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What is Cloud Hosting?
If you wish to avail your websites and applications available on the internet, it can happen by using cloud. Cloud hosting lets you access your webs from the internet which helps in making our work easier.
With the help of computing resources, it forms a network of virtual and physical servers which later adds greater scalability and makes things flexible. A quite prominent feature of this can be how you only pay for what you use. So, you don’t need to worry about exceeding your limited budget. This also makes it budget friendly.
Let’s learn more about Cloud Hosting in detail:
Cloud Hosting vs Web Hosting
Originally the web Hosting was done by using a single server. This particular server contained all the website’s files and data. The documents and files are downloaded from the web using the same domain.
There are four primary types when it comes to web hosting. It includes: dedicated, shared, managed and virtual private server (VPS). The shared web hosting service which included a single server which is shared among many different domains. These domains need a stable internet connection. It is considered to be one of the most economical hosting options because accessing a lot of other websites is difficult to manage. However, with benefits comes problems. The shared hosting limits the accessibility as it is forever confined to only one server. To solve this problem a dedicated server is needed. In a dedicated server, the domain is operated on more than one server.
A managed hosting server offers a similar service to dedicated hosting service. It is the job of the hosting provider to take care of all the server maintenance which includes the backup services, security, software updates etc. The websites and applications that do not have any in-house experience that is required to maintain a server, are maintained on a managed server.
Cloud Hosting and web hosting are known to have several differences. The major difference is that, in web hosting, it needs more resources because of the increased demand. There is always a scalability issue because it constantly has to change its service plan. Cloud Hosting allows the content of the site to be spread across multiple servers throughout the world. This makes cloud hosting more reliable and efficient than web hosting.
Think of cloud servers like a basic CPU on which data can be stored and processes can be run. It’s just that, this CPU is remotely connected to your device via a network. A virtual machine (VM) software is provided to the users through which they can easily access data and software present on this cloud server.
There are three types of Clouds:
- Private Clouds: Okay let’s start with the simplest one. Private cloud users get dedicated servers. This essentially means that they do not have to share computing resources and bandwidth with any other user. Still, the cost of private cloud hosting is substantially more than public ones.
- Public Clouds: Private cloud servers hold data for multiple users. Hence, both computing resources and bandwidth are divided among multiple users. This can sometimes result in a little slower performance.
- Hybrid Clouds: Hybrid clouds are a mix of both private and public clouds.
Hardware and MaintenanceIf you keep purchasing additional hardware, you’ll eventually run out of funds. Further, maintenance costs will add up over the period of utilization of a particular hardware. Think of cloud hosting like renting. You are renting additional hardware for storing data and running processes. Therefore, you can minimize both hardware and maintenance costs and replace them with a much lower subscription fee. Also, you’ll be able to minimize infrastructure and IT costs. Further, cloud hosting companies are able to keep low subscription prices with something popularly known as Multi-Tenancy. Multi-tenancy enables disparate companies to use and share resources from the same underlying technology, infrastructure and platform. Since, the fixed cost of operation is divided among multiple users, the overall expense of cloud provider declines. Thus, they’re able to provide better subscription prices to their users.
Cloud Hosting vs VPS
VPS which stands for Virtual Private Server is a single server which is hosted on an isolated environment. In order to divide the operating system into separate components, the Hypervisor is usually placed on top of it. VPS is often called a ‘private cloud’. It offers more control and allows customization. Shared hosting usually limits that.
Even though different VPS have many similarities with Cloud Hosting. Both of the servers allow customization and most of the time is spent in hosting and maintaining. VPS is accessed on a number of machines, which is why it has it limit in flexibility, accessibility, and does not provide a seamless network of working. With a global network of working, cloud hosting offers better work management.
How to operate Cloud Hosting?
It always works with the formulation of virtualization. As we have stated above, a virtual layer is created on the server. This is where the content and data is stored. The virtual layers are then replicated on the servers by the method of cloud computing. All of this can be accessed throughout the world.
Benefits of Cloud Hosting
Just by spinning up more servers together, cloud hosting can scale their work according to their requirements. Cloud hosting gives that opportunity where the scalability can happen according to the demands of the website.
No matter what you are doing, your data and credentials have to be your biggest priority. Cloud Hosting provides you with physical and virtual security. This is one of the biggest plus points of cloud hosting.
