Cloud hosting has grown as a popular hosting solution over the years—if you’ve searched hosting options at all, you’ve no doubt come across this option, but you might still have questions. That’s where we come in. Keep reading for what you need to know.
What is the Cloud?
The cloud isn’t anything physical you can point to and say “that’s our server,” because it isn’t a physical server. Instead, cloud hosting is a way of sorting data across multiple computers and accessing that data via some kind of network connection, such as the Internet. The cloud behaves like a single physical computer, but when endless processing power and storage space.
Think of Dropbox and Google Docs when you think of the cloud—these are very popular cloud-based services, because the idea behind them extends to the cloud as well.
What is Cloud Hosting?
Cloud hosting, at its core, is a way to configure your servers instead of an actual tangible thing. In traditional configurations you’re limited to whatever physical constraints the server your site is hosted on has. With cloud hosting configuration, you can pull from multiple servers. Not only does it offer affordable hosting solutions, but it’s also scalable and very reliable.
The easiest way to define it is this: cloud hosting is a network of virtual servers that tap into an underlying network of physical servers. Tapping into the network depends entirely on you and your website’s actual needs, and can be scaled accordingly. The resources you need for your site to function properly are spread out across several remote servers, and you can tap into those when you need them.
How Does It Work?
With traditional hosting, you have a single server that holds all of your website files. Whenever someone goes to your website, those files are served up from that single physical server. With a cloud hosting setup, your website’s resources are drawn from multiple virtual servers—at the core of those is a network of physical servers. You can draw from an infinite supply of resources, and adjust as your needs grow.
Some of the Benefits
Cloud hosting can offer you a very flexible pricing structure. With traditional hosting, you typically pay a monthly rate whether you tap into all of your server resources or not—with cloud hosting, however, you only pay for what you use. This is becoming a popular pricing structure across several industries, for obvious reasons! If your website is getting a lot more traffic than usual, or a post of yours goes viral, you don’t have to completely upgrade your package. You just have to scale your resources up to exactly what you need, and pay for that alone.
With traditional hosting, if something happens to your one physical server, you’re pretty much out of luck. Your site will be offline until the server is fixed. With cloud hosting on the other hand, a site backup will take over your existing site within seconds. Not to mention it has high uptime built into its structure, which means your site’s uptime isn’t dependent on a physical server’s environment.
Balancing between multiple server environments, as opposed to just one, means faster speeds overall—because you aren’t putting all the strain onto one single server’s resources. Look for a cloud host that has premium server hardware, low-density servers, and multiple caching layers for even faster website speed.
Lastly, switching to cloud hosting means a lower environmental impact. You’re utilizing fewer overall datacenters, and are only using the resources you actually need at any given time. By streamlining your resource and data use, you can reduce your environmental footprint.
Ready to learn more? Give Bytesize a call.