Cloud Hosting Service Overview
Have you ever purchased a hosting solution that in the end appeared to be either not sufficient for your needs or too powerful than actually required? Well, if you did, you are most likely to have experienced inconveniences and service slowdowns in the former case, while the in latter case you realized you are paying too much extra. Thanks to the technology called cloud hosting, it is right now easier to get a hosting solution that would provide the exact amount of resources needed at that particular point.
What Is Cloud Hosting?
Cloud hosting, also known as cloud computing is a relatively new technology that involves usage of a multi-server platform, which allows create cyberspace and process data there without snapping to particular hardware. In another words, it doesn’t matter which particular physical server your web project is hosted on, since there are many servers working in a “cloud”. You wonder how it is created? In fact, a “cloud” is a virtualized environment based on several physical servers. The virtualization technology used for cloud hosting is similar to the one, used on VPS hosting; cloud, however, works contrariwise – it requires several physical machines to be united under the same virtualization infrastructure.
Virtually, the idea of cloud hosting is a realized concept of full service clustering. Use of cluster systems in hosting is very popular – some hosting providers put their nameservers on a DNS cluster to provide better availability of the DNS servers, some website owners use storage cluster systems to improve data fail safety. You can even create a separate database cluster if needed. The idea is that any solution of those significantly improves fail safety, stability and accessibility of the vital services. Cloud hosting providers consider all services vital; therefore any single service, process or piece of data is not bound to hardware. This grants cloud hosting users something, that VPS owners are familiar with – no hardware issues. Unlike a VPS, however, cloud hosts are safer on that point. A VPS carrier may fail and disable a virtual machine – cloud hosting shows better fault tolerance – the more physical machines support the cloud, the more servers can be temporarily unavailable at a time.
Use of Cloud Hosting
If we analyze how Google or Facebook work, it becomes obvious that cloud hosting is the best solution for websites with huge amount of daily traffic that operate large amounts of data by lots of simultaneous visitors. Well, even if your online project is not a great email exchange service or a social network you might find cloud hosting useful, e.g. if you run intranet collaboration software or image gallery, or a complex website with corporate blogs, forums and other applications.
Referring to the first paragraph of the article it is vital to note that cloud hosting may become a perfect platform for any site, regardless of whether it is hosted on a shared or a dedicated server. This is first of all determined by utmost scalability of cloud hosting – you get as many resources to support your platform as you need. Thus, moving from a shared hosting package to a cloud hosting plan with little resources, you should not expect big difference in pricing, while the performance and stability are going to grow. The same refers to dedicated servers – choose the optimal specification and enjoy your new hosting platform.
You may wonder what operating systems are supported by cloud hosting platforms, since some applications and languages can operate under a certain OS only. Right now both Linux and Windows-based cloud hosting services are available. Additionally, both types of service are competitively represented on the market so there’s no problem with finding the best platform for you. You may remember us revealing some peculiarities of Microsoft Windows Azure Cloud Platform; right now there many more other platforms available and we are going to release a review of some Linux-based platform shortly, since Linux still remains a better option for webhosting solutions.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Even if you are going to use cloud hosting as a simple shared hosting solution for a single website of yours, even if it is provided by cloud hosting resellers, you are going to get a significantly more reliable solution. This is owing to a number of advantages of cloud hosting services, namely:
Scalability – we named this advantage before, and it’s hard not to highlight it once again. Apart from the ability to host a wide range of web projects from a personal web page to a serious online business website, scalability of cloud hosting allows perform upgrades painlessly without data transfers, downtime and DNS propagations.
No hardware issues – this one has been also mentioned. Improved fail safety is one of the main benefits of cloud computing. Regardless of the hardware issue, taking place on one of the servers within the platform, the availability of your website is hardly to suffer.
Management – being a complex system, cloud hosting platforms are maintained by professionals so you don’t need to think of any hardware or platform issues. Taking into account the benefits mentioned above cloud users are not likely to need contacting technical support regarding some major issue.
As any technology, cloud hosting also has its disadvantages. Usually they are connected with decreased security level and indirect data access – both due to virtualized file system. Some users also address to the lack of administrative privileges, but this concerns resold cloud hosting mostly.
If your web project requires an ultimate solution that would set you free from any concerns – cloud hosting is definitely something to consider. Having gained much experience in VPS hosting, we at SiteValley.com look into provision of cloud hosting as well. Thus, you should expect some more articles from us in this niche, including our own conception of services we are going to launch.