What is cloud hosting?
Cloud hosting is a type of web hosting that involves hosting websites on a network of servers that are connected to the internet, rather than on a single, physical server. These servers are often located in data centers and are owned and operated by a cloud hosting provider, such as Amazon (AWS), Google or Microsoft.
Advantages of Cloud Hosting
One of the main advantages of cloud hosting is its scalability. With traditional web hosting, if a website experiences a sudden surge in traffic, it may become slow or even crash due to a lack of resources. It may need additional processing power or storage to continue functioning smoothly. In contrast, with cloud hosting, it is easy to add or remove resources as needed to handle the increased traffic. This means that websites hosted on the cloud can handle large spikes in traffic without any downtime. It also makes it easier to scale down resources when they are no longer needed.
Another advantage of cloud hosting is its reliability. Because websites are hosted on a network of hundreds or even thousands of servers rather than just one physical server, there is less risk of downtime due to server failure. If one server goes down, the website can still be accessed from another server in the network.
Cloud hosting is also generally more cost-effective than traditional hosting, although your bill from month to month will rarely be for the same amount. With traditional hosting, users typically pay a flat fixed monthly fee for a certain amount of storage and bandwidth. With cloud hosting, users only pay for the resources they actually consume, which can save money in the long run. However, the amount you pay each month can vary wildly if your traffic has frequent spikes. You can never be sure how much your next bill is going to be.
Difficulty of Setup and Configuration
There are other disadvantages to cloud hosting. One potential drawback is that it can be more difficult to set up and configure than traditional hosting. This is because users are responsible for configuring the resources and applications on the cloud, rather than the hosting provider. Cloud hosts are operated by companies such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft, whose backgrounds have not been in web hosting. So, you can’t just move in and have everything ready to go. You have to actually build your hosting environment from the ground up. This can be too daunting for most small and medium-size website owners.
If you’re used to traditional web hosting on either a shared, dedicated or VPN server, then moving to cloud hosting will require an enormous amount of learning. It is very complex and the cloud hosts make nothing easy. You really have to know your programming languages and some coding to get everything running the way you like.
Another potential issue is security. While cloud hosting providers take steps to ensure a minimum level of security for their servers and data centers, there is always the risk of a data breach or cyber attack. And there are risks that are unique to websites. Website hosting in such data centers has its own unique requirements that aren’t the primary focus of the data center. Most cloud data center clients are not people and companies hosting websites. They are people running mobile apps, or large companies storing data or running databases. So, web hosting is a bit of a sideline for the cloud providers today, which means they have not put a lot of time or resources into configuring their systems to meet the unique demands that websites require.
Websites have their own batch of security concerns and in a cloud hosting environment you’ll be responsible for protecting your own site against the common risks that confront all websites. It is important, therefore, for users to carefully research the security measures in place at their cloud hosting provider and to take steps to secure their own applications and data on the cloud.