Cloud Hosting: Are You Really on Top or Is It Too Risky?
Everybody seems to be talking about cloud hosting; and these days, it’s been creating quite a buzz all over. Even if you’ve just heard of the phrase, this technology is certainly not a new thing. You are in fact, already a part of the cloud hosting as computing users, and without even noticing it.
So what exactly is cloud hosting? Simply put, cloud hosting, which is also known as clustered hosting, is generally a web hosting service delivered from a multitude of connected servers in one network. Google searches – and other Google operations as well – are running under a colossal computer infrastructure (yes, like a cloud!) that people utilize from their local computers.
In cloud hosting, the website has access to multiple servers, instead of being limited to a single server such as traditionally used in hosting services like dedicated or shared hosting. These servers are not necessarily found in the same data center, but are more likely located in several data centers strewn around different parts of the globe. Thus, the processing power is virtually unlimited as you can always expand and scale up with the addition of a new server.
Now that may sound a little too techie, but if we put it in layman’s language, it basically means the “cloud” provides a hosting environment for computing resources linked together to form one platform and delivered over the Internet. The good thing about it is its application is not limited to a particular set of resources. The cloud freely provides dexterity to the hosts for optimized performance.
Most of the major cloud hosts provide hosting services from fully redundant, scalable, highly available and load-balanced infrastructure that use the major local and international Internet connectivity. Thus, cloud hosting enables your website to scale without the necessity of replacing or upgrading your hardware.
Because there are many servers instead of just one, the loads are balanced, its capacity is increased many times over and the single point of failure is basically eliminated. If one server’s hard drive fails, your site is hardly affected because your data is mirrored on the remaining servers. This allows you then to focus on making your website look, rather than worry about how to keep it running.
The Upside of Cloud Hosting
Cloud hosting provides a number of advantages to the users from different angles; and generally, the most common benefits its scalability and cost-efficiency. However, here are some specific advantages of cloud hosting.
- Website expansion can be achieved with nearly no limitations. With the chance of having more resources available, you gain the ability to expand your business without incurring additional overhead or inventory. Imagine what it would cost to transfer your website from a shared server to a dedicated server – not to mention all the hassles that go with it!
- Reduced failure risk. The cloud works as an entire system and any integral piece of hardware in it is dispensable. Thus, failure of any one of the servers or its components won’t have any damaging effects on the hosted websites. Also, the issue of sudden surge in website usage that can cause server crash is not a problem at all as the burden is evenly spread across the entire network.
- Reasonable cost for processing power utilized. Cost is actually one of the most attractive benefits of cloud hosting. Cloud hosting companies only bill the users based on the extent of computing power consumed. You don’t even have to pay for extra bandwidth when there’s a sudden surge in traffic. It’s all about usage-based charging. Smaller businesses and entrepreneurs and those with restricted budgets can now concentrate on making their business grow without the necessity to learn new skills or incur additional expenditures on extra staff.
There is only one overwhelming disadvantage to cloud hosting and this is the constant threat to security. The security issue is real in that all your data is in your provider’s storage system and there’s always the ever present risk of getting compromised.
Your private data is not really that private in this method. Despite the data center’s assurances of foolproof security, the fact remains that it’s still a bit more perilous to host vital data on virtual cloud than on dedicated physical storage system. This can usually be addressed by just picking and storing certain information in the cloud. This especially works well with data that you aren’t worried would go to the wrong hands.
Conclusion from Personal Experience
Cloud hosting has been popping for quite some time now and is becoming more popular since its inception in 2008. It gives a new comfortable method to the hosting industry. And a cloud host can offer and provide great flexibility in web traffic spikes, disaster recovery, reduced downtime, all for an affordable price. Based on my own experience cloud hosting is quite an offer.
I have changed and upgraded our web hosting page to a VPS cloud. Now, the website is four times faster than before. Not only that, I can also specify my target market through Google Webmaster Tools. It makes my investments and marketing a lot easier and cheaper. So, I’m giving cloud hosting two thumbs up!
This article was written by Garen Arnold, who is a graphic designer out of Kansas City, Missouri. Garen provides people with the Best Web Hosting Service by using his expertise to help people choose the best web hosting service for their business.