What Is Cloud Hosting: The Benefits and Drawbacks

Cloud hosting

Cloud hosting is a network of servers in multiple locations, which share data and resources among themselves. That reduces server load and increases performance. As the demand rises, clients can easily scale their plans. By doing so, they increase the performance of their cloud hosting in just a few clicks. Now, it’s quickly becoming more and more popular.

This technology is changing the online world as we know it. If you don’t know what is cloud hosting or want to know more, you’ve come to the right post! Here we are going to speak about the main qualities of this service.

In the future, this technology will probably replace shared hosting services altogether. So let’s get to it and see what it’s like:

Cloud hosting brings many benefits

It is ready for big-scale operations.

Anyway, so what is cloud hosting? To explain it in simple terms, it’s many connected servers. They host files in multiple locations across the world and share the data between themselves using a secure and encrypted connection. That is different to regular shared hosting, which only stores your files in one place at the same time.

Shared hosting if often enough. Put it this way: you only a regular car to buy a bag of groceries from a shop down the road. You don’t need a Ferrari or a huge truck!

However, if you need serious firepower, big loads on the server are going to prove problematic. Shared hosting providers may even put the website offline for some time if the load becomes too big for the server to handle.

What is cloud hosting doing to prevent that? Cloud hosting is based on a few different servers. Even a lot of people going to your website at once and taking up the CPU and RAM won’t slow it down. As the load increases, it gets divided into more and more servers. That results in faster performance for your visitors.

That matters to Google and other search engines. Better loading times may result in higher-ranked search results. Google may push your site down if it has a lot of visitors but a weak server.

The Internet giant itself is saying that now, both mobile and desktop website speeds are relevant in their search rankings. For your business, a high ranking on a search engine should be incredibly important. It draws visitors and extra revenue. Cloud hosting is an incredible solution to make sure you can climb and remain on top.

Flexibility and reliability is key

“Guaranteed uptime” is one of the most common buzzwords in the business. Most (if not all) hosting providers offer uptimes of 99.9% and higher. Some cloud hosting companies, like A2 hosting, for example, genuinely deliver on their promises. Yet still, it’s important to know how downtimes work.  This convenient chart shows, how often your website can still go down with the provider’s “guaranteed uptime”.

  • 99.999% uptime = 5 minutes downtime/year.
  • 99.99% uptime = 53 minutes downtime/year.
  • 99.9% uptime = 8 hours 45 minutes downtime/year (43 minutes/month).
  • 99% uptime = 3.65 days downtime/year (7 hours 18 minutes/month).

Do your own math by using our SLA uptime tool!

By now, you probably see my point. There is no surprise that sometimes, BOOM. Your website goes offline and often does so for quite a while.

You could say “well what cloud hosting can do about that? Servers will eventually go down or experience problems!” But this technology has one more ace up its sleeve!

Let’s say that you, for example, use a regular shared server instead of cloud hosting. One physical server has all of your data and them, just like that, it’s down or even completely wiped out. Issues in one shared server account can cause troubles to the other sites on the same physical server. Usually, that’s downtimes and file loss! You only use one server for shared hosting. When someone hacks it – it’s bad news. 

If you, however, use Cloud, one of the cloud servers going down won’t stop the website from functioning. Hacking problems, overwhelming or even power outage on one server using cloud technology, it’s no problem. Its data simply gets encrypted and securely sent to another server.

Cloud hosting stores encrypted information in multiple servers or databases, often in various places (it may be in the same data center, contact your provider to find out more). A big problem on one server won’t stop your websites from working. Your files will be safe and websites running.

So basically, if there’s at least one server online, the information will be delivered there. You can’t close everything that easily!

Cloud hosting makes these file transitions incredibly seamless. That means there is no drop in response or load times. Theoretically, as hosting companies improve the old and establish the new centers, we may see a total 100% uptime. There is a chance that cloud hosting may never really go down!

There is also added flexibility that makes cloud hosting so interesting. You can get complete server configuration controls using either a web-based interface or an API. And you can use either Windows or Linux to run your server. The providers give you options to choose from.

Also, if you want to, you can easily scale cloud resources. Expand or reduce what you need in minutes to make sure demands for your business are met. Everything is available to you just a few clicks away, as providers of cloud hosting make it very simple to upgrade.

