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What Is Cloud Hosting and How Does It Work?

Photo by TymonOziemblewski, CC0 1.0

What Is Cloud Hosting?

The cloud in the term cloud hosting refers to multiple servers working together simultaneously. If one server goes down or is full, the process or data simply moves to an alternate server. It can provide an effective alternative to the more traditional dedicated or shared platforms that make use of only one server. The various servers on the cloud form a network and offer redundancy meaning less risk of downtime, and scalability.

It is fairly new technology but is becoming more popular, less expensive and more efficient all the time.

What Are the Benefits of Cloud Hosting?

Cloud hosting is still relatively new; here are a few advantages you will get with cloud hosting:

  • Greater Reliability: It is a case of not keeping all your eggs in one basket. If your data and hosting processes are stored and controlled by multiple servers, often in different locations, you should experience better reliability with little to no risk of downtime. If one server goes down, your data can simply be retrieved from one of the other servers. The same is true of a process or application, if one server fails to respond, the action can simply be carried out by another server. You are not simply trusting one server to remain up and running at all times.

Like any systems there are exceptions. The cloud infrastructure needs to be large enough to cope with any part of it going down. Some solutions function as cloud hosting platforms but due to size restrictions, will not give you the benefit of perfect reliability.

  • Improved Flexibility: Due to the structure of a decent cloud hosting service, it is unlikely to experience space shortages on the server. If you have an unusually high spike in traffic, which can easily happen, the system will simply use more resources on the cloud. It scales very easily as your website grows. If for some reason, you require fewer resources, this is just as easy.
  • Security: Security is an important concern, and although physical servers are still ultimately used, they still employ security measures at each point, across the network, and on the data centers. You can expect security to be on a par with other hosting alternatives and probably more secure than a shared environment. The only challenge they face is that data is stored at multiple locations, but each is protected by security systems.
  • Price Flexibility: The price of cloud hosting continues to fall. Another benefit is that you only pay for what you need, as you use it. You are not paying for resources that are not used. If your activity and traffic increases or decreases, you will pay accordingly.
  • Immediate Response to File Transfer Requirements: If there is a sudden increase in file transfers on your website, a cloud hosting solution can easily accommodate that, instantly. The Best part is, you only pay for what was used. This gives great flexibility as demand is often unpredictable and can fluctuate often.

Although still relatively expensive for smaller users, more and more companies are moving their hosting to the cloud. As this happens and as the technology improves, so the price will continue to come down.

It is essential that you fully understand your needs and objectives with regards to your hosting requirements. That way you will be able to weigh up the benefits of cloud hosting versus the costs involved. This decision needs to look at traffic, the consistency of traffic, security and file transfer requirements. You also need to look at the expense of high resources in case of spikes or the flexible pricing cloud hosting can offer.

Whatever you decide, make sure you do sufficient research to ensure you are getting the most suitable hosting solution for your requirements as well as your budget.