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Cloud Web Hosting - What's All the Buzz About?

 

Web hosting is one of the most important aspects of getting a website online, and this is one realm that offers multiple options to website owners.

While shared servers and dedicated servers have been part of standard hosting alternatives in the past, a relatively new entrant that is gaining popularity quickly is cloud hosting. 

Cloud web hosting refers to a website being hosted on a set of multiple interconnected servers as opposed to a single one (a dynamic VPS can be termed as a cloud server). In such a scenario, your website would have access to the resources of multiple servers; and in doing so, the cloud works in creating an overall load balance within all the servers in the framework, thereby reducing the dependency on any one server significantly.

In deploying a virtual machine within a cloud, not only would it get its dedicated share of resources that include disk space and bandwidth; the disk space that the cloud provides is through vastly available storage area networks (SANS). Each physical server that is part of the cloud runs using software that is commonly referred to as ‘hypervisor’ and this is nothing but some coding which helps in running the virtual machines using the servers’ physical attributes. Commonly used hypervisors in this realm include Xen, Hyper-V, and VMware.

The Benefits of Cloud Hosting

Opting to host your website on a cloud server does come with a range of benefits, and these include (but are not limited to):

  • Minimization of downtime in the event of any kind of server related problem
  • The ability to use environments that run using different platforms
  • The ability to scale up or down as your requirements change with time
  • Paying only for what you use
  • Better security vis-à-vis shared hosting
  • Better access to resources vis-à-vis shared hosting

Do You Need It?

If your website is currently hosted on a shared server and has reached its limit in terms of server space or if you feel it does not run at optimum levels, you might want to think about moving it to a cloud server. For hosting a new website, if you want access to your own dedicated resources, and if you expect bursts of traffic from time to time, this is an option you might want to consider. With cloud hosting, you would have access to as much server space, bandwidth, and processing power, as you need; as and when it’s required. And if, at any point, you feel that you’re paying for more than what you need, you can always choose to scale down.

What to Look For?

Given that this is a very scalable option, your basic alternatives would revolve around aspects like cloud space, bandwidth, and processing prowess. In addition, a good cloud hosting alternative should be Joomla and WordPress ready hosting (since these are the two most commonly used CMS’); and offer your multiple (or unlimited) email addresses, access to a good control panel (like cPanel), the option to take periodical back-ups, as well as round the clock support.

Lastly, know that this segment of hosting web space is amongst the fastest growing within the entire spectrum of information technology, and instances where businesses are opting to go the cloud way instead of investing in data centres are only on the rise. 

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