What Is Cloud Hosting
Cloud is all the rage in computing for nearly a decade now but explaining what is cloud hosting is not always easy. The term is fluid and changing, just like the real clouds.
Its key characteristics are redundancy, scalability, greater access, and security but the actual implementations differ greatly.
Such flexibility comes in many flavors. You can find very cheap cloud hosting or extravagantly expensive platforms that cater to massive corporations.
Cloud hosting is, more than anything, a catchy marketing phrase. In the realm of web hosting, particularly, the term “cloud” can describe many things.
Broadly speaking, the cornerstone of any cloud hosting infrastructure requires a network of interconnected servers. Their very connectivity constitutes the cloud: an amorphous, flexible environment that automatically “reacts” to equally changing stimuli like spikes in traffic or the need for extra server space.
In theory, the server network should be the most secure hosting solution thanks to its redundancy – if a single machine goes down, whatever the reason may be, the rest pick up the slack and the service continues uninterruptedly.
In reality, from a performance standpoint, in some cases, the cloud doesn’t amount to anything more than a glorified shared environment, with technical characteristics well-aligned with standard shared solutions.
In others, though, the cloud can outperform even the most powerful dedicated server hosting solution. Many well-built servers that work in unison can provide unmatched scalability and sheer power.
Cloud Hosting Advantages
Generally, the main advantages you can expect from cloud hosting are:
- Possibility to allocate more resources easily – Allocating additional disk space or processing power should be easier.
- Distributed load – In case the performance of the hosting server deteriorates, your site can be moved automatically to another server to avoid disturbance of service.
- Better defense against DDoS (potentially) – Theoretically, well-built cloud infrastructure can handle DDoS attacks better, but that depends on many, many factors.
Keep in mind that these are very general characteristics, as cloud solutions differ from one company to the next. When developed in-house, each cloud hosting platform has certain specifications that make them unique. To illustrate the differences, with Dreamhost DreamCompute, the service is akin to a virtual private server (VPS), whereas in the case of HostGator Cloud we have a better (and pricier) version of the basic hosting plans.
More and more cloud hosts utilize the infrastructure of AWS, Google Cloud, Azure, and other massive cloud server providers. Creating a working cloud environment from scratch commands a prohibitive initial investment for sufficient machines and personnel that can configure and maintain them.
The big three in cloud computing are already proven as secure and reliable, and their fees are flexible enough to allow for budget planning.
On top of that, their servers and cloud configurations come in all shapes and sizes, allowing web hosting providers to create any product they desire.
Naturally, this results in an unprecedented variety of products.
What did I tell you?
Cloud hosting is a catchy marketing phrase at its finest.
What is hidden behind it varies a lot.
These are the 5 best cloud hosts: