What Is Cloud Hosting And How Does It Work?

Cloud Hosting

Reliability and scalability have become terms synonymous with cloud computing, and subsequently cloud hosting. We’ve looked previously at cloud computing and it’s benefits; we know that basically put, the cloud is the internet, and that cloud computing refers to the delivery of computer services via the internet.

So what is cloud hosting and how does it work? And how does it differ from traditional hosting solutions? In its simplest form cloud hosting makes applications and websites accessible through the infrastructure of cloud computing and in our guide we will look at this technology in more detail.

Cloud technology experts Woodstock IT specialise in making IT simple – call us today on 01403 290 321 to find out more about cloud computing solutions or to discuss the design, installation and ongoing maintenance of your cloud system.

What is cloud hosting?

In order to better understand what is meant by cloud hosting it’s important to be familiar with the basics. Web hosting (or internet hosting) is a service which allows individuals and organisations to serve content or host services connected to the internet; this includes websites, applications or services such as virtually hosted desktops and email. Cloud hosting is a form of web hosting.

Other traditional web hosting solutions include:

  • Shared hosting – resources are shared with numerous clients on a single physical server.
  • Dedicated hosting – exclusive access to a host owned dedicated server on a managed or unmanaged basis.
  • Virtual dedicated server (VPS hosting) – single server split into multiple virtual servers which clients share.

Other types of web hosting include:

  • Colocation hosting – similar to dedicated hosting, except the client owns the server and the host provides the physical space for the server.
  • Clustered hosting – multiple servers host duplicate content.

How does cloud hosting differ from traditional web hosting?

Traditional hosting architecture typically comprises a centralised system whereby the data of multiple websites and numerous vendors is stored on a single server. In this scenario the server may be situated on the site of the client, or off-site at a host provider’s data centre.

Cloud hosting architecture utilises a decentralised system by which data is stored on an interlinked network of multiple physical and virtual servers (cloud servers), often spanning a wide geographical area.

The benefits of using a cloud hosting service

Reliability

Traditional hosting services work on a centralised basis (on a single machine) – if the primary server fails it results in downtime for all clients hosted on that server. One of the main benefits of using cloud hosting is that it works on a decentralised basis with data shared between multiple servers (physical and virtual) – if one server fails there are numerous others to pick up the slack.

Cloud host providers (web hosts) and services are therefore far more reliable than traditional alternatives, and typically offer comprehensive redundancy infrastructure components to mitigate the risk of downtime.

Woodstock IT is partnered with Microsoft Office 365 (SaaS) who financially guarantee 99.9% uptime.

Did you know? On Amazon Prime Day 2018 server issues led to 13 minutes of downtime resulting in an estimated $100,000,000 in lost sales. That’s the equivalent of $120,000 per second!

Performance

Clients opting to use traditional hosting services will have fixed storage capacity and computing power limits, and will share the resources and capabilities of a server with numerous other clients. As a result should any website or application experience a spike in traffic there is no way to allocate more resources and the remaining websites or applications will suffer from reduced RAM and CPU capacity.

In contrast cloud hosting services connect the client to a worldwide network of data centres which are regularly upgraded and routinely maintained thus boasting superior hardware and more resources. Cloud hosting therefore offers clients access to an almost unlimited amount of processing power, RAM, CPU and storage.

Scalability and versatility

Website and business growth can be unpredictable and cloud hosting offers clients true elastic scalability, or in simple terms the ability to draw more or less processing power from additional servers in real time, as and when required.

Many cloud hosting providers offer an automatic scalability service which mitigates the requirement for manual infrastructure management. Cloud hosting also offers superior versatility, affording clients the freedom to choose custom solutions which match their specific needs and requirements.

Security

Whilst the distributed network of cloud hosting does present a large target for attackers, its superior redundancy and failovers make it an extremely secure choice for clients. Attacks, viruses and malware can be isolated to individual servers without compromising personal data or the integrity of the network. Business continuity, data backup and disaster recovery are also easier and less costly as information can be mirrored on multiple sites across the network.

Financially

From a financial perspective there are many benefits to cloud hosting. As well as reducing the costs associated with downtime, its scalability ensures clients only pay for the services they require, on an on-demand, as-needed basis. It also reduces the need for on-site data centres which are costly to staff and maintain, and its increased security also means clients are less likely to face large penalties for breaches of compliance and GDPR.

Cloud computing architecture

Once you have decided to switch to cloud hosting you’ll need to decide which type of cloud infrastructure best meets your requirements:

Public Cloud Hosting:

  • A collection of networked cloud servers hold data for multiple clients
  • Hardware is shared between multiple virtualised accounts, unlike traditional shared hosting clients do not share disk space or processing power

Private Cloud Hosting:

  • Unlike the public cloud it’s used exclusively by a single business or organisation and offers clients greater security
  • Cloud server (virtual server) is managed and maintained via a private network with the virtualised resources sitting behind a private firewall

Hybrid Cloud Hosting:

  • A combination of public & private clouds
  • Consists of one public cloud (external) and one private cloud (internal)

How Woodstock IT can help with cloud services

We’ve partnered with Dropbox and Microsoft Office 365 to provide you with the best cloud hosting plans available. As part of your business package, we’ll also come in and set up your cloud, train your team in how to use it, and provide ongoing maintenance, support and regular updates and health checks.

Get in touch

If you would like to find out more about any of the cloud based solutions discussed here, or wish to use cloud hosting for your business, get in touch today on 01403 290 321 or complete our contact form and we’ll be in touch.