September 29, 2020
5 min read
Cloud hosting is a type of hosting that uses a network of cloud servers to host a website. It is different from traditional hosting services, which use a single physical server to support one or multiple websites.
Cloud hosting is made possible with virtualization, which is the foundation of cloud computing technology.
Through virtualization, cloud servers divide a physical server into several virtual machines. They are then interconnected to form a network for hosting websites and storing data.
When a website is hosted on the cloud, its files are spread across multiple virtual servers instead of stored in one location.
Here are the advantages of cloud hosting:
By using a multi-server network, cloud-hosted websites have less downtime. If one server gets compromised, others are ready to take over and keep the site running.
Because of this, cloud hosting is more immune to physical server problems, such as hardware malfunctions and natural disasters.
With load balancing, cloud hosting environments can distribute massive traffic volumes across multiple servers. This way, the website does not crash due to overload.
Load balancing helps prevent DDoS attacks, which aim to bring a website down by using up its traffic load and overworking its server resources.
In this case, the cloud’s load balancers can slow down the attacks before it can affect the website.
Due to virtualization, cloud hosting is not bound by the limitations of a single physical server.
Instead, websites can be scaled by accessing the cloud’s virtual resources.
This makes cloud hosting a cost-effective solution in the long-run, as there is no need to purchase a different type of hosting to get more resources.
For example, if a website expects a sudden traffic spike, the owner and service provider can add more bandwidth to maintain the site performance.
Regular web hosting differs from cloud hosting in that it uses one physical server. This means all the files and databases are located and managed from a single location.
To break down the differences further, take a look at the three types of traditional web hosting:
Shared hosting is where multiple websites use the same pool of resources from a single server.
It is the cheapest type of service offered by most hosting providers and generally used for small-scale projects, such as personal websites and portfolios.
Compared to cloud hosting, shared hosting’s infrastructure is not built for high traffic.
Since all websites share the same resources, each of them cannot exceed the usage limit. Otherwise, the server might overload, and the websites might crash.
To maintain performance, the website owner can either keep the traffic low or upgrade to a higher plan.
VPS is similar to shared hosting in that the websites are on the same physical server. However, it uses virtualization technology so that each site gets its own resources.
Users with technical expertise enjoy using VPS as they’d have root access to install their own operating systems and software. This makes VPS more customizable than cloud hosting.
VPS is also scalable. Users can add more resources as needed, such as RAM capacity or disk space. That said, websites on VPS are still limited by the physical server.
As the name implies, this type of hosting uses an entire server for a single website. It is considered the most powerful and secure hosting option compared to the other two.
In terms of performance, dedicated hosting can rival servers in the cloud. Its robust infrastructure can handle large amounts of data, storage, and traffic.
Therefore, it is generally only used by large enterprises. The abundance of resources is more than what small to medium-sized businesses would need.
On the other hand, cloud hosting is more flexible. The owner and hosting provider can scale the hosting environment to its needs once the site garners more traffic or content.
Cloud hosting services are grouped based on their type of infrastructure. Here is the breakdown of each type of cloud hosting:
Public cloud hosting is what most providers offer. Here, multiple websites are hosted on a shared cloud infrastructure.
Despite so, each site still gets its own server resources, isolated from other websites. The service provider manages your hosting environment and provide additional services for scaling up.
A private cloud is only accessible to the organization that uses it. Unlike public cloud hosting, its infrastructure and resources are firewalled, preventing unauthorized users from accessing them.
With a private cloud, the hosting environment can be customized to the client’s specifications. Thus, it is generally used by entities with confidential information, such as government agencies.
Site owners may have the cloud servers hosted by a third-party service provider or situated in their own data centers.
Hybrid cloud combines both public and private cloud hosting environments. Organizations can use specific configurations for different types of applications.
For example, the private cloud can be used for sensitive files only, while the public cloud handles low-security data.