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What is cloud hosting?
Cloud hosting is an innovative web and app hosting solution that leverages the power of interconnected virtual and physical servers to provide unrivalled flexibility, scalability and resource efficiency.
Unlike traditional hosting methods, which rely on a single physical server, cloud hosting makes use of a huge network of machines that work together to form a coherent ecosystem.
This networked design enables websites and applications to dynamically harness resources, smoothly responding to changing demands.
Why choose cloud hosting?
The primary motivator for cloud server adoption is its unequalled versatility, when compared to a single-server hosting system. Unlike traditional hosting, which frequently entails rigid plans and set resources, cloud hosting is based on a dynamic paradigm that responds to the changing demands of the digital landscape.
This elasticity guarantees that businesses never over-provision, reducing resource waste and expenses.
Cloud hosting dynamically assigns resources to ensure maximum performance without bottlenecks or slowdowns as websites and applications face variable levels of traffic, whether during promotional campaigns, abrupt trends or seasonal peaks.
Pros and cons of cloud hosting
Here are the benefits and risks you should weigh up before investing in cloud hosting:
Scalability - enterprises can accommodate traffic spikes without the need for manual intervention or resource supply
Security concerns - data breaches, unauthorised access and other regulatory compliance are possible if you choose an unreliable third-party supplier
Reliability - reduces the possibility of downtime in the event that a server fails, shifting loads among available resources to ensure continuity
Dependency on provider - provider-side downtime, technological errors or even business closures may impact your services
Cost efficiency - pay-as-you-go (PAYG) model allows companies to optimise resource allocation and avoid the problems of over provisioning
Hidden costs - poor resource management and unanticipated surges in demand can make PAYG model expensive
Global accessibility - offers seamless access to data and apps from any place, enabling collaboration and remote work
Automated backups - adds an extra layer of data security and catastrophe recovery
How does cloud hosting work?
Understanding the inner workings of cloud hosting debunks what appears to be a mystical resource allocation method...
Cloud hosting, at its core, uses virtualisation technology to construct virtual servers within a network of real servers. This is how it works:
Hypervisors, software that manages virtual machines, are critical. They abstract the underlying hardware, allowing several virtual machines (VMs) to run concurrently on a single physical server.
In a cloud hosting configuration, physical servers pool their resources such as processing power, memory, storage and bandwidth. This resource pool is then dispersed as needed among the VMs.
Load balancers distribute incoming traffic across available VMs to ensure optimal performance and prevent overload! If a VM becomes overburdened owing to heavy traffic, the load balancer redirects new requests to other VMs with available capacity.
The ability to scale is a distinguishing feature of cloud hosting! If your website suffers an increase in traffic, the cloud platform will automatically allocate more resources to meet the demand. Once the traffic has subsided, the resources are reduced to save money.
The 3 main types of cloud hosting
There are several solutions for cloud hosting, each catering to a different set of business requirements:
This is the most popular type of cloud hosting. On the infrastructure of a third-party supplier, resources are shared among numerous clients. Public cloud hosting is a popular alternative for startups and small enterprises since it is inexpensive and simple to maintain!
Private cloud hosting allocates resources to a particular organisation. It provides greater data security and control, making it ideal for companies with stringent compliance requirements or high security concerns.
A hybrid cloud is made up of elements from both public and private clouds. It enables enterprises to keep sensitive data in the private cloud while using the scalability of the public cloud for non-sensitive processes. This adaptability is especially useful for organisations with variable resource requirements.
5 popular examples of cloud hosting providers
Below are the 5 popular cloud hosting services that have garnered recognition for their reliability, performance and features.
- Amazon Web Services (AWS) - offers a wide range of services, including computing power, storage and databases, along with advanced machine learning and analytics capabilities
- Microsoft Azure - provides a comprehensive suite of services, including virtual machines, app services and AI tools, making it a preferred choice for businesses heavily invested in Microsoft technologies
- Google Cloud Platform (GCP) - provides a robust infrastructure along with services like compute, storage and networking and is known for its data analytics and machine learning offerings
- IBM Cloud - offers a variety of services, including AI, blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT), focusing on hybrid and multicloud deployments
- Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) - provides enterprise-grade cloud services, including computing, storage and networking, along with specialised offerings for database and application development
How to assess cloud hosting providers
If you're considering migrating to the cloud, it's crucial to pick the right vendor. Here are the steps you should follow to help ensure this:
1 - Examine the cloud hosting provider's reputation and dependability
Investigating the provider's track record, reading user evaluations and evaluating the quality of customer service they provide can all be indicators of their legitimacy.
2 - Understand the security guidelines
Migrating to the cloud demands a thorough grasp of the security measures used by the provider. Encryption, firewall protection, intrusion detection systems and data backup processes are all part of this. It's critical to match the provider's security practices to your company's sensitivity to data leaks.
3 - Understand the price arrangements
Cloud hosting is frequently charged on a pay-as-you-go model, allowing businesses to pay only for the resources they utilise. Understanding the pricing tiers, potential hidden expenses and scalability choices offered, on the other hand, might help to avoid budget overruns.