Cloud hosting. That’s the hot buzzword in web hosting these days. But what exactly is it?
Cloud hosting is a way to store and access data over the Internet.
The main difference between it and traditional hosting is that with cloud hosting, your data isn’t stored on just one dedicated server but is instead spread out over a network of servers (hence the “cloud” moniker).
In this article, we’ll take a more in-depth look at what is cloud hosting, the different types of cloud hosting, and some of the cloud web hosting benefits over standard hosting.
Table Of Contents
- How Does Cloud Web Hosting Work?
- Types Of Cloud Hosting Solutions
- What Are The Benefits Of Cloud Hosting Services?
- What Services Can Be Hosted In The Cloud?
How Does Cloud Web Hosting Work?
In classic hosting, the database and files of your website or application are stored on a computer located either in your office (on-premises) or in a remote data center. This computer is called a server.
When someone visits your website, what they are actually doing is requesting files from that server so that they can view your site on their computer.
Now, what would happen if that server crashed for some reason?
Your website or application would go down and you would lose any data that wasn’t backed up.
Even if all of your data was backed up, it would take several hours and sometimes even days to get your website or application back up and running on a new server. That’s of course assuming you have the technical knowledge to do so.
This will result in visitors being unable to access your website and could cost you a lot of money in lost revenue.
That’s where cloud server hosting comes in.
Cloud service providers like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft own large clusters of interconnected servers all over the world called server farms. We are talking about hundreds of thousands and even millions of dedicated servers.
When you use cloud hosting services, your data is spread out across these different server farms and you can access it from anywhere in the world using the Internet.
So, if one server farm goes down for some reason, your data is still accessible because it’s stored on other servers.
This is what makes cloud hosting so popular because it’s much more reliable than traditional hosting.
Types Of Cloud Hosting Solutions
Deployment Model (Server Type)
The deployment model defines where the servers you are using are located, how it’s accessed, and who manages them.
There are three popular types of deployment models which are:
a. Public Cloud
Public cloud hosting is a type of cloud computing service that is owned and operated by third-party companies such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft to deliver applications and services over the Internet to anyone who wants to use them.
The benefit of using a public cloud is that you don’t have to invest in your own cloud infrastructure.
You can simply use the computing resources of the public cloud provider and only pay for the CPU cycles, storage, and bandwidth you use.
The downside of using cloud hosting solutions is that you have to trust that the provider will keep your data safe and secure.
The public cloud is mostly used by small businesses and startups that don’t have the resources to build their own cloud infrastructure.
It’s also popular with companies that have data storage and processing needs that fluctuate frequently.
b. Private Cloud
Private clouds are owned and operated by businesses and are not available to the general public.
The benefit of using a private cloud is that you have more control over your data and the security of your data.
Private clouds are also more flexible than public clouds and can be customized to meet the specific needs of your business.
However, the downside of using this type is that it can be quite expensive because you have to invest in your own hardware and IT team.
Businesses that require a high level of security and privacy, such as banks and healthcare organizations, often use private clouds.
c. Hybrid Cloud
A hybrid cloud combines the features of both public and private clouds.
The benefit of using a hybrid cloud is that you can have the best of both worlds.
For example, you can store sensitive data on a private cloud and less sensitive data on a public cloud.
The downside of using a hybrid cloud is that it can be more difficult to manage than a single cloud environment.
Organizations that have data with different security and privacy requirements such as federal agencies use hybrid clouds.
Service Model (Management Level)
The service model defines the management level that is offered by the cloud provider.
Like the deployment model, there are three popular types of service models which are:
a. Infrastructure As A Service (IaaS)
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) delivers basic computer infrastructure to users on an as-needed basis.
With IaaS, you can rent storage, networking, and computing resources without the need to invest in your own cloud infrastructure.
You can simply use the resources of the IaaS provider and only pay for the resources you use.
Compared to on-premises models, with Iaas, you just need to manage your Application, Data, Run Time, Middleware, and OS.
This model is commonly used by IT departments of small and medium-sized businesses.
b. Platform As A Service (Paas)
Platform as a service (PaaS) delivers a platform for developing, testing, and managing applications.
This model allows you to deploy applications on a cloud platform without the need to manage and maintain the underlying infrastructure.
The benefit of using PaaS managed cloud is that you only need to handle the application and data. The other components, such as the servers, storage, operating systems, middleware, and run-time are managed by the PaaS provider.
PaaS is commonly used by developers who want to focus on their application code without worrying about the infrastructure.
c. Software As A Service (SaaS)
Software as a service (SaaS) is a type of cloud computing that delivers software applications to users.
With SaaS, you can access and use software applications over the internet.
The benefit of using SaaS is that you don’t need to install or manage the software application, the platform that it was built on, or the infrastructure server farm itself.
You can simply access and use the application as long as you have an internet connection.
Some of the most popular SaaS applications include Google Applications, Slack, and WordPress.
What Are The Benefits Of Cloud Hosting Services?
A down server simply means that the visitors can’t access the website’s data. So the browser or application will show them an error message.
In the case of classic hosting services, if your server is down due to hardware failure or a power outage, you will have to wait for the technicians to fix it. This can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.
For companies that rely on their website for sales, this can be a huge problem. As every minute of downtime can cost them a lot of money.
Cloud hosting, on the other hand, is much more reliable.
Since your website’s data is stored on multiple cloud servers, if a server goes down, the others can take over and keep your website running.
This means that your website or application will have high availability.
The speed of your website is important for 2 reasons.
First, it affects the user experience. A slow website will frustrate visitors and they are likely to leave without converting.
