Cloud hosting is a virtual server that hosts multiple websites through a process called virtualization. Cloud hosting is different than the traditional hosting methods as the websites are not hosted on the physical server itself. Well kind of, the websites are hosted on a virtualization software, but that software sits on multiple different servers that come together to form the cloud.
Terms to Know
Before we jump into cloud hosting and how it works here are some terms you will need to know:
- Virtualization – is the process of installing software onto hardware to create a virtual machine in which you can control the amount of resources being used
- Built-In Redundancy – having a back-up of a server in place to take over if the primary server fails
- Load Balancing – distributing traffic across servers to help maintain a fast and reliable user experience
How does Cloud Hosting Work?
Like we mentioned cloud hosting is achieved through virtualization. Virtualization is the process of which a piece of software is installed onto the physical hardware to create a pool of server and divide its computing resources.
Through virtualization, we can put a pool of different servers together and create the cloud on which your site is hosted on. You are essentially creating one main virtual server from multiple physical servers as opposed to traditional hosting methods whereby websites are hosted on a physical server itself.
As the graphic below demonstrates, shared hosting is one physical server that hosts multiple different websites. For each user to get to its final website destination, they have to connect to the one physical server. In cloud hosting, the user connects to the cloud which is made up of multiple physical servers.
What are the benefits of Cloud Hosting?
- Reliability – Just because one server fails, that does not mean your website will result in downtime. As one server is broken down into multiple different servers through virtualization the failure of one server still allows your website to be running if you have built-in redundancy. However, the ability to make a back-up on cloud hosting is easier than having it done in traditional hosting methods.
- Better Stability – As website sees an increase in traffic, it will remain stable. This is due to the fact that the infrastructure can spread traffic across the cloud servers. In other words, you are able to share the traffic of one site across different servers to help improve speed and efficiency. This is also known as load balancing.
- Scalability – Unlike traditional hosting methods, you aren’t bound to a limit on bandwidth, storage or other computing resources. As you grow, your hosting service should be able to support you with additional resources in the virtual environment. Meaning your site will only use the resources that it requires at all times.
- Better Security – Because the servers are virtual you eliminate the chance of physical malfunctions. Moreover, load balancing can also help play a role in preventing DDoS attacks.
How to Set Up Cloud Hosting for Maximum Benefits?
To set cloud hosting for the best possible performance there is two different ways to go about it. You can either talk to your provider or go through a platform like Openstack, AWS or Google Cloud, if you know what you’re doing. The advantage of going through cloud computing platforms is that you don’t have to wait for your provider to customize it to your liking; as long as you know how to customize your cloud server, you can get it done quickly.
To set up the cloud hosting for maximum benefits set up a highly available cluster for load balancing and backend data. A cluster is a group of servers so you can achieve efficient load balancing, and have a backup to fall on in case one server fails. By using a cluster of servers, you are achieving that built-in redundancy we talked about above.
What sites are suited for Cloud Hosting?
Cloud hosting is best suited for sites that have higher amounts of traffic. In general, eCommerce stores, news publications, social networks, and high traffic blogs work great with cloud hosting. Cloud hosting works best for those who expect traffic surges and for those who need a good amount of processing power.
When a product or blog post goes viral you can still expect your website to be reliable and stable due to the load balancing feature. As your website receives more traffic the performance of your site will not suffer which is not always the case in a shared hosting environment.
What are the disadvantages of Cloud Hosting? The disadvantages of cloud hosting are mostly attributed to the cost of setting it up. You may be overcharged depending on your site traffic and needs. Cloud hosting works best when your needs fall in between shared hosting and a virtual private server. With that being said, your site may be better suited for a shared hosting plan. This also doesn’t help considering that it can be confusing for newcomers to cloud hosting.
Cloud hosting is an option that you may want to consider especially if you see your website growing overtime and more so if it is growing rapidly. The key benefit of cloud hosting is the scalability. Your site will not be bound to a bandwidth, storage or any other resources as you can ask your host to increase these as you see fit.
If you found this blog post informative check out our other posts on cloud hosting here. To view all of our hosting plans click here. Let us know which method of hosting you decided to go with and how it has worked out for you