-based computing. It offers a great advantage to customers of all sizes: simple users, developers, enterprises and all types of organizations. So, this technology here to stay for a long time. If you have any doubts or queries related to Cloud Hosting, get them clarified to experts on our Indsoft Community!
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