The cloud hosting platform is a popular one and it enables utilization of the cloud services through the internet. With cloud based hosting, instead of installing the software applications on the local workstations, you can utilize the resources to store and process the business data on the remote cloud servers. In simple words, when you conduct ‘business in the cloud’, your data is accessible over the internet through any computer connected to the network. Thereby, business can function from any part of the world. Cloud server hosting is also a crucial aspect when it comes to organizing the IT space.
This is the era of cloud computing where everyone is utilizing this amazing technology to bring about business effectiveness. It is obvious that the large and complicated businesses opt for cloud hosting; however, in case of the small businesses it still remains an open question – Whether they should opt for cloud hosting or not. Is it realistic to adopt cloud hosting when the business is small?
Here is an insight on some major factors that make cloud hosting an important investment for the small businesses:
Less Overhead Costs
With a cloud hosting platform, you don’t have to worry about setting up your own IT infrastructure. The required infrastructure is already available with the web hosting company that provides you with the cloud hosting services. It is the web hosting service provider who is responsible for the uninterrupted and efficient services to support the business functions. This enables you to dedicated time on the important business processes.
Less Initial Cost
Instead of purchasing the new software, all you have to do is rent it from the web hosting company. Also, you don’t have to put in a lot of time in thinking about updating the software applications. You will always get the access to the latest versions of the software applications.
Through the cloud technology, your communication with customers, partners and employees is simplified. For instance, instead of sending mass emails, presentations, calculation tables, statistics etc. All you have to do is provide with the access of the respective web pages to the interested people and the documents can be updated online. A perfect example of this – Google Docs.
As your important business data and software applications are located in the cloud, you can work from any corner of the world as there is an access to the network.
Through the cloud technology, your data gets better protection against the viruses and the malicious attacks. The web hosting companies that provide with cloud services have an ideal infrastructure that is updated regularly to provide with the best of security measures. As the best in class security measures are provided, you don’t have to worry about making any additional expenditure for security purposes.
The Greatest Advantage – Cloud Hosting Provides Your Business With Better Reach
With the cloud technology, your website applications are easily available through a web browser or through a mobile application. Many small business owners who have been using cloud hosting are of the opinion that they have saved a great deal of time in terms of updating their website. The cloud technology facilitates an efficient business model. Applications hosted on the cloud platform run faster and can be managed easily with less possibilities of a downtime. Whether it’s a small business or large, any downtime can have a direct negative impact on the business, therefore it is always better to opt for the best when it comes to your business website.
Some key aspects that are worth considering while selecting cloud services in order to get the maximum benefits:
Compatibility is an important factor for the cloud applications that you plan to use. It is crucial to have standardized systems for exchange and interaction. For instance, the document format of the accounting software utilized must be compatible with the other business applications used for the daily work.
In order to utilize the cloud technology in the best possible way, it is important to select a good web hosting company. Make sure that you do some research before signing up for a cloud hosting package. The most important aspect is the technical support offered. If there is any issue, then a prompt support is required in order to ensure the smooth functioning of the business.
To sum it up, the transition to a new technology is not an easy task however it is worth it. Even though opting for a cloud hosting platform might look like a huge step for a small business, it is a complete value for money because of the resources provided. Moreover, the best attribute of cloud technology is that it perfectly supports business expansion and while the business grows, optimum hosting resources will be available to support the growth.
Although the end product of both VPS and Cloud Hosting may seem similar, the functions, practices, and operations of these modes are very different. Sure, both ultimately provide a similar hosted solution; however, the way in which they work radically changes the final product.
VPS, or Virtual Private Server, refers to a web hosting plan in which the virtual server appears to users as a dedicated server, but is installed on a computer that serves numerous websites. As such, the physical server hardware is shared. That being said, VPS does not use a computer as a server. Instead, VPS works as software within a user’s personal computer and functions like a separate computer dedicated to each individual’s specific IT needs. In doing so, VPS acts as a middle ground between shared hosting (which has lower costs) and a dedicated server (which allows for complete control). In utilizing this mode, users are allotted in full configuration, customization, and administration as they would with a dedicated server; however, they do not have to pay for a dedicated server. Instead, the server is divided (virtually) into pieces, which still maintain the same functionality. This means that each user that utilizes VPS Hosting is assigned a specific piece of the system’s resources, which they then tailor to their needs.
Though some may think this assignment of space is limited, that is never the case. In using VPS, users are able to modify their systems based on the resources they purchase—i.e. Memory, speed, space, etc. As such, solutions can be scaled and flexed quickly based on users’ needs. With both dedicated and shared hosting, users pay for the amount of storage and processing power. This allows users to scale their systems much more effectively and efficiently. Despite this, some users may still feel this mode to be limiting; however, all of the available resources are configured within the virtualized hardware’s limits. Additionally, users are also able to tailor and customize their system to specifically fit their own needs. While scalability, flexibility, and customization are great perks, they ultimately work to allow for greater control over one’s system, as well as increased reliability of one’s system.
