Will Cloud Web Hosting Work for Me?

Posted on September 4, 2013 by

Cloud web hosting continues to receive a great deal of attention in the media and several major companies have begun to offer this versatile service. It enables webmasters to minimize downtime, reduce expenses and operate websites more flexibly. Nonetheless, many IT professionals have yet to recognize the difference between shared and cloud hosting. It’s crucial for all website owners to gain a full understanding of this new service and evaluate the benefits it has to offer.

Cloud Hosting Explained

Like a shared or dedicated hosting provider, a cloud web host earns money by storing websites on remote servers. All types of web hosts free clients from the burden of in-house hosting equipment. The key distinction is that they use different methods to allocate resources. Shared hosts supply clients with fixed amounts of bandwidth and storage space, regardless of how much they actually use. Dedicated packages let each customer use an entire server.

In comparison, cloud hosts give their customers unlimited access to a cluster of multiple servers. People only pay for the resources they need at a given time. The cloud dynamically allocates disk space and bandwidth to clients when they require it. For example, a website owner could upload an 875-page report or purchase a TV advertisement without any worries about exceeding limits. This system is particularly helpful for handling large, unexpected traffic spikes.

The Advantages of Cloud Hosting

Cloud web hosting eliminates the need to manually upgrade and downgrade a hosting account for different amounts of traffic or data. It also reduces the risk that a web host will be unable to keep up with the demands of its clients (a common problem with “unlimited” shared accounts). Website owners avoid the complexities of dedicated servers and the limitations of shared hosting. They needn’t pay for excess resources or face account suspensions for breaking bandwidth limits. The MIT Technology Review reports that some businesses use specialized software to monitor cloud service spending.

Another benefit of cloud hosting is that it boosts performance by balancing loads across multiple servers. A shared or dedicated web host assigns a specific server to each website, and traffic spikes may overwhelm one machine while others retain excess capacity. The cloud solves this problem by using several servers to meet the demand. It can also react to hardware failures more swiftly, preventing downtime and ensuring that websites load quickly at all hours. According to TechTarget, cloud uptime averages about 2 to 3 percent higher than that of standard data centers.

Flexible Usage and Costs

The most important aspect of cloud web hosting is that it adapts to client needs more flexibly than other services. It resembles a faucet in many ways; users may adjust the flow at any time and their water bills change accordingly. The water doesn’t stop after a certain number of gallons. Conventional hosting is completely different and is similar to cable TV in that it offers different service levels, but usage does not affect the rates people pay. Although this makes the cost predictable, it compels customers to spend money on things they don’t want. The cloud, however, provides a more desirable option for anyone with hosting needs that fluctuate from time to time. By being familiar with the advantages the cloud has to offer, businesses can find new efficiencies, save on expenses and avoid problems that may result from server complications.

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