Well, that is quite an interesting expression, right? If you are thinking it is something related to the weather, it’s not. Is it a hotel in the mountains? No. An apartment at the 42nd floor of a skyscraper? No again. Ok, the truth is that most of us know what cloud hosting is, and if you don’t, that is not a problem either, so don’t worry. But let me share the information I gathered in my attempt to compose a definition that is easy to understand for us, non-internet-geniuses, too.
What is cloud hosting?
Cloud hosting is about providing hosting services for websites on virtual servers, but these virtual servers get their computing resource from a whole network of physical servers that which are related to each other. Basically it means that the customer can have unlimited space on a virtual server for his website but he only pays for as much space as he uses. So this is an alternative to hosting websites with a single server.
There are two classes of cloud hosting, Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). IaaS services simply offer the virtualized hardware resource and the user can install his own software before he starts building his website. PaaS services on the other hand provide the whole software environment as a package service that includes the operating system, the web server software, database support and programming support. If you choose this kind of service you can jump into creating your website at once. This option is much more suitable for beginner and intermediate users.
A great development in cloud hosting is the ”Virtual Data Center” (VDC) that is especially useful for companies that have an extended business and own multiple websites. VDC uses a virtual network of servers that provide enough space to host all the information of a large business including all of its websites.
Advantages of cloud hosting
One of the most important advantages of cloud hosting is that it offers scalability and flexibility. Resources are available in the shortest time on demand and are not constrained by the physical capacity of a single physical server.
Cloud hosting provides great reliability of resources. Disk space for example is not restrained by the physical capacities of one server but can extend on demand on unlimited space provided by a virtual network of physical servers. So if you own a business that is expected to grow in the future but you can’t exactly measure up how much disk space you need in let’s say five years’ distance, cloud services are exactly what you need for your peace of mind.
Cloud hosting is just great because the client only pays for what they use. You don’t need to spend a lot of money buying additional space thinking you might be extending your business in the future, you pay for what you use and if you need more in the future you can just get some more in the process. Cloud hosting services never run out of disk space like a physical server does. And capacity is not wasted when the demands run lower.
Physical security is one of the most important advantages of cloud hosting. The servers that belong to a cloud hosting network are still placed in data centers so they benefit from the security measures these facilities bring to avoid people disrupting or even accessing them on-site.
And last but not least load balancing of cloud hosting services is based on software and so it can be instantly scalable to respond to growing demands.
Don’t worry, we won’t be talking about the weather report now, let’s hope it will be a sunny day and that’s enough for the weather. Let’s talk about the latest type of clouds existing. That is related to web hosting and it is called cloud hosting services.
Ok, if you have a website or you are thinking about creating one you know for sure you have or need a web host for it. There are many kinds of web hosts and let’s compare them to clouds. If you have a basic website you are probably sharing a cloud with many other sites. That is called shared hosting server. That is good as long as you or some of your neighbors are not thinking about expanding your business.
A gathering of clouds
Once you need to expand you will find your cloud too little and will want to move to your own exclusive cloud. That is called dedicated hosting server but that involves some difficulties like extra costs and considerable know-how needed. A much better solution would be to ask for help from other clouds when you are in need for some additional space and other resources. That is called cloud hosting services and it has some considerable advantages like cost-effectiveness. Another advantage is that all the boring stuff is handled by others and you can take care of your business with no extra headache. And if you don’t need the extra resources anymore you just let the other clouds go without any complications.
Cloud hosting is a rather new option in web hosting and therefore many of us don’t exactly know what is the difference between this type of hosting and shared or dedicated server hosting. That is why I thought about bringing you a practical example that makes things easier to understand.
John has a great business that is related to his all-time hobby, football. He sells all kinds of stuff football fans use like banners, hats and flags with inscriptions of famous football clubs. His business is running smoothly until the World Championship is coming. Suddenly he notices a considerable growth in his selling that starts to worry him about the well-functioning of his site. And his fears come true when the visits and downloads on his site are so continuous that it causes a strain on his shared host’s server. That has a negative impact on his customers and his business as well, but it also causes malfunction to all the sites hosted by his shared server, so his account is shut down.
By the time he finds a dedicated server to migrate on and he gets his website up and running again the championship is over and John’s business suffers a great loss. But he has a lot of space now he is not using but has to pay a considerable amount of money for.
If you own a business that will expectedly have fluctuations, like theme-related businesses, cloud hosting is the best solution for you. Once selling or traffic goes up on your website you can extend your disk space and other resources as much as you need and you will only have to pay for what you use. Once traffic goes down the resources are simply released and your site runs efficiently using and paying for what you need.
There is quite some fuzz regarding cloud hosting these days and if you are looking for a web hosting option for your business you will most probably run into this expression.
A new option
Cloud hosting basically relies on a network of physical servers that make it possible for you to get unlimited resources like disk space. That is the most basic definition for cloud hosting in one sentence. We could talk a lot about this topic and about types of cloud hosting but let’s say a few words about who is this type of hosting useful for.
It is important to mention that even if it is quite a new option, cloud hosting is gaining popularity and therefore it is expected that more and more companies will have this option in their offers in the near future and that will also cause this kind of hosting become more affordable. So in some cases this might be a great solution for hosting your growing business.
Who is it useful for?
Cloud hosting can be the right solution for businesses that have outgrown their resources provided by their shared hosting server but also for new businesses that foresee a considerable growth in the future, or they expect variable traffic on their websites. Another solution in these cases can be a dedicated server but in that case you will have to pay a considerably higher price and you will need some solid IT knowledge to be able to configure and maintain your server and websites. Cloud hosting provides all the benefits of dedicated servers but without all these complications.
Scalability is the strong part of cloud services. Imagine that your website runs in a cloud. But once your cloud gets too busy to function properly you can just gather a lot more clouds to help you out in an instance. So your cloud will never have to face any kind of hardship, therefore your website or group of websites will always perform on their best level.
Let’s take an example
Let’s say you have a website that specializes on Christmas products. Your web store is open all year long and you don’t have any problems until Christmas season comes and people start buying your stuff so hardly that it causes a strain on your shared host’s server. Your account is closed and you have to migrate to a dedicated server. That affects your customers and your business as well. That won’t happen on a cloud host, and once your high selling period is over you automatically release the resources you used and your site continues running smoothly.