Cloud Hosting – Quick Overview
Cloud hosting is a form of hosting that has grown in popularity in recent years due to its convenient and helpful functionality. If you have ever looked into hosting a website, you have no-doubt come across the term cloud hosting before, and probably have a lot of questions.
Below we explore what cloud hosting is and how it works, and why you might want to consider using cloud hosting to host your own website.
A network of servers acting as one
Cloud hosting is a type of web hosting which uses software to divide a single physical server into multiple virtual servers. Instead of having all of your data on a single machine, cloud hosting spreads the data across a number of different machines, different servers in different places that are all connected together.
Basically, this means that your website uses the virtual resources of several servers to accommodate all the aspects of hosting your site. Unlike traditional hosting, solutions are not deployed on a single server which means that even if one server fails, another kicks in to keep everything running. The load is balanced, security is taken care of and hardware resources are available virtually so they can be used when needed.
How does Cloud Hosting work ?
The easiest way to understand how cloud hosting works is by comparing it to a single server model.
With the traditional model you have one server that houses all of your website’s files. When someone visits your site these files are then served up from that single physical server.
The idea is more or less the same as cloud hosting. Visitors retrieve website information from servers but the difference is that the website resources come from different virtual servers across many physical servers, even at different locations.
This network of servers allows for an almost unlimited amount of resources, as each server is responsible for a specific set of tasks. It also safeguards against failure. Since the entire system is not dependent on one server, if one fails, another can temporarily provide the same resources.
The backend and frontend involves mostly logging into applications through web browsers. The backend provided by a cloud hosting service is in the form of SaaS (Software as a service), PaaS (Platform as a service) or IaaS (Infrastructure as a service)
Cloud Service Models
There are usually three models of cloud service to compare: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Each of these has its own benefits, as well as variances, and it is necessary to understand the differences among SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS to know how to best choose one for your organization.
SaaS consists of delivering cloud-based applications to users over the internet. In this cloud service model software is hosted online and made available to customers on a subscription basis or for purchase. SaaS cloud providers host applications in his network and users can access them through a browser or app, from different devices.
PaaS is a cloud service model that provides a ready-to-use development environment, where developers can focus on writing and executing high-quality code in order to create customized applications. All servers, storage, and networking can be managed by the enterprise or a third-party provider while the developers can maintain management of the applications.
IaaS is a cloud computing solution that consists of provisioning and managing computing resources over the Internet; such as servers, storage, networking and other services. It provides the technology and capabilities of high-standard data centers to businesses without a significant capital investment on IT equipment. IaaS customers access their infrastructure via a dashboard or application program interface (API), but they don’t have to physically manage it.
The Benefits of Cloud Hosting
Many enterprises choose to utilize a cloud hosting environment because it’s highly reliable. As opposed to the possibility of failure with in-house hardware, cloud hosting takes place in an offsite data center made up of hundreds of servers with multiple redundancies that protect against failures and ensure ongoing availability to both you and your web traffic.
2. Scalability and flexibility
Unlike on dedicated server set-ups where sudden increases in visitors can lead to the whole site going down, with cloud hosting your account can be responsive to demand, and you only pay for the resources you use. The resources provided in a cloud hosting setting can easily scale to the needs of a client and aren’t limited to the physical constraints of a single server. If your site experiences moments of extra traffic, the cloud hosting service can easily borrow unused resources from additional servers.
3. Load Balancing
Load balancing refers to how workloads and computing resources in a cloud computing system are distributed. It’s what lets businesses manage website or application demands among the various server types. In this way, no single server is overburdened by high usage demands.
Load balancing is a primary advantage in cloud computing because it allows enterprises to take advantage of the scalability we mentioned before to provide high performance in a much more dynamic way than traditional servers do.
4. Utility Cost
Traditional hosting requires you to pay a flat monthly fee, which doesn’t take into account whether or not you have used all the server’s resources. In cloud hosting, you only pay for the resources you use. If you expect to receive more traffic during a specific week, you scale resources for that period and what you spend will match the resources you’re using.
5. Data Security
The data is stored at multiple locations, on different servers which typically have multiple security measures in place from ID card scanners to security cameras, thus preventing unauthorized individuals from accessing or disrupting servers.
Cloud hosting adoption is on the rise every year, and it doesn’t take long to see why. Enterprises recognize cloud computing benefits and see how they impact their production, collaboration, security and revenue.
By using a cloud-based solution, an enterprise can prevent a lot of problems that plague organizations that rely on on-premises infrastructure.
If you have any questions about how to effectively adopt the cloud for your business, or how to optimize your cloud performance and reduce costs, contact us today to help you out with your performance and security needs.