Businesses are fast turning to cloud computing technologies and this has made it important for us to understand how cloud server hosting is different from any other hosting solution. Cloud server hosting is believed to be a far more reliable and scalable option compared to any other standard hosting option. Among the regular web hosting plans, shared server hosting plans are the most cost-effective.
How did Cloud Server Hosting come about?
Earlier, most businesses would decide to sign up for shared hosting plans to buy a domain for their site and then showcase their products to a global audience. The shared hosting provider would offer features like a user-friendly control panel, unlimited email and FTP accounts, email hosting etc. However, there would be limitations on bandwidth, server space, memory because resources were shared among many websites.
For the static sites like personal websites and small business sites, this option worked just fine. However, for ecommerce sites, it turned out to be deficient in many ways. These sites need additional resources during specific times of the year when the traffic escalates. At such times, a shared server was not enough to give these resources. So, these sites had to choose either a VPS server or a dedicated server that was slightly costlier. Choosing the dedicated server meant that the business could get all resources belonging to that server exclusively for a costly plan.
Finally, the cloud came about as another option before these web developers. When the AWS or Amazon Web Service first made its presence felt, most companies were not aware of what this cloud model could offer them. Today however, there are many more cloud server hosting providers than before. And the solutions they keep coming up with are far more innovative than earlier.
What is different about cloud server hosting is that the website is not tied to any one server physically. It has connections with remote servers which are part of a network of servers. So, you can access computing resources from a huge resource pool that belongs to many servers. In short, you will not have to worry about resource shortage and you can pay only for the resources you are using.
When you bought shared hosting plans, you could scale up the resources only up to a point, that is, till the hardware could accommodate these. But with cloud server hosting, you can get as many resources as you need in real time. Likewise, you can store as much data as you wish in the cloud. While you may be charged nominally by a cloud hosting provider, there is no limit to cloud storage.
Another reason why the cloud seems to score above shared hosting and other forms of web hosting is that latency is totally eliminated. Latency refers to the time taken for requests to be processed. Since the cloud has multiple data centers distributed geographically all over the world, requests get routed faster to the spot nearest to the user making the request. So, when you choose cloud server hosting, no matter where your customers are, they can get the benefits of low latency as long as they are situated near data centers.
A further advantage of cloud server hosting lies in security. When you use cloud hosting, data gets distributed across different servers in different locations, unlike files. These are in the form of “data packets” that are continuously monitored. This feature rules out the chances of data corruption. Moreover, since there is a resource pool, the infrastructure is also far more resilient to DDoS and such other attacks. So, the more complicated tasks which would entail a huge amount of effort and money earlier, like load balancing, data security, mirroring etc are far more simplified in a cloud. This explains how a cloud hosting plan can take care of many of the shortcomings of the other web hosting plans.
Unlike shared hosting, cloud hosting gives access to unlimited resources. Shared hosting may be simpler with regular user-friendly control panels but cloud hosting will not have standardized panels. Each company offers its own distinct interface. Shared hosting plans are reliable but you cannot rule out downtimes. However, with clouds, 100% uptime can be expected. With shared hosting, security patches and upgrades have to be performed regularly and there is a high vulnerability to cyber attacks. But with the cloud, you get benefits of a resilient architecture and far better data security provisions. So, for simple static sites, shared hosting may be useful; but for sites catering to a global audience, cloud server hosting is the way to go.