According to your wishes and needs, you can customize how you operate it. It provides you with the freedom of surfing through the parameters of virtual machines. Having a flexible system is very important and with cloud hosting, it can do wonders to your server.
Reliability and performance
With its efficient feature of a reliable work load and performance, cloud hosting has done some serious wonders for businesses. Since, the servers are spread across the regions, if one server fails, the other can continue its work. This means with so many options available, it can provide you with one of the best quality works ever.
It is as you pay as you use the model. You’ll only be paying for the services that you have chosen. This makes it an efficient tool which is extremely pocket friendly and doesn’t hamper your pocket.
Meeting your Storage Requirements
This is something that cloud hosting rocks at.
Scalability: Cloud hosting companies set their operations to scale easily. They have multiple servers on which data can be stored. Whenever users want, they can easily secure(Provision) or release (Deprovision) computing resources according to their storage requirements.
You can secure or release computing resources through a call to your cloud hosting provider. Automation plays a huge role in the current cloud environment. Many cloud hosting providers have moved on to self-service provisioning. In such a service, users do not need to call their cloud hosting provider to procure more computing resources.
Further, cloud usage is monitored so that users can check the amount of resources they have used during a given time period. A pay as you go service plan makes it even more important for organizations to optimize their cloud costs. Monitored usage makes it easier for you to analyze your cloud usage and make better decisions.
Dynamic Scaling is another popular option available to cloud users. Through this, users can, for a limited period of time, procure more computing resources without contacting their service provider.
Server Uptime and SLA
Server downtime can have real repercussions for your business. A survey by ITIC concluded that for 98% of organizations, a single hour of server downtime resulted in loss over $100,000. For 1/3rd of the organizations surveyed, the cost of one hour of server downtime exceeded 1 million USD.
Fortunately, you can hold your cloud hosting provider accountable with a service level agreement (SLA.) An SLA includes all the standards that the cloud hosting provider must meet while providing service to a particular user.
Also, cloud hosting providers can take certain measures to ensure minimum server downtime such as:
- Scheduled maintenance: Hosting providers should always consult with users before performing server maintenance. Thus, maintenance can be scheduled during lower traffic hours.
- Server Mirroring: Hosting providers can store copies of software and data on multiple servers. Hence, even if a particular server is down, users will have complete access to their software and data through another server.
Advantages of Cloud Computing
A survey by RightScale concluded the following about cloud computing:
- 85% of the surveyed enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy
- A significant decrease in Private Cloud Adoption
- Significant decline in security concerns (From 29% in 2016 to 25% in 2017.)
- 95% of the surveyed organization are running applications or experimenting with IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service.)
The study also concluded that organizations are focusing on optimizing cloud environments for better ROI.
Further, SMBs(Small and Medium Businesses) are running more than 83 percent of workloads in cloud. Of this, 50% of the workload is being run on public clouds and 33% on private clouds.
Another survey, by IDG Enterprise discovered that:
- 70% of organizations are running applications (at least one) on cloud.
- 16% of the organizations that are not running any application on cloud are planning to do so within the next 12 months.
- Organizations are making the most of traditional as well as new cloud models such as Data storage, Disaster Recovery as a Service and Database as a Service
Through these numbers, you can see that cloud computing is in fact in vogue. Most organizations are using it, and the focus has now shifted on how to optimize it. Still, we have yet to look at the actual advantages which are driving the popularity of cloud computing.
Cloud hosting enables businesses to replace additional hardware and maintenance cost with a substantially lower subscription fee. Since there isn’t much hardware to maintain, you won’t have to hire more employees. Further, you’ll be able to minimize electricity cost. In fact, cost efficiency and accessibility are the two main factors that attract businesses to this state of the art technology.
Since data and software are hosted on a server, you easily access them anytime, anywhere. Further, you’ll be able to access everything on the server from devices such as your laptop, desktop and even smartphone.
Due to adventitious events, users can lose their data. This makes it important for them to have a disaster recovery plan. Fortunately, Disaster Recovery as a Service is available to all users who have hosted their software and data on cloud servers. You may find this as a separate component in some cloud hosting plans.
With best cloud hosting organizations can easily extend their infrastructure at low costs, and avoid maintenance costs altogether. This is nothing short of a benediction for startups and small businesses that are struggling to grow their business. If used properly, cloud hosting can be a catalyst for the rapid growth of your organization.