What Is Cloud Hosting?
Cloud hosting has grown in popularity in recent years. If you’ve been exploring your hosting options for any time at all, then you’ve no doubt come across cloud hosting before, and probably have a lot of questions. The cloud is a concept that has been employed across many areas of technology, and now it’s expended out into the hosting arena as well.
Below we explore what cloud hosting is and how it works, and why you might want to consider utilizing cloud hosting to host your own website.
Understanding the Cloud
When it comes to the cloud there is no physical thing you can point to and label as the cloud. Just like with cloud hosting there isn’t a single physical server you can point to and say, “that’s a cloud host.”
Instead, it’s a way of storing data across multiple computers and accessing that data via a network connection like the Internet. As a whole, the cloud behaves like a single physical computer, with endless processing power and storage space.
Common cloud-based services that employ a similar process are cloud storage providers like Dropbox and Google Docs. The underlying idea of resource scaling, storage, and access remain the same when extended out to cloud hosting as well.
What’s Cloud Hosting?
Cloud hosting is more of a way that you configure servers, instead of an actual tangible thing, but with it being called “cloud” hosting that’s probably what you’ve come to expect.
In typical server configurations, you’re limited to the physical constraints of the server your site is hosted on. With cloud hosting, you rely on a unique server configuration that lets you pull from multiple different servers, which results in an affordable hosting solution that’s also scalable and incredibly reliable.
The simplest cloud hosting definition could be a network of virtual servers that tap into an underlying network of physical servers. The extent to which you tap into this network depends upon the actual needs of the website and can be scaled up or down accordingly.
On a technical level, the resources required for your website to function are spread out across multiple remote servers and these resources as tapped as they are needed. Since your website isn’t relying on a single server, but instead a network of servers, this network of servers is referred to as the cloud.
How Does Cloud Hosting Work?
The easiest way to break down cloud hosting is to compare it to a single server model. With traditional hosting, you have a single server that contains all of your website’s files. When a user visits your website these files are then served up from that single physical server.
Compare this to a cloud hosting setup where your site’s resources can be drawn from multiple different virtual server environments.
At the core of a cloud hosting setup is a network of physical servers, with virtualized servers running on top of them. With this setup you can draw from a near-infinite supply of server resources and scale your site as your needs grow.
Why Would I Choose Cloud Hosting?
With all of the various types of hosting available why would you choose cloud hosting?
Whether or not you decide to utilize cloud hosting depends upon your site’s needs. If your site is fast growing and you need a hosting setup that can grow with your site and automatically adjust to traffic spikes, then cloud hosting could be a great choice.
Here are some of the core benefits a cloud host can provide:
- Cloud servers will give you tremendous security and stability. In large part, this is due to the isolated environment in which a cloud server setup runs. Secondly, if one of the physical servers is compromised you can simply rely on another server that’s running properly.
- Cloud servers also offer you incredible speed and performance. When you’re running your site from a physical server the only location your site’s files can be accessed is from that exact server location. With a cloud server, your website can be accessed from multiple locations, which can be closer from the actual physical location of your visitors – improving their site speed.
- Cloud hosting can be infinitely scalable. Upgrading your disk space and memory is a very simple process and can be done from multiple different servers. You’re not limited by the hardware constraints of a single physical server location.
One of the final considerations in determining if cloud hosting is right for you is the sliding pricing format. With most cloud hosts you’ll only be paying for what you actually use. The extra cloud server resources will be available for when traffic spikes occur, but you won’t be paying for server resources that aren’t being utilized.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of cloud server hosting, the technology behind it, and how it can benefit your own website.