What Is Cloud Hosting?
Are you on the hunt for hosting that’s fast, always available, and designed for optimal performance?
Look no further than cloud hosting.
Unlike traditional web hosting providers that use physical servers, cloud hosting spreads data across several virtual servers. (This hosting server exists solely in a virtual environment, hence the name, “cloud.”) With cloud hosting, if you happen to max out on storage or bandwidth on one virtual server, you can easily utilize another for untapped resources. By having multiple servers at your virtual disposal, cloud hosting maximizes uptime and balances out any spikes in website traffic.
Ultimately, hosting with cloud technology makes any web application or website you run super accessible through a cloud network, rather than a single server, which exists with traditional non-cloud hosting. This means greater flexibility, scalability, performance, speed, and uptime.
Cloud Hosting, Explained
More and more businesses these days are gravitating towards cloud hosting to meet their online needs. From simple convenience to enterprise-level solutions, cloud hosting offers a wide range of benefits.
Let’s delve into just a few:
- Uptime – Thanks to its distributed virtual server infrastructure, cloud hosting does not cause service unavailability.
- Scalability – A cloud infrastructure lets you grow your hosting resources, without the constraints of physical hardware limits.
- Speed – Forget noisy neighbors and enjoy top website speeds when you’re on the cloud.
- Data Security – If you opt for a cloud storage solution, any cloud hosting server issues means you won’t lose out on precious data.
- Utility Costs – With cloud hosting, you only pay for the resources you actually use.
Public, Private, and Hybrid Cloud Hosting
Whereas with traditional web hosting, you have the choice of either sharing the machine you use with other accounts (Shared Hosting) or running an individual machine specifically for your website (Dedicated Server Hosting).
With cloud hosting, you have a similar choice to make — but here it’s either Public, Private, or Hybrid.
Public Cloud Hosting
You can think of a public cloud as the equivalent of a shared server, where an infrastructure of networked machines holds data for several websites. While the hardware is shared between other virtualized accounts, only the cost of the resources is shared.
Unlike Shared Hosting, where you share the resources, e.g. disk space and processing power, public cloud hosting means your resources are fenced in, giving you total access.
Public cloud servers are often created by users in seconds, via a control panel or a RESTful API. Easily scalable when needed, these servers allow users to maintain and configure their setup, without having to ask for external help.
Hyperscale Cloud Hosting
Given all the benefits of public cloud hosting, it’s no surprise why three major players have emerged on the scene – Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.
These are known as hyperscalers, and include AWS (Amazon), GCP (Google), and Azure (Microsoft). Because their infrastructure is on such a massive scale, they tend to be referred to as hyperscale cloud rather than just cloud.
They offer, quite literally, a basket of ready-made cloud services that are easy to consume, use, and build your service on.
Private Cloud Hosting
If you prefer not to share your infrastructure with other accounts or websites, a private cloud or private virtualization as it’s sometimes called, is your best bet. Sure, it comes with a higher cost, but it offers even greater security and control.
A great fit for those who manage sensitive data or can’t afford any downtime, a private cloud means you get dedicated hardware, redundant networking, power, storage, as well as the operating system (OS) of your choice. In case you already have some infrastructure in place, private cloud hosting allows you to build on existing hardware, which in turn lowers your investment.
Preferred by larger corporations, private cloud solutions are available from proprietary software developers such as Nutanix, VMware, and Microsoft, while enterprise-grade open source solutions are available from Red Hat and others.
Hybrid Cloud Hosting
As the name suggests, hybrid cloud brings you the best of both worlds, mixing public and private clouds as well as an on-premises infrastructure.
While every hybrid cloud is different, depending on the organization and/or business, if yours deals with sensitive data and dynamic workloads, deploying a private cloud can work wonders.
However, for testing environments and less-critical workloads, these can easily be deployed in a public cloud. In other words, less-critical applications can be updated frequently in a public cloud, while sensitive databases can be kept secluded in the private cloud.