Many of those things used to only be available in dedicated hosting. However, it may cost around $100 a month and go upwards to even more. Cloud hosting is available for cheaper, around $10 a month or even less. That is more than shared hosting but way less than dedicated.

That means you can enjoy the flexibility of dedicated hosting and also reap benefits of increased reliability. All of that, without spending much!

Be efficient and save some polar bears!

Back in the day, it was either shared or dedicated hosting. Many of the companies dependant on superior load times and in need of a lot of disk space have gone with dedicated hosting. It became their primary option. When cloud technologies started to develop, some people switched to cloud server hosting instead. Plenty of companies use cloud hosting without experiencing many problems. Dips in performance and unexpected downtimes, both fairly common in shared hosting, can be prevented here.

It is also worth remembering that dedicated servers use up a lot of energy. You need electricity not only to power the server but also to cool it down so it doesn’t burst into flames. Cloud server hosting is more efficient and in return, it also helps to save the planet. How does that happen? Let’s have a look.

Data centers use from 1 to 2 percent of world’s electricity. And only around a quarter of our current energy is renewable – there are still plenty types of conventional power used in order to get electricity. Examples of such ways are coal, oil, gas or nuclear energy. In turn, this means that the more servers there are, the more electricity they use. Because most our energy comes from conventional sources, servers increase our carbon footprint. In fact, a CLEER model simulation (a tool by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Northwestern University) published in Scientific American reveals an interesting fact. If all US companies would move their spreadsheet, email apps, customer management software and similar programs to the cloud, that would save enough a lot of energy. How much exactly? Enough to fully power the city of Los Angeles!

Lavanya Ramakrishnan (University of California, Berkeley) notes that a lot of energy is wasted by servers sitting idle, they’re inefficient and often underused. Cloud servers never sit idle, there is always something going on because someone is using the server.

The tech giant IBM also points to the great scalability of cloud hosting. As the technology progresses, servers become more efficient, using less energy to handle the same number of tasks. Many companies still use old and inefficient servers. They often sit idle, use energy, are technologically less advanced and have weak cooling systems. Instead of keeping the same dedicated servers or upgrading them, many companies would strongly benefit from moving to cloud hosting.

When new and well-maintained, of course, servers connected to the cloud use the same amount of electricity as the servers who are not. However, scalability allows the providers of cloud hosting to always have the best, most efficient servers. And when they never sit idle, they don’t waste any energy.

So every time you’ll log in to your heavy-loaded website, you’ll know that you’re helping the environment. Less electricity consumed by the servers means a smaller carbon footprint. A smaller carbon footprint reduces global warming. And it means more snow and icebergs for this happy guy!

If you are currently using dedicated server hosting, it’d be more beneficial for you to switch to cloud hosting. It’s cheaper and environmentally friendly.

The good news is that you will still be able to choose how much power you exactly need. What is cloud hosting offering here? It’s pretty simple. You can choose from multiple providers offering different plans – the difference being the amount of RAM, the power of the CPU and so on. You choose how much you want. It is very upgradeable. Cloud server hosting puts the power in your hands.

Having so many pros, Cloud hosting also has a few cons as well. I’ve found a great Cloud hosting overview on Hosting Foundry, which also features a full FAQ about the subject.

Conclusion

What is cloud hosting going to be like in the future? We can only predict it’s going to be even more popular than it is now. As we speak, it is currently taking over the world. Cloud-based IT solutions are becoming more and more popular around the world. Cloud server hosting is an upgrade of the regular shared hosting. Compared to that, it is quicker, more efficient and easily allows you to get as many resources as you need. In some cases, it may even be a better choice than dedicated server hosting. It offers superior resources and flexibility for a very small price. Its key ability to store the information in multiple data centers worldwide makes it quick, safe, reliable and efficient. Of course, you can still improve cloud server hosting. But what the providers are currently offering is really interesting. We do plenty of web hosting reviews, and in our searches, discovered plenty of amazing companies which offers cloud servers as well. If what you heard today has made you interested, be sure to check them out.

References

Paul joined the Hosting.Review team right from the start as a content writer and marketer. He was the person responsible for establishing a trademark for in-depth web hosting evaluation and superb review articles. Before joining Hosting.Review, Paul was working on various projects as a freelancer. Paul spends his free time reading fantasy books and graphic novels.

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