Cloud hosting is the new trend in web hosting and cloud technology in general is getting more and more popular in the industry. Services like DropBox offer cloud storage for end users to store their content remotely making the data accessible anywhere in the world. Cloud technology is changing the way content is shared and distributed on the Internet and understanding what cloud technology is will give you a head start in to the future of web hosting and cloud services.
So what really is ‘the cloud’?
The cloud is a term used when data is no longer stored locally but on a remote server. The idea behind the cloud is that you can store your pictures, videos and files on multiple servers so you can access it from anywhere and share your content with others with ease. For example, most people store their music and photos on their desktop computers. This means that if you want to share a file you would have to email it to someone or find some other method of sharing your files. Placing your files on a cloud server gives you the freedom to share your files with anyone around the world with ease. The shift from traditional local storage to cloud storage is expanding rapidly and more and more users are opting to use the cloud.
Benefits of using cloud technology:
- No hardware to maintain as your data is not stored locally but in ‘the cloud’
- Sharing files is seamless, you can share your data with anyone around the world
- You can store backups on the cloud without having to buy any hardware
- No real technical skills required or software to install
- Save money since you only pay for the resources you use
Now you have an idea of what cloud technology or cloud computing is but what is Cloud Hosting?
Typically when you host your website with any company your website, database and emails are stored on one physical server. This has been a standard for years however with cloud technology coming in to the picture things change drastically. Hosting your website with a cloud hosting provider means your content is distributed across multiple servers and hard drives so there is no single point of failure. This give you more performance as now you have more than one server loading your content so if one server fails your website doesn’t go down! In addition your website files and databases are stored on what’s called a SAN (Storage Area Network). SAN is simply a fancy word that describes a server with multiple hard drives in it. The servers sole purpose is to store files across multiple drives in an array so your data is accessible even if a drive fails. Since multiple drives load your content you benefit from the speed of different drives loading content.
Cloud Hosting is fairly new and over the past few years hosting companies realized that cloud hosting is the new wave in web hosting. Imagine having your website load from multiple servers and hard drives, you’ll notice performance enhancements as well as having a layer of redundancy that a single server simply cannot provide.
Yes, it’s cheaper hosting in the cloud. Since cloud hosting uses less electricity hosting providers can pass on the cost savings to the end-users. Cloud computers no longer have to be overpowered since multiple ‘efficient’ servers load your content. Hosting providers also save on server licenses as cloud virtualization licensing is much cheaper. With cloud hosting you only pay for the resources you use. This means that if you only need 10GB of disk space you only pay for 10GB, nothing more. For example if you need a dedicated server you have to buy a certain amount of disk space even if it’s more than you actually need. With cloud hosting you can buy only the space you require and scale resources as you need. This saves you money and also ensures you can grow your business without extra upfront costs.
There are 2 main options when considering cloud hosting. You can find a shared cloud hosting provider or if you need your own private server you can look for a Cloud VPS provider. Shared hosting is the cheaper option and is suitable for most people. We review many hosts on HRS but there is really only one provider in the hosting industry that offers Cloud Hosting at shared hosting prices and that’s HostHero.com. HostHero offers a shared cloud hosting plan from $3.95/month and includes a free domain name for life. These guys were one of the first cloud hosting companies and are growing rapidly as the demand for cloud hosting continues to expand. Hosting your website with HostHero means your website files, databases and emails are all stored on separate servers so if one server goes down your other services are unaffected. Below is a simple graphic depicting their infrastructure and setup.
The key advantage of a cloud hosting provider is having an unlimited number of servers act as one, giving you more computing power and security. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars per month on a dedicated server you can consider a cloud hosting platform where you only pay for the resources you need. You’ll save MUCH more and still have the same if not more computing power with dedicated resources such as CPU and memory.
What is Cloud VPS Hosting?
First off, a VPS (virtual private server) means that you are on your own virtual server. You are not sharing resources with other users and have dedicated CPU/Memory/Storage for your own website. With a VPS you also have full root access. This means you can install any software on your server and control every aspect of the server as if you were standing in front of the server itself. With cloud technology, hosting providers can now offer Cloud VPS which is the same idea as a standard VPS but once again your website and load is distributed across multiple servers and hard drives so there is no single point of failure. A Cloud VPS is a great solution for a business that requires security and their own server but doesn’t need an overpriced dedicated server.
With Cloud VPS hosting you can choose which operating system you want to use, the version of PHP, apache, MySQL and so on. Having full control of your server while benefiting from the performance that cloud technology offers is a step in the right direction.
Here at HRS we review hosting providers everyday but our goal is to also provide you with information on the latest trends and technology in the hosting industry. We want to make sure you understand what your options are when choosing a hosting provider and with cloud computing more and more people are considering a cloud web host. Website uptime is critical, if your website is down it does you no good. With cloud hosting you get performance and the highest level of redundancy while still saving money.
We’ve found that HostHero does offer some great cloud hosting options, definitely check them out.
Read our full review of HostHero here