This approach can maximize cost-savings and productivity while minimizing latency, privacy, and security issues. It’s no wonder, then, why this hybrid-like environment is becoming more and more popular. In fact, according to Gartner, the world’s leading research and advisory company, over 75% of midsize and large organizations will have adopted a multi-cloud or hybrid IT strategy by 2021.
Traditional Web Hosting vs. Cloud Hosting
Still, in an effort to get on the “cloud” wagon, many hosting providers (like Namecheap) are now offering cloud-based alternatives, such as cloud storage with Shared Hosting or VPS Hosting.
Shared Hosting vs. Cloud Hosting
As a refresher, Shared Hosting is considered the entry-level type of hosting where your website shares resources with other users on the same server.
In an effort to give customers the benefits of cloud technology, Namecheap’s Stellar Business Shared Hosting plan now offers a cloud storage solution, which reinforces your website data with an extra layer of protection by distributing it across various servers.
With zero downtime and the highest performance, it provides you with all the stability you need, without blowing your budget. In fact, the Stellar Business Shared Hosting plan starts at just $8.88/month.
VPS Hosting vs. Cloud Hosting
VPS Hosting works just like an independent physical server would, except it’s partitioned into multiple “virtual” servers.
Sounds similar to cloud hosting servers, no? The main difference here is that instead of having one server that’s dedicated to your website, e.g. a VPS, you have access to a network of nearly-unlimited virtual machines.
Out of all the traditional web hosting options available, however, a VPS offers the most hybrid cloud-like benefits, e.g. scalability. The best part? It won’t break the bank.
Dedicated Server Hosting vs. Cloud Hosting
If you’re concerned about data security and expect unparalleled performance, a Dedicated Server always has your back.
When compared to cloud hosting, a Dedicated Server means you have your own physical server at your disposal, giving you more reserved resources, an isolated security perimeter, control over low-level server components, and more setup freedom.
A potential drawback? You incur operational costs to manage the infrastructure, monitor and handle any hardware issues, configurations, updates, and more. And, if you find that your resource requirements continue to grow your Dedicated Server, you’ll need to rent/lease a larger one, therefore paying a higher amount. Plus, migrating to another server can increase your risk of downtime.
With cloud hosting, however, you only pay for what you use and you can always make changes to your requirements.
Managed WordPress Hosting vs. Cloud Hosting
Do you want to set up your WordPress website but hate, or are wary of, fussing around with the technical aspects? Managed WordPress Hosting is your one-way ticket. Here, WordPress is installed for you, and your WordPress website gets quickly published. You don’t have to deal with administrative tasks such as site maintenance, control panel management, or other technical issues. In other words, the hosting aspect of Managed WordPress is more or less an afterthought, letting you focus solely on your website.
Unlike other Managed WordPress Hosting providers, Namecheap’s Managed WordPress product, EasyWP, runs on a fully-containerized cloud. Not only was it built in-house to provide you with all the service you’d expect from traditional Managed WordPress Hosting, it comes at a fraction of the price you’d pay elsewhere. In fact, plans start at just $1.00/month for the first month. It also packs a host of premium features, such as free SSL and CDN (content delivery network). Did we mention it also features 99.9% uptime, with no noisy neighbors to slow you down?
To learn more about the benefits of cloud hosting for WordPress, Isobel Weston breaks it down nicely.
If you find that you’ve outgrown the resources available with your current hosting provider or that your website is now experiencing huge spikes in traffic, cloud hosting might just be the solution for you.
Whether it’s uptime, ease of management, or offsite server resource to manage peak loads, cloud hosting makes things a breeze. In fact, many services with cloud hosting are designed with non-techy users in mind, offering an intuitive control panel that makes creating and managing your website easier than ever. Through cloud hosting you can manage your domains, set up FTP accounts for remote file transfers, directly edit databases, and the list goes on. Here you’re able to fully focus on your website (or web applications) and forget about the technicalities.
While Shared Hosting may suit a web beginner’s needs, with cloud hosting, you can enjoy many of the advantages of premium web hosting, e.g. Dedicated Servers, without some of the challenges.
So, what do you think of cloud hosting? Share your thoughts below!