Cloud Hosting Services
You hear about cloud hosting services all over the internet these days, but what is the cloud? And, how can you use this technology to help your small business grow and adapt to in this ever changing online world we live in? We cannot go over all of the nuances of what the cloud is here, but we can give you an overview on what it is, how it is different from traditional hosting and most importantly, how it can help your business.
What is the Cloud?
You maybe heard the term “the Cloud” thrown around a lot recently when it comes to web hosting. It has become a bit of a buzzword, and is often misrepresented. Having your data “on the cloud” does not just mean that it is on “someone else’s computer”. Nor is every web server a “cloud”.
While there is no definitive answer, when it comes to web hosting services, a Cloud is a group of servers that are connected through software to share resources. Instead of your site being hosted on a dedicated shared server (one physical machine), your account will be stored on the cloud. A cloud is often made up of several physical servers. These servers can be in a common data center, or ideally in several different data centers, in different locations.
With traditional web hosting services, you would have a server, a physical computer, sitting in a data center. More likely, you would have several servers in this center. You would then virtually divide each of these physical servers into virtual servers (virtual machines or VMs) and assign a set amount of server resources (CPUs, RAM and disk space) to each VM. These VMs could then be used to host shared hosting servers or VPS servers (Virtual Private Servers). Each VM is has it’s set amount of resources that it has access to and does not share them with other VMs.
While there is no definitive answer on what “the Cloud” means, when it comes to web hosting services, a Cloud is a group of physical servers that are connected through software to share resources. A cloud is often made up of several physical servers. These servers can be in a common data center, or ideally in several different data centers, in different locations.
Compared to traditional server set ups, many physical machines are pooled together to create a “Cloud”. The software that manages the Cloud is able to manage the resources and use of all of the connected servers, and can dynamically adjust resources as needed. If, for example, a physical server fails, the cloud software can adjust and serve your site from another machine, typically without anyone even noticing.
When you have your site hosted on the Cloud, instead of your site being confined to a VM on one physical machine with assigned resources, your account will have access to all of the resources on the cloud. Most cloud services allow you to pay only for the resources you use, rather the what you have assigned to you. This also means that if you need a short burst of resources because of high traffic on your site, this can be handled easily without the need to upgrade your entire account.
Advantages of the Cloud
As you can guess, there are several advantages that the cloud has over conventional hosting. For starters, having access to a large pool of server resources means that your site should preform, regardless of load or traffic. The scalability of the cloud also means that when if you do need more resources for a short period of time, say, during a product launch, you can access these additional resources without needing to upgrade your entire plan.
Having a cloud that is in several different locations is also an advantage in the case that one data center is having unplanned issues, such as a weather event or an unplanned outage. With your data on the cloud, your services will be routed to the next server in the cloud.
The main advantage of the cloud, when all is said and done, is the cost reduction. Using cloud infrastructure and management software allows web host to offer dedicated server like services for VPS prices.
Disadvantages of the Cloud
Not surprisingly, there are no real disadvantages to cloud hosting. There is the whole “Someone else’s computer” meme. But, regardless of what web hosting service you are using, your data is always on “Someone else’s computer”. Unless you are willing to purchase and manage an entire server at your location, and depending on the size and complexity of your business, this may be your best option, cloud hosting may be the best option for you.
How do I purchase Cloud Hosting?
You can check out our current Cloud offerings at our website. We are always adding new services so be sure to check often to see what is new. Currently, you can see and purchase Cloud services from your client area.
If you do not know how to access your client area, you can find out here.
If you are still having issues, and need further support, please reach out to our support team using any of these methods.
What is Cloud Hosting
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