Friday, March 19, 2010

What is cloud hosting?

by Madan Kumar

Cloud hosting is a term used when talking about a certain type of web hosting. But what exactly is the difference in cloud hosting compared to other hosting options? Cloud hosting operates off of clustered servers. This way, the hosting is handled using multiple servers instead of just one single server. By doing this, things such as handling security, hardware resources, and load balance are done virtually. Because of this, websites have access to the processing power of several servers.

Cloud hosting comes with certain benefits. Perhaps two of the most commonly regarded benefits of using this host type are the cost efficiency and scalability. When it comes to cost efficiency, cloud hosting sites charge users by the amount of processing power that they use. Meaning it's like your electricity bill, the more you use the higher the bill. This can save you quite a pretty penny since your bill is purely according to your active use of the servers, meaning you're not paying for something that you're not using.

So it's a cost effective service, but what do I mean by scalability? What I mean is that the technology available has high scalability. In simple terms, you aren't bound by your server's limited resources. You have a great deal of processing power available to you, instead of simply relying on your personal computer handling everything. Website expansion can be done easily without the frustration and hassle of migrating and transferring everything to a larger, dedicated server. Not only that, but you won't have to worry about using a dedicated server and all the hassles that come with that. You won't need to worry much about things like server crashes and other headaches thanks to cloud hosting technology. Now, although you may not own the physical property, you will be able to avoid renting from third party providers. Cloud hosting also provides new comers with a much easier general entrance in to hosting. Providing users with a broad range of applications right from the start, as well as requiring a low management overhead, and easily customizable options are just a few reasons to consider cloud hosting. However, there are a few disadvantages to this system. One such disadvantage is that although a company may save money on the initial expenses, operating costs in the long run may outweigh them. For companies who have more flexibility in their capital budget instead of their operating budget, cloud hosting may not be the best choice. Another small downside to cloud hosting is that nearly everything is done over the internet, meaning the availability of the servers is subject to internet latency or connectivity issues.

Deciding whether cloud hosting is right for you depends on what exactly you need it for. Whether you're an individual or a company searching for a hosting option will affect your decision. Researching your options and examining both initial and long term costs will help you to reach the ideal decision for your situation. Although it's not for everyone, cloud hosting offers many an easy setup to host and maintain websites.

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