If there is one buzzword in the business world that gets tossed around today on an almost constant basis, it is without question ‘the Cloud’. Cloud computing coves a lot of different ground, and Cloud hosting is only one of several different concepts within the broad spectrum that is Cloud computing. However, it’s an important one, and something that most companies should spend at least some time looking into – especially if they need a reliable, affordable, scalable hosting service.
Essentially, Cloud hosting is the process of using virtual servers to provide hosting solutions instead of a single server setup. Think of an internal computer system in an office – even if it is as small as a single desktop computer. All resources that are run from that computer are hosted on the computer itself. With Cloud hosting, the various files, data, and resources that host a website or a data pool are all hosted on various virtual servers.
To simplify the explanation even more, it’s easier to look at a Cloud hosting service as a service like electricity, a telephone service, or something similar. A client can essentially use as much or as little of the hosting service as they need, scaling up their level of hosting as they need, adding additional features, sizes, speeds, and more as their business grows and evolves. Since cloud hosting only charges based on what is used, it’s often the most economical option for businesses.
With a cloud hosting service, numerous physical servers are used to create a network of virtual servers. These servers all work together to create one large virtual server that pulls resources from them all – it can pull disk space from one, processing power from another, and so on. All the physical servers are still housed in a data center so they get the security that comes with those facilities, but with the added benefits of a Cloud setup.
Getting a general idea of how the Cloud works is straightforward enough, but most business owners and operators are more interested in just what kind of benefits Cloud hosting offers to their business. The advantages are even easier to look at.
- Affordability – The Cloud hosting service is generally much more affordable for a couple of different reasons. The first is that there are no expensive equipment purchases needed. Instead of investing in machines that can cost thousands, a client simply signs up for the service. Once they do sign up, costs are generally lower since the hosting service handles regular maintenance and since only the amount of usage required is paid for. Instead of a flat fee, Cloud hosting is charged on a by-use scale that lets businesses save.
- Fast Set Up – Instead of buying machines and spending days setting them up and installing the system, Cloud servers can be ready to use in a matter of seconds. Once the order is placed, they’ll be available for use quickly.
- Reliability – Since Cloud hosting utilizes multiple servers, a single server issue isn’t enough to shut down your website or your IT infrastructure. Instead, the system simply dilutes resources available to the Cloud. A slight reduction of speed may occur, but the website won’t simply crash. This means that the Cloud helps your business keep on operating.
- Improved Productivity – Your IT team has plenty to handle on-site. With Cloud hosting, they don’t have to worry about maintaining servers and updating security issues. That’s all handled by the Cloud hosting service.
- Fully Scalable – As your company grows, your hosting needs will likely grow as well. Instead of having to purchase new equipment and upgrades, a Cloud hosting service lets you instantly increase your access. Whether it’s a sudden increase in traffic, an additional feature, or more email space, you can easily scale up your service as you need. And you can even have bandwidth and other features automatically scale based on traffic to your site to ensure you don’t have to worry about issues.
- Better Physical Security – Along with the digital security and regular maintenance, the fact that Cloud hosting servers are housed inside secure data centers means that you don’t have to worry about hem falling short on security measures. Your information is completely safe and will stay that way no matter what.
- Multiple Locations – In some instances Cloud providers actually have multiple data centers. This lets you choose the one that is closest to you to ensure maximum speed.
- Customizable – Not only is your Cloud hosting service scalable, it’s also easy to customize to get what you need. You can select things like the operating system, the processing power, storage space, bandwidth, and more as you see fit. This means that you’ll get exactly the kind of service you need at a better price.
It’s also worth noting that there are a couple of different types of Cloud hosting available. Different options are better for different situations.
- Private – A private cloud setup is designed and operated for a single entity. Sometimes they’re utilized only as a kind of intranet setup, while in other cases they are external. While they are generally more secure, there is more maintenance and a larger investment required in both time and money.
- Public – Public Cloud services are rendered entirely on networks that are open to the public. This could be something as basic as a website hosting, digital data storage, or something else. The overall architecture of a public Cloud is usually very similar to a private one, only with less maintenance and slightly less security. Access is usually available through the internet.
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Cloud computing is here to stay, with most experts estimating that nearly all major companies will rely on Cloud hosting in some form or another over the coming years. It offers a wide range of benefits to those who need the services, and while there are some drawbacks most agree that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. If you’re looking for a reliable and affordable hosting solution, it may be in your best interests to consider getting onto the Cloud.