As control and reliability are byproducts of flexibility, scalability, and customization, VPS Hosting security are a byproduct of control and reliability. Typically, security emulates greater with VPS as the systems security standards those of a dedicated server. Additionally, in doing all of this, VPS Hosting is typically found on one souped up server. As such, data is centralized as it is stored within a specific, defined portion of the given server in one location.
While VPS Hosting is typically stored on one server, it is also able to be delivered via cluster; however, it rarely is. Instead, this is typically how Cloud Hosting is delivered. Cloud services are quickly becoming gaining popularity and Cloud Hosting is no exception. Cloud Hosting works across a network of (interconnected) servers that compose the cloud. As a result, the data is rendered from various servers. That being said, there is typically little to no downtime with Cloud hosting—which means there will always be a server available to handle users’ needs. This is in stark contrast with both traditional hosting modes (i.e. Dedicated and shared hosting).
With this in mind, it’s clear that this difference in availability greatly differentiates the cloud from VPS in terms of flexibility, scalability, customization, and even pricing. As stated above, cloud servers eliminate down time; therefore, servers are always available to users. This is not the case with VPS Hosting—i.e. Users purchase their resources, which dictate their system usage. With this variance in mind, pricing, scalability, flexibility, and customization cannot be as they are with VPS Hosting. Instead, resources are on-demand with the cloud —meaning service is billed based on users’ resource usage (i.e. Bandwidth, CPU usage, Memory Utilization, etc.). So, where billing would typically be monthly with VPS Hosting, Cloud Hosting is able to issue up to the minute billing rates. Separate from pricing, scalability and flexibility are also very different.
While VPS allows users to scale their solution accordingly, Cloud Hosting instantly scales based on resource usage. Additionally, flexibility is almost infinite. As resources are distributed across various devices, resources are continuously available, and therefore easily expandable/flexible. While this can be extremely beneficial for users, this does present the problem of less effective controls and security.
Though Cloud Hosting is able to scale and flex to users’ specific uses, the practices are not controlled by the user. Scalability and flexibility are neither achievable nor maintained by the user; therefore, control and security are greatly limited. As stated above, VPS Hosting stores data within one centralized location. Inversely, Cloud Hosting implores a number of servers at once. As such, data can be spread across numerous cloud devices/machines; therefore, it’s impossible for users to know where data is stored at any given time. On the other hand, however, in working across a network of servers, the cloud is able to provide greater redundancy and failover, which VPS doesn’t typically account for.
VPS and Cloud Hosting both have their intended uses. Typically, small businesses implore VPS Hosting as it provides customized website without the cost of a dedicated server. Additionally, Cloud Hosting is typically preferred by enterprise-level businesses as it allots for greater flexibility, redundancy, etc.; however, this does not always hold true. Regardless, both of these modes have significant advantages and disadvantages; it’s simply a tradeoff. While both have their intended users, it’s ultimately up to users to select the best option for their needs.
The strengths and weaknesses of both these modes are opposite reflections of the other. For example, Cloud Hosting allots greater flexibility and scalability as it works across a network of servers; however, in doing so, it limits control and security. Inversely, VPS augments control and security by working over one location; however, in doing so, scalability and flexibility are less elastic. Although the end results are similar, there are many functional differences between VPS and Cloud Hosting.
The cloud computing can be divided into three levels depending on the services offered by providers. From the innermost level to the outermost Cloud hosting services include: Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service and Software as a Service. A brief description of each of these levels:
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service)
“Infrastructure as a Service is a provision model in which an organization placed ‘outside’ the equipment used to support operations, this includes information storage, hardware, servers and networking components. Service provider. IaaS is sometimes also referred to as Hardware as a Service or HaaS “
The most obvious advantage of using a IaaS, is to transfer to the supplier management problems related to computer equipment. Another attractive advantage is the reduction of costs, as generally in the technologies associated with cloud computing, to pay only for what is consumed. Infrastructure as a Service also allows scalability virtually automatic and transparent to the consumer, leaving the responsibility to service providers.
Other features are: providing Internet connectivity, policy-based services and the provision of a virtual desktop.
Platform as a Service (PaaS – Platform as a Service)
Cloud computing and its rapid growth has required “include platforms for building and running custom applications, this concept is known as PaaS. PaaS applications are also known as on-demand Web-based or SaaS solutions.
The provider, in addition to solving problems in the hardware infrastructure, the software also handles. The client uses this kind of solutions do not need to install, configure or maintain operating systems, databases and application servers as this is provided under this platform.
A platform as a service (PaaS) solves more problems when compared to a solution that only provides an infrastructure as a service (IaaS), as it has many limitations related to the runtime environment. Among these are the type of system, the programming language (in some cases they may use libraries), the database manager.
Companies like eBay, Google, iTunes, bodhost and YouTube are among those using this model and enable new capabilities and access to new markets through the Web browser, the PaaS offering a more rapid and cost-benefit advantage application development and delivery “.
