Confused about “what is cloud hosting?” Let me explain you in simple terms.
Cloud hosting is a type of web hosting service that uses a network of remote servers instead of a physical single server.
For example, you have a website on photography. To make your website available to people on the internet, you need a computer that’s always connected to the internet. This computer is called a server.
Instead of having your physical server computer at home, you can use the space in a big cloud server owned by a company like Amazon, Google, or Microsoft. They have all the equipment and technical experts you need to run your website.
Cloud hosting works like renting a space on one of these servers in the cloud. You pay a company that owns the servers to keep your website’s files and information safe and accessible to anyone who wants to visit your website.
These servers are often spread across multiple data centers and work together to ensure your website runs smoothly, no matter the traffic it receives.
One of the key differences between cloud hosting and shared hosting is scalability. With cloud hosting, your website can easily handle traffic spikes because it can tap into the resources of multiple servers.
In contrast, Shared hosting hosts various websites on a single server, which may not be a good choice for high-traffic websites.
Now you understand what cloud hosting is. Let’s check out how cloud hosting works.
How Does Cloud Hosting Work?
Cloud hosting uses a network of remote servers to store and manage websites and applications. These servers are connected through the internet and provide resources like computing power and storage on-demand.
You can access and scale these resources as needed, making cloud hosting flexible and scalable. Scalability is the most significant benefit of cloud hosting as compared to managed and shared hosting.
When someone visits your website, their request goes to one of the virtual servers within the cloud. If that server is too busy, the request is automatically redirected to another available server, ensuring your website remains operational even during heavy traffic.
Data centers play a crucial role in cloud hosting. These facilities house the physical servers and networking equipment that power the cloud. These centers are designed for redundancy and high availability, so your website will be live even if a server goes down.
Types of Cloud Hosting
The types of cloud hosting based on the deployment and service models:
Cloud Deployment Models
A Cloud Deployment Model is the arrangement of computing resources within a cloud environment. It defines how much data is stored, accessed, and managed within the cloud infrastructure.
There are 3 types of Cloud Deployment Models:
1. Public Cloud
Public cloud service providers like SaaS and IaaS offer cloud services to the general public over the Internet. Public clouds are typically cost-effective and scalable. Examples include AWS (Amazon Web Services), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.
2. Private Cloud
Private clouds are used exclusively by a single organization. Private clouds offer greater control, security, and customization but can be more expensive to set up and maintain.
3. Hybrid Cloud
A hybrid cloud combines elements of both public and private clouds. It allows sharing of data and applications between them. Organizations often use a hybrid cloud to keep sensitive data on a private cloud while utilizing the scalability of a public cloud for other purposes.
Cloud Service Models
A Cloud Service Model defines the level of control and management that you get from the cloud service provider. It explains the resources cloud provider offers and how to use them.
There are primary 3 cloud service models:
1. IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)
In this model, companies offer cloud-based computing resources, like servers and storage space, to help other businesses with their operations.
Instead of building expensive data centers, many organizations purchase these resources from IaaS providers.
For example, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is an IaaS provider offering a cloud computing platform to store Netflix’s extensive movies and series database.
Additionally, Microsoft Azure and Google Compute Engine are also IaaS providers.
2. PaaS (Platform as a Service)
PaaS (Platform as a Service) providers offer cloud-based frameworks for developing web and mobile applications.
Unlike IaaS, PaaS providers manage the cloud server resources, allowing developers to concentrate on building their projects.
For example, Google App Engine is a PaaS provider where you can develop software without worrying about infrastructure management.
3. SaaS (Software as a Service)
SaaS (Software as a Service) is a business model that offers fully functional software on a subscription basis. SaaS products are hosted in the cloud solution, eliminating the need for in-house servers.
You can access these applications from any device with an internet connection, whether a computer or a mobile device. This accessibility allows small business owners, including those looking for a website builder for small businesses, to access high-quality software without making a significant upfront investment.
For example, SaaS (Software as a Service) platforms are Salesforce and Google Workspace, including Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, and Google Drive.
Benefits of Cloud Hosting
- Cost-effectiveness: You only pay for what you use, making it budget-friendly for startups and small enterprises utilizing cloud-hosted resources. This pay-as-you-go model eliminates the need for significant upfront investments in hardware and allows you to manage costs more efficiently.
- Enhanced Security: Cloud hosting providers prioritize robust security measures, including advanced firewalls and encryption protocols, & conduct regular security assessments to protect your data.
- Scalability: Cloud hosting allows you to quickly scale your resources up or down based on your website’s needs, whether a small business site or a demanding Minecraft server hosting setup. Cloud hosting can adapt to your requirements if you experience a sudden traffic spike or need to reduce your server capacity during quieter times.
- Traffic Load Balancing: A managed Cloud hosting service often includes load balancing, which distributes incoming traffic across multiple servers. These servers ensure your website remains responsive and available, even during traffic spikes.
- Reliability: When a server fails, another server within the network seamlessly takes over as a backup, ensuring uninterrupted availability of your website around the clock.
Pros and Cons of Cloud Hosting
Before purchasing a cloud hosting plan, let’s review its pros and cons.
- Scalability & Flexibility: Easily adjust resources to match your needs and adapt to changes in traffic.
- Security: Benefit from robust security measures and regular updates to protect your data and applications.
- Cost Efficiency: Pay only for the resources you use, eliminating the need for substantial upfront investments in hardware.
- Automatic Updates: The system automatically manages server maintenance and software updates, ensuring optimal performance and security.
- Reliability: Thanks to redundant infrastructure and data centers, enjoy high availability and minimal downtime.
- Internet Dependency: Cloud hosting relies on an internet connection, making it vulnerable to network disruptions.
- Security Concerns: While providers invest in security, there are potential vulnerabilities to cyber threats, requiring vigilance.
- Limited Control: You may have limited control over the underlying infrastructure, impacting customization options.
- Data Privacy: Entrusting your data to a third-party provider may raise concerns about privacy and regulation compliance.
Examples of Cloud Hosting
Many companies provide cloud hosting, offering unique features to meet diverse business needs. Here are two examples of public cloud hosting providers:
1. AWS (Amazon Web Services)
AWS is one of the most popular cloud hosting providers globally, offering a vast range of cloud services, including computing power, storage, databases, and machine learning.
AWS offers four pricing plans on Cloudways (a managed cloud hosting platform).
- $38.56/mo plan
- $91.84/mo plan
- $183.22/mo plan
- $285.21/mo plan
2. Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
GCP is Google’s cloud hosting platform, offering computing, storage, databases, machine learning, and data analytics services.
Google Cloud is recognized for its data analytics and machine learning capabilities, making it a preferred choice for organizations looking to harness the power of data. The pricing plans on Cloudways are as follows-
- $37.45/mo plan
- $84.12/mo plan
- $152.14/mo plan
- $241.62/mo plan
Who Should Go for Cloud Hosting?
Cloud hosting solution is the best choice if you are looking for consistent website performance without the expertise or financial resources to manage your server.
The distributed infrastructure of cloud hosting efficiently manages traffic spikes during promotions, seasonal events, or unexpected surges in popularity.
If you are running a high-traffic eCommerce store or website, you should use cloud hosting instead of shared hosting.
Cloud hosting is well-suited for websites demanding dedicated processing power, bandwidth, and ample storage for substantial data.
Additionally, cloud hosting provides robust security for data protection, making it an excellent option for e-commerce stores and social media networks.