Second, it affects your search engine ranking. Google considers website speed as a ranking factor.
So a faster website will not only provide a better user experience but also rank higher in the search results.
First, by utilizing the load-balancing technology. A load balancer is a software/hardware that evenly distributes website traffic among multiple servers.
It works like a gate between the visitor and the servers. When a visitor tries to access your website, the load balancer will redirect them to the server that can best handle their request.
This can help reduce the critical workloads on a single server and ensure that all visitors get a fast and responsive experience.
Second, most cloud hosting providers offer CDN services.
CDN stands for content delivery network. It is a network of servers that deliver content based on the user’s location.
So, if your website is hosted on a server in the US, and a visitor from the UK tries to access it, the CDN will deliver the content from a server in the UK.
This can help reduce the latency and greatly improve the website speed for international visitors.
To host a website, you need 2 main things: a place to save the data (disk space) and a machine to process the data and serve it to visitors (CPU, RAM, and bandwidth.)
If you opt for a dedicated server, you will be limited by the server’s resources.
For example, if you have dedicated hardware with 500GB of space and your website outgrows it, you will need to upgrade the hardware or migrate to a new server.
This can be a time-consuming and expensive process.
Cloud hosting, on the other hand, uses virtualization technology.
In a nutshell, virtualization is the process of taking a physical server and using software to divide it into multiple “virtual” ones.
So far, you did nothing. You just took a single server and divided it into several ones.
Now, here’s where things get interesting: all the resources of these virtual servers (CPU, RAM, disk, etc) are pooled together.
This means if you need more RAM or CPU for your website, you can just dip into the dedicated resource pool and get it without upgrading the hardware.
That’s the power of virtualization. With just a few clicks, you can add more resources without worrying about the hardware or transferring your website or app to another server.
This feature is particularly useful for companies that experience sudden spikes in traffic.
They can just add more resources to their cloud hosting account and meet the demand without any downtime.
Cloud hosting is more secure than traditional hosting services for several reasons.
First, most cloud hosting providers offer a higher level of security as a standard.
This includes features like firewalls, DDoS protection, identity management, storage segregation, and intrusion detection.
Second, with cloud hosting, your website is spread across multiple servers.
So, if one server is hacked or experiences an outage, your website will still be up and running on the other servers.
Third, all data is backed up automatically.
This protects your data from accidental deletion, hardware failure, and natural disasters.
Fourth, hosting providers have a team of security experts who are constantly monitoring the servers and keeping an eye out for any potential threats.
Finally, the cloud server hardware is usually kept in super secure, off-premises centers.
These global data centers have security measures like biometric scanners, armed guards, and CCTV. So, you can be sure your data is safe and sound.
One of the many problems with classic hosting environment is that it wastes a lot of energy and resources.
For example, if you have a server with 500GB of space, but you only use 50GB, the other 450GB is wasted.
In this case, you are not only wasting the disk space, but also the power needed to run the server, cool it, and so on.
With cloud hosting, the servers are working at full capacity all the time with no resources wasted, saving a lot of valuable energy.
This means your website will have a smaller carbon footprint.
It’s also worth noting that many cloud hosting providers use renewable energy to power their servers.
For example, Google Cloud Platform runs on 100% renewable energy.
Suppose you are an e-commerce website that needs a lot of storage.
You could opt for a traditional hosting plan that gives you 500GB of disk space. However, this plan would also give you a lot of other features that you don’t need and would probably never use, such as more computing power, more bandwidth, and so on.
This would be a waste of your money.
With cloud hosting, you can customize your plan to suit your specific needs.
So, if you only need 500GB of storage space, you can just pay for that.
Need more processing power? No problem, just add it to your plan.
This way, you only pay for what you actually need, which is much more cost-effective.
Save More Money
In standard hosting, you pay a fixed monthly fee regardless of how much you use the server resources.
So, if your website is only using 50% of the allocated resources, you’re still paying for the other 50% even though you’re not using it.
With cloud hosting, you only pay for what you use.
This can lead to considerable savings over time, making cloud hosting more cost-effective in the long run.
Additionally, you don’t have to invest in your own hardware with cloud hosting.
This can further reduce your costs since you don’t have to worry about maintaining or upgrading your servers.
What Services Can Be Hosted In The Cloud?
You can host almost any type of website or application in the cloud.
Here are some examples:
- E-commerce websites
- Web applications
- Mobile applications
- Database applications
- Storage applications
The possibilities are endless. If you can run it on a traditional server, chances are you can run it on a cloud network.
The difference between cloud and shared hosting is that in shared web hosts, multiple websites are sharing the resources of a single physical server, while in cloud services, your website is hosted on multiple synced cloud servers at the same time.
What’s The Difference Between Cloud And VPS Hosting?
The difference between cloud and VPS hosting is that a VPS is hosted on a single physical server, while a cloud server is hosted on a virtual environment that consists of multiple virtual machines synced together.
What’s The Difference Between Cloud And Colocation Hosting?
The difference between cloud and colocation hosting is that in cloud technology, the servers are owned and managed by the cloud provider, while in colocation hosting, the servers are owned by the business that is leasing the space.
Cloud hosting is a great option for websites and applications that need high reliability and scalability.
However, not all cloud hosting providers are created equal.
Some are more reliable than others, and some are more expensive than others.
We have many websites that we host on the cloud, and we have found that SiteGround is the best cloud hosting provider out there.
They are reliable, affordable, and their customer service is excellent.
If you’re looking for a cloud hosting provider, we highly recommend SiteGround.