If you are researching various web hosting services, you will come across a bit of a buzz when it comes to cloud hosting. This type of hosting is becoming more and more widely available and as it gains popularity, is offering clients a wider choice and more competitive pricing.
Typically, this utilizes an approach where the website sits on virtual servers, pulling on underlying networks of physical ones. This is a service, rather than a product, not unlike gas or electricity. Depending on the needs of the website, the client can draw on these services and only get charged for what they use. It is an alternative to traditional website hosting on single servers, whether that be shared or dedicated and performs as an extension to the idea of clustered hosting which typically hosts with multiple servers. The network of servers that a cloud uses is large, drawing from data centres in a variety of locations.
Cloud hosting falls under the categories of either Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS). Under this, the client draws on virtual hardware resources which let them install their own selection of software before embarking on building their website. A PaaS service provides both software and a solution stack. This typically consists of an operating system, database support, server software, and programming support. The client can then develop and install their web application. A virtual data center (VDC) holds a virtual network of servers within the cloud, making it possible to host multiple IP operations and websites.
It is a reliable resource whereby a virtual partition provides disk space and if a server goes offline, the cloud will pull from the remaining underlying physical network of servers. Even if an entire data centre goes offline, the pooled cloud resource can draw from numerous data centres, situated in multiple locations, therefore spreading the risk.
The cloud provides seamless accessibility for businesses, as its resources are in real time and on demand. Should there be a spike in traffic, or a new functionality becomes live, the cloud will pull resources to deliver its resource to the client. Even with these spikes of activities, the client is only charged for what is used, leaving no wasted capacity for when the demands are not as high.
Cloud hosting is a service which will appeal to clients who have outgrown their existing shared hosting, particularly for those with high traffic, which can put a strain on their existing shared server. This approach also offers similar advantages to dedicated hosting, but is more user friendly for those with limited IT know-how.