Cloud hosting services provide a way to run your website without the need for expensive hardware and maintenance. Cloud hosting is an excellent option if you want to save money or avoid having to worry about the technical aspects of running your site.
Read on for more information on what cloud hosting is, how it works, and why you should consider using it!
What Does “Cloud” Mean in Hosting?
It’s simple really – when we talk about cloud computing, we’re referring to storing data in remote servers that are accessible over the internet. This allows people with limited computer skills or knowledge access to software programs they otherwise would not have been able to use before. With this type of technology being so widespread today, it’s no wonder that cloud hosting is gaining popularity.
So, what is Cloud Hosting? In short, it’s a way for businesses and individuals to use remote servers (located in data centers) to store files, serve websites, and more without the need for costly hardware or constant technical maintenance. This allows professionals and beginners alike access to servers and software they would otherwise not have been able to utilize. What makes this technology so popular today? Let’s find out!
How does Cloud Hosting Work?
You may be wondering how exactly does cloud hosting work? There are different forms of cloud computing and there are different types of computers that can host your website as well – we’ll go over those shortly! Let’s first understand what makes up a server.
The server itself is the physical computer that stores all of your files, data, and website information. This device will always need to be online in order for people to access it and make changes (such as uploading a file or making edits to content).
Your cloud hosting account will include one or more virtual servers, which is essentially a section of the physical server that has been segregated off for use by your business or organization. You’ll have complete control over the virtual servers you create and maintain – with everything from creating new ones to deleting old ones when needed!
It’s also possible to add more physical servers when requirements change in the future – this way you aren’t stuck having to spend money on entirely new infrastructure each time your needs change!
Virtual servers can be created from a wide range of different operating systems. In the early days, these machines were known as “virtual private servers” and you could only create them from Linux-based OS’s. Today, virtual machines are available to use from Virtual Private Server providers that run Windows Server 2012 R2 or Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.
These operating systems allow you to create a virtual server using a command line, which gives experienced administrators more power over the configuration process.
Once your virtual server is online, it will behave exactly like a standalone machine would – meaning you’ll have complete access to the file system and root directory! This means that you’ll be able to upload files, create databases, install applications, and much more.
What are the Benefits of Cloud Hosting?
The main benefit of cloud hosting is that it’s cost-effective! While there are some costs associated with managing your virtual servers, you’ll be able to take advantage of tools and services that would otherwise be out of reach due to costs.
For example, using virtual machines allows software developers access to design and test different types of applications without needing a large team or dedicated office space. This type of computing power makes it easier for people in the industry to bring their ideas and concepts to life!
In addition, many cloud hosting providers offer a concept called elasticity. This means that your virtual servers can automatically scale to meet your needs, which means you won’t need to pay for resources unless you’re actually using them! In other words, if you have a huge traffic spike and don’t have the necessary infrastructure in place to handle it – there’s no problem!
The best part is that these peaks will only cost a fraction of what they would normally because your provider will only charge for what you actually use at that moment.
On top of all this, cloud hosting also makes businesses more agile! Not everyone has two or three years to get their website from the ground up – start-ups and smaller companies who want to get into the industry need fast solutions that they can implement right away. Using virtual servers makes it easy to launch and scale a website within a matter of hours!
What Operating Systems Can be Used With Cloud Hosting?
The best part about cloud hosting is how much control you’ll have over your servers! You’ll not only be able to choose which operating system you’d like each virtual server to run but even if you want them to use different distributions (such as Ubuntu versus CentOS).
In addition, many providers also offer specific language support such as Python, Ruby on Rails, or PHP for popular applications such as Django or WordPress. Another great benefit of using this type of cloud hosting is that the configuration possibilities are endless – meaning that pretty much any custom solution that you can think of is possible!
What about the Hardware?
While many popular cloud hosting providers such as DigitalOcean and Vultr offer software-defined storage, other providers such as Amazon EC2 use physical servers. Because of this, your virtual machines will be stored on differently configured hardware – depending on which provider you decide to go with!
This means that if you’re looking for better hardware (such as SSDs or lots of RAM), then it’s best to look for a cloud hosting solution that offers these types of options.
Another thing to keep in mind is that some systems allow you to create multiple subdomains within your account. While most users aren’t sure how these work or where they should be used, having multiple subdomains is a great way to host multiple websites from within the same account.
For example, if you have multiple sections of your website that are in different languages then it might be useful to create a primary domain name (which users see) and specific subdomains for each section! This can make things much easier in terms of configuration and access to files – especially if you’re hosting content that requires dynamic redirects or authentication settings.
What about Control?
One of the most common misconceptions about cloud hosting is that you’ll lose control over your virtual servers when they go live – but this isn’t true at all! In fact, administrators will have complete control over their virtual machines via SSH access.
SSH stands for Secure Shell and is the standard way that administrators interact with their virtual servers. This also means that if you’re not familiar with Linux/UNIX environments, there’s a learning curve to overcome.
However, it’s worth knowing that many providers offer web GUIs (graphical user interfaces) or control panels where you can easily view your server resources and create new accounts without having to use SSH at all! It’s really up to you how much work you want to put in when creating an account – because most cloud hosting providers allow completely free access if you don’t mind using older technologies.
What Networks Do Cloud Hosting Providers Use?
One of the best things about cloud hosting is that customers have full control over what type of network they want to use. This not only includes the type (ISP or Network Access Provider) but it also means that customers will have full control over their IP addresses and subnets as well.
While this might seem completely unnecessary for most users, there are some admins out there who really enjoy having this level of absolute control – even if it can be a bit confusing!
What’s the Difference Between Cloud Hosting and Shared Hosting?