Software as a Service (SaaS – Software as a Service)
“It is the best known of the levels of cloud computing. SaaS is a software distribution model that provides customers access to it through the network (usually the Internet). Thus, they do not have to worry about the configuration, deployment and maintenance of applications, because all these tasks become the responsibility of the vendor. Distributed applications through a Software as a Service model can reach any company regardless of size or geographic location. “
This model aims to end customers using the software to meet your organization’s processes. The Software as a Service (SaaS) can be described as that application consumed over the Internet, usually through the browser, which payment is conditioned to use it and where the application logic and data reside on the platform of supplier. Examples of SaaS is Google App etc.
This technology, as usually has a gradual growth. While it is true that cloud computing is a technology that is already used for some years, yet to be fully absorbed as a central tendency in organizations.
The level of acceptance among organizations vary with the size of these. The medium and small businesses and start implementing solutions based on cloud computing, while large organizations do according to particular needs.
On the other side of the coin, there are the end users, to whom the cloud computing has changed the way they carry out their activities, improving in most cases, and allowing them to collaborate in a different way with other users on different places, access to applications that require from your web browser from virtually any computer, even from mobile devices.
With the quick rise in Cloud Computing use cases and user interest it wasn’t unusual for hosting to be done in the cloud as well. All the benefits of the cloud platform like flexibility, scalability and on-demand resources can be applied effectively to web hosting services and make it a much better alternative to traditional services.
To understand this better, we first look at what cloud computing is? Cloud Computing is the cluster of computers or servers clubbed together and the resources are offered in virtualized portions as requested by the users. This is supplied over the internet under the software as a service (SaaS) model of cloud computing.
Even though the data can be accessed by the users from their own devices which are connected to the internet the data is actually stored at a different location in servers in a data center which is secure and safe. This allows users to do away with the need of maintaining on-premise storage equipments and the need to employ costly administrators for the same leading to reduced costs.
Hosting in the Cloud
We now know how cloud computing is done now let’s take a look at web hosting in the cloud.
Ideally, the web hosting provider provides resources which are available on its server for hosting the websites of the clients. These resources are limited to the extent of the capacity of the server which often results in overloading and eventual crashing of sites. To address this issue you could probably switch to a dedicated server with a much higher resource stock and end up paying a fortune or keep facing issues time and again. But with the cloud you have ample of resources up to the extent of the combined capacity of all the servers in the cloud which is often quite high. The resources are high and the load is balanced equally between all the servers in the cloud allowing you maximum uptime and better site performance.
Now, when you get resources without interruption or downtime and the cost incurred is based on the amount of usage which brings down the unnecessary cost involved in having higher resources which often go unused. This makes cloud hosting server a better option which gives necessary resources at low cost and ensures high uptime as well.
Though cloud & virtualization are the buzzing words in the industry, however, still there are many people are who are still confuse about the concepts of cloud and virtualization. They are still not sure about the differences between both of them.
The concept of cloud hosting and virtualization is very common today. Most of the times people tend to link them with same things. However, the truth is that, both the concepts are different.
The virtualization is an new IT model that has an ability to separate the core computing functions and technology implementations from the physical hardware of a dedicated server. While, the cloud is a service where computing resources, software’s or data as a service are shared via the Internet as completely opposed to virtualization, which is a part of a physical infrastructure.
Today, many companies are quickly moving on the cloud just with a hope that they will find a solution to all their issues, especially for reducing costs and infrastructure management. But, blinded by the offers provided by some cloud providers, companies don’t realize that some are already partially tied in their own private cloud.
Still some people from the industry don’t realize that they are already in the cloud, just due to the virtualization infrastructure they have developed. Big players like Google, Salesforce, Azure, Amazon, AWS, OpenStack, Hyper-V and VMware offer various tools to build a cloud. These are not the ones that offer cloud services; the word “cloud” covers an array of offers provided by different providers.
The concept of cloud have thrilled many organizations and enterprises, as they don’t need to buy their own hardware or don’t need to hire a professional and highly experienced staff to manage their infrastructure. The main thing that attracted companies was the idea of full data center floating on air, however, they didn’t realized the real drawbacks of moving their data in the public cloud.
It’s not like cloud hosting services cannot benefit companies, but moving into the type of cloud model makes a big difference in terms of advantages. It is a reality that moving your data in the public cloud increases the costs as the term of the service increases.
Also, some of the people think that due to Patriot Act, there is a big risk of hosting their data with cloud providers in USA, as the Act allows the U.S. government to have access to your data anytime they want. However, let me tell you that people have many misconceptions about the U.S. Patriot Act and Data Security, which I will be clearing in my next article.
One more issue that should be considered is regarding the failure of systems. What happens if the system goes down? In such a case, the custody of the company data goes under the provider, the company won’t have any relationship with the data, unless it pays for the data storage service.
Despite the few drawbacks, the cloud services also have a positive side. It can offer a service that would be out of reach with their virtualization platform. For example, some big cloud players allow organizations to have worldwide servers in various availability zones, which simply mean that if there is an outage, the consequences will be less.
Many people that are not aware about the real concept of cloud and virtualization associate them, however, in reality it is more of a step on the way to it.