Why are we discussing hosting via cloud?
To put it simply, cloud hosting appears to be the natural progression from hosting done through traditional servers. It is a relatively new option, but it could end up being the main data storage and hosting solution down the road.
What is cloud hosting?
Cloud hosting is made possible through technological innovations in cloud computing. Clients are essentially renting space on virtual service networks. Think of it as a massive network of machines that come together as an integrated system for one purpose. When only one machine is involved, as with dedicated and shared servers, everything is dependent on that one machine. The security that comes from cloud-based hosting is guaranteed by multiple servers.
How is the cloud hosting different than dedicated or shared hosting?
Most clients do not notice a huge difference in functionality once they have completed the transition to cloud-based hosting. The differences tend to show up during initial set-up and with reliable access regardless of possible interference. A dedicated server is the traditional means of hosting anything from interactive websites to apps. The client either pays for or rents, an actual physical server from a provider and costs are fixed unless services change.
Dedicated hosting usually requires time to prepare for proper installation on the server. This is so because there is a real live human being who must set-up the complete web server. A web server, that is, by the way, dedicated only to you that does not involve sharing with other clients. Some clients even choose multiple servers when their needs demand. You do maintain full control over hosting when you choose a dedicated server. The difficulty lies in accurately predicting traffic flow since that will seriously affect required capacity. The functionality of a server can come to a screeching halt if the resources and processing capability cannot keep up with demand. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you may end up paying for more room than you need.
Shared hosting is the cheaper alternative to paying for a dedicated server. The savings are made possible because clients share space on their hosting provider’s servers. When multiple clients occupy a single server, website traffic is more of a problem, especially if a client underestimates their needs.
Cloud hosting offers outstanding flexibility and reliability. Scalability of resources is perhaps one of the biggest advantages of cloud hosting. The great thing is, you usually only pay for the amount of space you need at any given time, rather than paying a set fee. If your website traffic spikes, the demand on the server spikes. Cloud hosting allows for capacity to automatically change as needed.
Cloud servers often run on hypervisors, which control the operating system’s capacity. What this means for you, is that the capacity will be there when needed. Multiple cloud servers are at your disposal with cloud hosting. If one client needs more computing resources for a period of time, those resources are available. When you experience a surge in website traffic, you can “borrow” additional space until traffic levels out. Because multiple servers are accessible, cloud servers simply back each other up. Redundancy refers to this ability of a server to take the place of another when needed.
Which is more cost-effective?
Traditional dedicated and shared servers can cost as little as $50 per month and as much as $1,100 per month depending on the needs of the client. The lower the cost, the less useful the service. Billing is fixed unless you change your level of service.
The cost of cloud computing is often calculated by the hour depending on the capacity required at any particular time. Cloud technology allows easy integration of extra resources to allow for growth. There is no ceiling regarding flexibility. Whether you need additional RAM for data or you need a major boost in data transfer, this is a “pay-as-you-use” model. Minimum cost is usually around $50 and offers exceptional service because it is only a starting point. You only pay for what you use.
How well do they work?
Actually, regarding performance, they are similar. All three types of servers can operate at comparable speeds. It gets a bit sticky, or rather, “dirty,” because of bogus programs and temporary files gumming up the works. A cloud server can occupy a new instance and leave the dirty one in the dust. The cloud server is then able to take care of purging the extraneous material to free up the previously clogged space without affecting usage.
Which is most reliable?
This is where the cloud servers take the lead. Since there are multiple machines taking care of data storage and retrieval, a massive server crash will not take you with it. Worst case scenario may include minor performance and execution issues. Your website will still be available to visitors and current patients.
A dedicated server is its entity and does not have a back-up option. If the server crashes, your website crashes too. You are stuck waiting until the server is repaired. Imagine if the crash took place over the holidays. It could effectively cost you multiple patients, and it would compromise your perceived credibility.
There are advantages and disadvantages of dedicated, shared, and cloud hosting. Reliability is such a huge factor in today’s technological world, so it boosts favorability of cloud hosting. It is true that you may pay more if your website continuously experiences high traffic volumes through a cloud host, but if you limit yourself to a dedicated or shared server, you may find a lot of traffic turns people away due to lack of function.
Top benefits associated with cloud servers include:
- Reliability- Your website will be available even if a server crashes.
- Scalability and flexibility- Space, and how it is used, will adapt to your needs.
- Easy initial set-up- Time is saved creating instances rather than configuring whole servers.
- Cost -effectiveness- You only pay for what you use.