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Pros and Cons of Cloud Hosting

Why Cloud?

The story goes that back in January 1996 US Patent 5,485,455 was filed containing a diagram with a cloud-like drawing representing a network.

Diagram Containing a Cloud Network

Later in the same year another US Patent, no. 5,790,548 was filed which had a diagram that looked even more cloud-like.

Diagram Containing a Cloud Network

The story continues that in 1996 a Compaq document may have been the first time the term was used in any kind of official capacity. By 2006 Amazon Web Services launched its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) which would help lead to the more widespread use of the term Cloud. Of course, whatever the true origins of the term are, it seems to most people that “The Cloud” is a network of computers that are “Out there somewhere.”

What is Cloud Hosting?

Cloud hosting, like a Virtual Private Server (VPS), is based on the virtualization of a server so that more than one user can be hosted on a single piece of hardware. Unlike a VPS, in Cloud Hosting the server load can be shared by multiple hardware devices across a network which can be situated anywhere in the world.

The Pros of Cloud Hosting Compared to Traditional Hosting

  • Since the website load is shared amongst several servers if a single server fails, the others will be able to cover for it and maintain the website. In traditional Web Hosting, if a server crashes, then the website is unavailable.
  • If the website experiences a sudden spike in traffic, the underlying infrastructure will balance the load across other cloud servers. This maintains the site’s performance as it serves more visitors.
  • With Cloud Hosting, there are almost no limits to the storage, bandwidth, or CPU power available. The webmaster can call upon additional resources in the virtual environment as and when they are needed with an often-imperceptible switch over.
  • Cloud Hosting is by design less prone to disasters and hardware malfunctions since it shares servers across multiple virtual environments. This load balancing and sharing can help prevent DDoS attacks and allows a server to be switched out if it is being attacked.

The Cons of Cloud Hosting

  • There can be issues of privacy and security since the website is spread over multiple virtual environments. It is important to make sure the Cloud Hosting provider has strict security and privacy policies in place.
  • There can be bandwidth problems if the Cloud Hosting provider has low-grade connections to other parts of the cloud network. This can cause parts of your website to seem unreliable or slower than others.
  • Unlike a traditional hosting solution, Cloud Hosting packages are often based on flexible pricing. This can lead to sudden unexpected price fluctuations when the website makes more demands on bandwidth or other resources.

As with all types of hosting it is important that the user picks the best option for their circumstances. Cloud Hosting can provide a new business with a low-cost solution to hosting their website and supplying more resources as it receives more traffic.

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