One of the biggest differences between cloud hosting and shared hosting is what you’ll actually receive when you create an account. Unlike shared hosting where your website files are stored on a dedicated server, virtual servers don’t use physical servers as storage devices at all! This means that each VPS has its own private storage and that your data isn’t shared with other websites on the same server.
Cloud hosting really isn’t just a single solution – in fact, it’s more of a platform that can be used to create multiple solutions (similar to IaaS)! Virtual servers are incredibly powerful and can easily host much larger websites without much effort at all! Because of this, many cloud hosting providers offer different features such as free DNS management, easy website creation, and one-click installations for things like Django or WordPress.
Another great benefit of using this type of cloud hosting is that the configuration possibilities are endless – meaning that pretty much any custom solution that you can think of is possible!
One thing you’ll need to keep in mind when using cloud hosting providers is the fact that you’ll lose some control over your virtual servers. However, this tends to be a very small price to pay when using technologies like XEN or OpenVZ to create customized solutions for everyone!
What about Amazon AWS?
While Amazon might have one of the most popular cloud computing services in Amazon Web Services, it’s important for users to know that Amazon AWS isn’t technically considered “cloud hosting” – nor does Amazon offer any traditional/managed cloud hosting plans. This means that they’re completely out of the scope of this article.
Can I Use Cloud Hosting to Build an Online Game?
Many gamers are starting to think about the possibility of using cloud hosting for their multiplayer games. By doing this, they can easily increase performance while also saving money on things like bandwidth! The only problem is that building a cloud network usually requires custom solutions that are designed by experienced engineers or programmers – so if you’re not familiar with technologies like Xen or OpenVZ, it might be best to leave the networking side of things to professionals.
This doesn’t mean that cloud servers aren’t powerful enough to handle gaming networks – in fact, some developers have already made great strides in creating scalable gaming solutions! These projects include Ryzom Ring and Rendition Wars.
Is Cloud Computing Safe?
Cloud computing is still a relatively new field of technology, so it’s hard to say whether or not cloud hosting providers are completely safe. That being said, the companies that are offering these services have invested plenty of funding into creating some of the most secure networks in the world – protecting everything from data backups to critical network components! This isn’t just rhetoric either – many well-known organizations including banks and military contractors use cloud architectures for their day-to-day operations because they’re just that good.
Security is probably one of the biggest concerns when it comes to traditional web hosting solutions – but this doesn’t mean that you should abandon all hope! Most cloud hosting providers offer Secure Sockets Layer certificates for their websites so your site will be secure from the moment you upload it to your new cloud hosting account.
If you’re planning on using a VPS for running a mail, proxy, or web service – then things like security and reliability become even more important. This is why many companies and professionals use their own custom operating systems that are specifically designed to provide high-performance services with maximum uptime! What about cost?
The one thing that separates cloud hosting providers from traditional hosts is the fact they charge money per hour instead of charging users flat monthly fees. This allows users to pay for exactly what they need – meaning there are no wasted resources!
Still, this doesn’t mean that all cloud computing plans are free – in fact, most companies require users to purchase an expensive monthly plan before they can even use their services. There are, however, some exceptions to this rule – Google Apps is a free cloud hosting service that’s designed for small businesses and individuals who need flexible storage solutions!
What about Ease of Use?
Good news: most modern cloud hosting providers have created applications that allow users to manage their virtual servers with the same convenience as using a traditional web host! These apps connect users to graphical interfaces where they’re able to install software and configure everything from their email addresses to DNS settings in just a few clicks.
Another thing you’ll want to keep in mind when it comes to ease of use is the fact that traditional web hosts don’t offer nearly the level of flexibility or customization that cloud hosting providers do. What this means is that if you want to tweak an aspect of your server or install new software, it’s usually very easy to do so – even for people who have no prior experience with web servers!
Ease-of-use isn’t just important when you’re initially signing up either – load balancing between multiple servers in a cloud network can be extremely complicated (and expensive) if you don’t know what to look for! Luckily, many cloud providers offer detailed documentation and technical support 24/7 – allowing users to resolve issues quickly and easily.
When it comes right down to it, there are millions of people out there who could benefit from using cloud hosting instead of traditional web hosts. Whether you want to boost the performance of your website by hosting it on a blazing fast cloud server or you need scalable storage for your digital assets – there’s a good chance that all you’ll have to do is click “Upgrade” for an instant upgrade from shared hosting!
What about the Difference Between Cloud Hosting and Virtual Private servers?
In many cases, people use VPSs in place of dedicated web servers because they don’t want to pay for a full box when they only really need a few resources. This doesn’t mean that companies won’t ever use virtual servers, however. In reality, businesses often turn to VPSs when they’re too small to justify buying a full dedicated server right away!
Unfortunately, some cloud hosting providers only offer virtual servers – meaning that they’re not a good option for many users. At the same time, some VPS providers only offer virtual servers as well! As a result, users can often get stuck paying more than they would for cloud hosting when it’s possible to do the opposite.
In this case, it all comes down to what your needs are and how much money you have available to spend. If you want a cheap solution that doesn’t require any upfront purchases or long-term commitments then a traditional web host is almost always going to be the way to go! On the other hand, dedicated servers and virtual private clouds tend to be more expensive but they also come with higher performance rates and additional benefits like custom operating systems and better customer support.
These days, there are millions of people who use shared web hosting services when they could be using cloud hosting instead. Whether you’re looking for more resources or simply don’t like the idea of having limited control over your data, it’s easy to see why many users opt to use VMs when they really need dedicated servers!
Lori Ballen is a real estate agent in Las Vegas. She’s a digital marketing specialist, speaker, and marketing coach and loves to share her “Ballen Method” to generate website traffic and leads online. Lori’s specialties are SEO content writing (ranking on the search engines), social media strategies, and affiliate marketing. Need a website? Contact Lori’s brothers Jeff and Paul Helvin at Ballen Brands.