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Cloud hosting is an on demand service based on cloud computing platform providing hosting service for websites on virtual servers to users. It pulls the users’ computing resource from extensive underlying networks of physical web servers. Focused on maximizing the effectiveness of shared and dynamically recollected resources, cloud hosting turns out to be a method of configuring servers in a flexible utility model of computing to achieve an affordable, scalable and reliable web infrastructure.
The online hosting industry has undergone significant changes in recent years. Increasing numbers of business owners are opting away from traditional Internet hosting in favor of cloud service. This article will give comprehensive introduction of cloud hosting including its definition, pros & cons, how it works, we will also compare cloud hosting to VPS and dedicated hosting and figure out whether cloud hosting is suitable for all business owners.
To be brief, the cloud is a hosting platform using clusters of servers to work together as one for delivering astonishing benefits. Starting with the concept of “virtualization”, cloud hosting grants you the ability of scaling up or down resources on demand. Cloud hosting also takes this concept further that it allows you to have an in-built redundancy.
Pros and Cons
As with all types of hosting, there is an increased awareness of the pros and cons of the cloud hosting service along with its increased popularity. First let’s look at the benefits.
First and foremost, cloud based web hosting plans always enjoy good flexibility. These plans are designed to expand or decrease services and space as your website requires it. Especially when your sites are experiencing rapid changes in growth, you can get huge benefit from it. Additionally, due to its better equipment, cloud hosting can handle a sudden burst in traffic that may bring down a site hosted on a traditional and restricted hosting platform.
Another benefit to cloud hosting is the instant access. As the setup process associated with traditional hosting services is nonexistent in the cloud, the cloud server is there whenever you need it. This is especially beneficiary when you have backup hosting needed to be put into place.
Besides the technical benefits you can get from cloud hosting, there are financial benefits to consider as well. As long as you have a proper cloud hosting plan, you can save quite a bit of money. Since cloud hosting does not need as many staff to manage as traditional types of hosting, you don’t need to pay any extra charge for IT staffing used to attach to the software.
Now onto the cons.
Hosting you site across multiple servers means, on one hand, that the risk of website downtime would be minimized; however, on the other hand, that your website really goes down once a cloud hosting provider goes down. Similar to other hardware, there are a thousand reasons that cloud platform can fail for. As cloud hosting makes your business dependent on the reliability of your Internet connection, when it’s offline, you’re offline.
Another drawback of cloud hosting is the potential for unexpected charges. If you go with a standard hosting service, you know clearly the amount of money you pay each month. But with most cloud hosting providers, you pay for what you use. As a result, if your site ends up consuming lots of resources beyond expectation, you may be facing a much larger bill than with a traditional hosting service.
Cloud hosting environment is composed of two main parts. In theory, the virtual servers that websites and apps hosted on, and the physical hosts managing the virtual servers. This also explains why cloud hosting providers are able to provide great flexibility and scalability which are not available via other hosting methods.
What makes virtual servers closely link with physical hosts is the hypervisor: a physical host allocates resources to a virtual server by using a hypervisor. There are some hypervisor software in the marketplace available for cloud hosts today, including KVM, Xen, ESXi, and Hyper-V.
Cloud Hosting vs. VPS
In general, cloud hosting is a little more expensive than VPS, but owns higher availability and scalability. Furthermore, customers with cloud hosting won’t need to worry about lagging CPU or RAM power, even in the event of the load of another customer grows; while with VPS, the RAM, bandwidth and CPU performance can be affected if another VPS on the shared server is demanding a higher load. In this sense, the cloud hosting is a little slight on the con side.
Cloud Hosting vs. Dedicated Server
When it comes to hosting, biggest difference between cloud and dedicated server lies in the security and accessibility. Compared to dedicated server, cloud hosting is less safe and performs not as well as the former. Nevertheless, cloud hosting ensures that your data will be accessible around the clock and from anywhere in the world, so you can keep your business running like clockwork. Additionally, the cost of dedicated server is also often much higher than a cloud one.
When to Consider Cloud Hosting
Just based on what we’ve mentioned above, it is an inevitable trend that more and more small to large businesses are switching to cloud hosting due to its multiple outstanding features. However, at the same time, there are also some problems of cloud hosting needed to be resolved.
So, do you really need a cloud hosting? We think the answer should depend on your practical needs. If you have a small business and want to be beneficiary for many innovative cloud computing technologies, you can choose to host your site on the cloud platform. Before that, choosing a best cloud hosting provider seems crucial for you. Alternatively, if you require a reliable and high performance VPS or dedicated server, our Best VPS Hosting and Best Dedicated Server Hosting will give you some suggestion.
