What Customers Need To Know About Cloud Hosting
Cloud hosting services have taken off in popularity in the last decade. The concept, however, can be challenging for the unindoctrinated to wrap their heads around. You should be familiar with these four aspects of cloud hosting before you decide to use it.
What Cloud Hosting Is
Broadly speaking, there are two common ways to host servers. First, you can load a bunch of resources onto a single machine and hope you've provided enough to survive massive traffic spikes. Secondly, you can spread the load across many machines.
Cloud hosting falls into the second category. However, it takes things a step further than simple clustering. Instead, a pool of resources is made available across a company's network. If a ton of traffic suddenly comes in, the system can muster help from this pool to keep processing requests.
What's the Benefit?
The major benefits of cloud hosting services are stability and scalability. With a large pool of resources available to deal with computation, file hosting, and requests, a cloud host can take a pounding and keep on trucking.
It's also possible to use the additional resources in the pool to scale automatically. A server that needs another 100 GB of storage doesn't have to be outfitted with new hardware. Instead, the cloud hosting software will simply expand the pool of available resources for storage to give the host more overhead.
This approach is especially appealing to operations that need room to grow. You might only require gigabytes of bandwidth today, for example, but your long-term plans involve terabytes worth of usage a year down the road.
Generally, cloud hosting, especially the scalable variety, employs metered billing rather than flat rates. That means you need to keep close tabs on how much of a bill a server is running up. If you're confident in your business model's profitability, such as with an e-commerce website during the peak of the holiday shopping season, though, you can expect the returns from the traffic to pay for the costs.
How Difficult Is Cloud Hosting to Use?
Improvements in how hosts are designed have made the process of setting up and maintaining a server in the cloud very similar to other options. Unless you really want to get under the hood, you'll never notice the difference between something like a cloud host and a VPS — although you'll probably notice the cloud-based system is vastly more stable.