What is Cloud Hosting?
Cloud hosting services provide hosting on virtual servers which pull their computing resource from extensive underlying networks of physical web servers.
Generally, clients can tap into their service as much as they need to, depending on their requirements at any stage. This can result in cost savings as they only have to pay for what they use, and because they can access it at any time, they don’t need to pay for additional capacity.
Over the past few years, web server technology – much like everything else related to computers – has made incredible strides. Hosting companies have used all of these advances to create a new type of web server platform, typically called cloud hosting.
Cloud hosting is the latest form of hosting that has become extremely popular over the past few years. The main concept of cloud hosting is “Divide and Rule” – the resources required for maintaining your website are spread across more than one web server, and are rendered as per need basis.
This greatly reduces chances of any downtimes in case of a server malfunction.
Another noteworthy aspect is that cloud hosting allows you to manage peak loads easily, without facing any bandwidth issues, since another server can provide the additional resources in such a case.
Hence, your website doesn’t rely on just one server, and rather a cluster of servers that work together and are termed as “the cloud”.
Example of Cloud Hosting
If you’re looking for a real-time example of cloud hosting, what better example can someone give other than Google itself? The king of search engines has got its resources spread over hundreds of servers on the cloud, no wonder you’ve never seen Google.com facing any downtimes over past decade or so (I don’t remember seeing it down – planned maintenance of services like AdSense and AdWords are a different affair altogether!)
How Does it Work?
As explained above, each server in the cloud helps in carrying out a particular set of tasks, and in the case of failure of any of the servers in the cloud, another server (or servers) temporarily kick-in as a back-up to render the required resources.
Something similar happens in the case of an overload condition too.
However, usage of low-quality server hardware can significantly hamper the performance, and such implementations aren’t worthy of being tagged with the “cloud” moniker – this is typically the case with cheap hosting providers.
Enterprise Cloud Hosting
When you provide enterprise-level hosting services, it goes without saying that quality needs to be the prime focus!
So, high-quality enterprise cloud providers make use of VMware and deliver extremely reliable cloud services, which are even better than dedicated servers. Now, let’s compare cloud hosting with dedicated hosting and other traditional forms of hosting.
Cloud Hosting vs Dedicated Servers & VPS
When you compare dedicated servers to cloud hosting, the reliability factor is a quite solid case in the latter case, since you’ve got multiple servers at your disposal as opposed to a single dedicated server that allows you to cope-up with any emergencies without breaking a sweat.
However, the pricing varies depending upon your actual usage – in the case of heavy usage; cost factor associated with cloud architecture may be slightly higher, though so is its resilience too.
When you come to VPS and traditional shared hosting, the cost factor is extremely low is this case quite obviously, but again so is the reliability too. In the case of VPS, a single server is divided into multiple chunks, and each portion is managed by a particular user, so the capital investment is reasonably low.
VPS is the ideal choice for those who aren’t actually looking out for the reliability aspect of cloud hosting.
Future of Cloud Hosting
Cloud hosting has come a long way, and several large enterprises have been using it for years together, but for the small business owners to be able to look at it, pricing will have to come down further.
Having said so, the pricing has considerably come down over last 4-5years, and folks have learned the advantages of cloud hosting, which is compelling the mid-size organizations to make a move to the cloud arena.
Many businesses have made a worthy investment by moving to the cloud, while others haven’t yet invested in the infrastructure required to make a transition to the cloud. The main reason why cloud computing isn’t as popular as it could have been being that the cost factor is still a concern for small businesses.
But, one can definitely expect to see more and more businesses making a shift to cloud as new low-cost cloud implementations continue to be developed, and I wouldn’t call it an exaggeration to say – one day everybody would be in the clouds!”
“That’s great,” you bemusedly say, “but what is cloud hosting?” A succinct explanation is that cloud hosting is a scalable set of virtualized servers.
To help you unpack what that means, we’re going to focus on two of the terms in that definition: virtualized servers and scalability.
The Benefits of Virtualized Servers
Cloud hosting uses the concept of a “virtualized server.” This essentially means that you have space on a host server shared with other users, but it’s virtualization means that it runs autonomously from the other accounts on it.
The largest benefit of virtualization is that it’s flexible. Unlike a dedicated server whose resources cannot be increased without physically changing its components, a virtualized server can be given access to more and more resources on its host server.
This flexibility lets you start off with a small virtualized instance and gradually increase its power to meet your needs. Incremental growth like this means you’re only paying for what you need. Those with small needs pay only a small amount. Those with substantial needs (and its attendant success) pay more.
The Benefits of Scalability
Cloud hosting is all about incremental growth and scalability. The flexibility of virtualization is one element of that, but the other is being able to add more and more servers easily.
When your network of servers needs to expand, you introduce greater degrees of complexity. Cloud hosting is built to minimize these growing pains by providing tools to handle the most complex tasks of adding more resources to your network, including duplicating existing servers and handling the networking between them.
For proof of how scalable cloud hosting is, look at the size of companies using it. Everyone from sole proprietor app developers to internet behemoths like Netflix® use cloud hosting – so, your business could be a good fit for it as well.
Cloud Hosting Caveats
Cloud hosting is absolutely the most cost efficient way to manage server spaces because you’re paying for only what you need. It lets you take many small steps toward growth instead of gigantic leaps, waiting for your needs to catch up to your capacity.
But as absolutely amazing as cloud hosting is, there are still a few caveats with it:
- Cloud hosting still requires a lot of expertise. Platforms like these are typically maintained by seasoned administrators.
- Cloud hosting is overkill for most simple websites
- Only businesses that have an eye on growth benefit from cloud hosting’s flexibility and scalability
Media Temple’s Fully Managed Cloud Hosting
This is why Media Temple offers fully managed cloud hosting on Amazon Web Services. As a managed services provider (MSP), Media Temple offers white-glove setup and 24/7 Certified SysAdmin support. Our Cloud Solutions Architects consult with you, design your architecture, and build it. After that, the Certified SysAdmin monitor and secure your cloud services around the clock, manage backups to keep critical data safe, and right size to reduce costs in the long run.
Those concerned with the time and expertise needed to implement security solutions in the cloud can benefit from fully managed cloud hosting. This allows you to focus on running your business instead of managing your infrastructure.
Source : http://mediatemple.net