Since the growing popularity of cloud computing service amongst businesses and even personals, moving data to the cloud becomes a new IT project. However, some of them have already made a successful transfer to the cloud, but others are still hesitating. This cautious comes for reasons.
Now, many cloud hosting providers are doing great efforts to build top facilities while providing good services and competitive prices, there are still more than one-third of all the IT projects fail, according to a survey of IDC.
As a matter of fact, keep some valuable rules in mind before transferring to the cloud can ensure largely success.
Cloud hosting service providers offer their services according to three different models, Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), Platform as a service (PaaS), and Software as a service (SaaS).
IaaS cloud providers supply resources of a virtual-matchine disk-image library, raw block storage, file or object storage, firewalls, load balancers, IP addresses, VLANs and software bundles on-demand from their large pools of equipment installed in data centers. Customers have access to these resources via internet. IaaS is offered in three models: public, private and hybrid cloud.
PaaS cloud platform is a developer programming platform created for the programmers to develop, test, run and manage the applications, offering a development environment to application developers.
Known as on-demand software, SaaS is a software distribution model in which applications are hosted by a cloud service provider and made available to customers over internet. In the SaaS model, cloud service providers install and operate application software in the cloud and users can get access to the software from cloud clients, not managing the cloud infrastructure and platform where the application runs.
As each of the three service models has its own pros and cons, you should make it clear that which one is best fit in with your demand before purchasing one.
The types of cloud hosting are also varied: Private cloud, Public cloud and Hybrid cloud.
Private cloud is operated solely within a single organization or by third party. Shared from distinct pool of resources, private cloud is highly secured and have more controls than public cloud.
Public cloud provides services rendered over a network that is open for public use, allowing the accessibility of systems and services easily to general public. Compared to private cloud, public cloud may be almost the same technically, however, substantially different in security problems.
Hybrid cloud is the combination of both private cloud and public cloud, offering the benefits of multiple deployment models. It is more flexible and cost effective.
Cloud hosting is remarkable for its cost efficiency as it only charges the customers for the resources they actually use. According to the level of service and the type of service, the price of cloud hosting service can be in great difference. Some public cloud hosting solutions are even free.
Money back guarantee is another important factor to concern, and it varies among different hosting service providers.
There are always possibilities of problem arising from nowhere at times. In case of these situations, it is important to pay attention to customer support terms of the cloud hosting service providers and make sure whether they promise to offer 24/7 customer support. It’s also suggested that you should go over their customer reviews before purchasing the product. According to customer reviews, if the professional team of one cloud hosting provider can offer instant response to your query via phone call, live chat or emails, then it is worth trying.
Cloud hosting service connects business to the internet, meaning that it is possible that business will be suddenly suspended when the service is offline. With thousands of reasons related to service downtime, no cloud provider, even the best cloud hosting providers all over the world, would claim immunity to service outages. Still you should try to read as many customer reviews about the cloud hosting provider as possible in order to make sure whether they can offer 99% plus uptime or not.
The security of data centers is very significant according to its connection with the redundancy, scalability, performance and sensitive data of the cloud hosting service. Besides natural disasters like climate change and man-made disasters like power down, hackers may also try to break into a multi-tenant cloud to compromise the data of all the users hosted and stored on the same server. Therefore, programmable security infrastructure should be applied across the cloud. What’s more, facilities like monitoring system, climate controlling system, fireproof device, fire extinction device, power generation assembly are all necessary to keep unauthorized persons away from data centers.
Also, notice these Right cloud provider for data
A reliable provider is the prerequisite for success of transferring to the cloud. With so many hosts to choose from, your option would range from startups to large established companies, and some of them limit resources. In brief, choosing the one who can fully meet your demands can ensure a smooth process.
Problems might follow you
As a part of or prior to the transfer, you have to fix any application problems. If you transfer your application to the cloud without fixing the problems, there might has issues that caused by your applications, not the cloud facilities.
Cloud cannot ensure 100% uptime
Cloud hosting would not ensure 100% uptime to you, unless you architect your application to be placed in multiple places. Your application might be susceptible to a failure at a single datacenter. But some providers charge additional fees for geo-redundancy.
Support by skillful people
You have to handle significant configuration and management, only if you are using SaaS or PaaS solutions or you need skillful support team to help transfer and run your applications in the cloud.
Lead to failure
Going to the cloud will not eliminate all your worries. Failure comes in many shapes, for example, wrong operations or some other factors may lead to failure. But a useful strategy and efficient systems could make sure a success transfer.
You are able to access almost any facility service through a cloud provider, but do not create an overly complex environment and monitor everything. And remember that the key to work with cloud is to allow automate and write scripts whenever you can.
Cloud transfer project can fail for many additional reasons, but a proper planning along with a strong knowledge of your applications and cloud service can make sure you a good fit for one another.