Why Choose Cloud Hosting?
Article by Izzy Evans
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In previous years the main types of hosting that an individual or a business could choose from for their website were dedicated hosting or shared hosting. In the past few years, however, a different type of hosting has come very much to the fore. Cloud hosting is a web hosting option that many large internet companies such as Google and Amazon have adopted in recent years. However, smaller businesses are also now beginning to make the move towards cloud hosting and the benefits that it brings. What is cloud hosting? With a dedicated hosting plan a customer is given the ‘dedicated’ use of one server to host their website. Cloud hosting is where the resources for hosting a website are spread across a group of servers, a ‘cloud’, that work together.
The main advantage of cloud hosting is the reliability that comes with using a group of servers rather than just relying on one. With this form of hosting, if a server malfunctions or goes down another server can ‘step in’ and pick up the slack. With dedicated hosting if the server goes down, your website will go down with it. By using the cloud to host your website you can enjoy very high levels of uptime and almost completely minimise downtime. Using hosting in the cloud also means that businesses can have access to high quality servers and technology that they may not be able to provide otherwise.
Using cloud hosting is also advantageous in terms of bandwidth. If your site unexpectedly attracts high levels of traffic, instead of slowing the site down and reducing its performance, another server can provide extra resources. This can be especially useful for websites that have high levels of traffic in a particular month in the year, for example music festival websites often have extremely high traffic levels when the tickets are first released. Smaller businesses, in particular, can benefit from this feature of cloud web hosting as it means as their website grows their hosting plan can grow and adapt with it.
One of the main concerns that many people have with cloud web hosting is the price. However, the cost of cloud hosting has actually fallen in the past few years. Helpfully for small businesses, many companies will only charge for the amount of resources you actually use. This means that smaller websites will not have to pay extremely high rates for using numerous servers. It also benefits those who can manage their resources well. In some cases the price for cloud hosting is only slightly above the price for normal shared hosting.
Some of the advantages of cloud web hosting are also true for other web hosting options such as colocation. Not having the server/s onsite will save space and time for companies. As the servers are maintained and looked after by the hosting company, the IT team in a business will have more time to devote elsewhere. With many businesses looking to prove their ‘green’ credentials and show what they are doing to reduce their impact on the environment, cloud hosting can be very useful. As servers need to be kept at very specific temperatures in order to function properly, the energy costs for a company can be reduced if the servers are not in-house.
Cloud hosting is likely to become even more prominent in the web hosting landscape as it can be very advantageous to small and large businesses alike. The concerns about its cost are slowly being alleviated as the price for cloud web hosting schemes continues to fall. The reliability of this kind of hosting scheme is something that will interest many people as having less down-time is a priority for many businesses. Using the cloud for hosting will very likely become the norm in the next few years.
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© Izzy Evans 2012
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