What is Cloud Hosting?
Try to explain the concept of cloud hosting to someone who is used to traditional hosting, and in a few minutes, they are likely to be rather confused. In a traditional hosting scenario, if you want to host a website, you need to upload its files to a server with an IP address that will store them and make them accessible to users connected to the internet. It’s a centralized approach that is entirely dependent on the correct functioning of a single server.
By contrast, cloud hosting takes a distributed approach. The website’s data is stored on multiple connected servers that form a “cloud.” In this case, the performance of the website doesn’t rely on the well-being of a single server. If one server goes offline for whatever reason, the website can draw resources from another machine connected to the cloud.
Cloud hosting’s popularity has grown quite a bit over the last few years, and we’ll now try to find out why.
The following review includes essential information, such as:
Public vs. private cloud hosting
Some of cloud hosting’s advantages are more obvious than others, but before we get to them, we need to look into the two main types of cloud hosting.
Public cloud hosting is what most websites and businesses typically go for. It resembles the traditional shared hosts in that the resources of a network of servers are distributed among multiple projects.
Unlike shared hosts, however, each account has a guaranteed pool of resources that can not be exceeded. Therefore, heavy traffic on one account won’t affect the performance of the rest of the projects on the same public cloud.
For most websites, this is a perfect setup, but the really big online services need a private cloud infrastructure where the entire farm of servers is dedicated to them (the equivalent of a traditional dedicated server). In addition to the powerful hardware, private clouds also offer a number of different management and security options, without which popular online services simply can’t work.
In absolute terms, cloud hosting solutions tend to be slightly more expensive than traditional hosting alternatives. Why, then, are so many projects of all shapes and sizes moving towards them?
The benefits of cloud hosting
There are a number of advantages to having your website hosted on multiple servers, and the fact that you don’t rely on a single machine to keep your entire website online is one of the more obvious ones. In a traditional web hosting environment, if a physical server goes down, all the data stored on it becomes inaccessible. By contrast, even if one of the servers in a public or a private cloud goes down, the rest can take up the slack, and the project can avoid downtime.
Speaking of avoiding downtime, in traditional web hosting, if a website hosted on a shared hosting plan takes up too much server resources, it could be suspended by the hosting company in order to protect the rest of the accounts on the server. Upgrading to a higher plan is often the only option, and this could mean migrating the data and temporarily bringing the website offline.
Scalability is one of cloud hosting’s main advantages. You have much more control over how much hardware resources you have at your disposal, and if you need more, adding them doesn’t involve complex and expensive migration of the data. Usually, you either need to call your hosting provider or you have tools that configure the exact amount of resources readily available to you. It’s not just about the ease with which you add more resources, either. It’s also about the control you have.
In traditional hosting, every time you upgrade to a higher plan, you get more CPU power, RAM, and disk space, and this is not ideal. If you have a lightweight application that takes a lot of disk space, for example, you need the extra storage, but you’re paying for additional processing power and RAM that you won’t use.
On a cloud hosting server, you can choose to have more storage or more RAM while keeping the number of CPU cores unchanged. You only pay for what you use, and although cloud hosting services might initially seem more expensive than traditional hosting solutions, in the long run, they can turn out to be more cost-effective. But how is all this possible?
Cloud hosting infrastructure
Virtualization is at the heart of cloud computing. In a typical cloud hosting environment, the client gets access to a virtual machine that runs on a network of servers (a cloud). This virtual machine acts as a normal, physical server, and customers can choose to either have it set up by the hosting provider (this is what the Managed Cloud Hosting solutions offer), or they can opt to do all the configuration themselves (on a Self-Managed Cloud Hosting plan).
The great thing about virtual machines is that they can be easily created, configured, and deleted. As a result, your cloud hosting server can be set up in seconds, and if your project grows and you need additional server resources, you can add them fairly easily.
Often, multiple virtual servers reside on the same public cloud, and sometimes, the demand for server resources grows. In such cases, hosting providers can easily add more servers to the same cloud and meet the demand without causing any interruption of service. Traditional hosting can never give you this sort of flexibility.
What kind of websites use cloud hosting?
Cloud hosting isn’t tailored to a specific type of website. In fact, it’s perfect for anything from a small personal blog to a large online store, and the scalability we talked about lets you manage the growth of your project in the most cost-effective way possible. The same scalability means that cloud hosting can be used for more than just websites.
The robust underlying hardware and the freedom when it comes to configuration means that cloud hosting solutions power a number of different products offered under the IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service), and SaaS (Software as a Service) models. In fact, these concepts wouldn’t exist without cloud computing, and we wouldn’t be able to use many of the services we’ve grown so accustomed to over the last few years.
Scala Hosting Cloud Hosting
Pretty much every cloud hosting provider will offer you the benefits listed above. With Scala Hosting, however, you’ll get a bit more as well. For example, SPanel is a proprietary control panel that is a part of every managed cloud hosting solution we offer, and it’s designed to ensure that managing your entire hosting account is easier, quicker, and more secure.
With SPanel, website administrators can set up their mailboxes, configure their domains, SSL certificates, databases, and other settings related to the performance of the website. Cloud hosting accounts owners are given complete control over their virtual servers.
They can add and remove accounts, change passwords, and even restart the entire machine. SPanel supports multiple PHP versions, and it’s compatible with the most popular web servers in the world, which makes it much more usable than the competition. Best of all, if you pick one of our managed cloud hosting plans, you won’t need to pay for additional licenses.
SShield is also included in your managed cloud hosting account. It’s a security product that successfully blocks 99.998% of online attacks aimed at your website. Unlike traditional security solutions that rely on vast databases of signatures for known malware strains, SShield monitors the activity on your website and uses an artificial intelligence algorithm to look for anything suspicious. If it senses a potentially malicious process, it alerts you immediately so that you can take the appropriate action.
In addition to all this, owners of existing online projects will be happy to learn that if they pick one of our managed cloud hosting solutions, they can have their websites transferred to us for free. All they need to do is provide the login credentials, wait for our team to complete the transfer, and configure the DNS settings of their domains.
Many people think that traditional hosting as we all know it is about to go extinct, and it must be said that there is an element of truth to it. Traditional plans offer too many restrictions, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a case in which they’d be a better solution than the flexible cloud alternatives. Unless you have some very specific needs, you’re very likely to be better off going for a cloud hosting solution.
How does cloud hosting differ from traditional hosting?
In a traditional hosting environment, a website’s data is hosted on a single server. By contrast, on a cloud hosting plan, the files and databases are stored on multiple different servers that are connected to a single cloud. A virtual machine running on these servers is responsible for serving the content and keeping the website accessible.
What are the main benefits of hosting my website in the cloud?
The distributed approach reduces the risk of downtime caused by hardware or network problems. Your website’s performance isn’t directly dependent on a single server, and because every account has a predetermined set of hardware resources, you don’t need to worry about any of the other projects hosted on the same cloud causing any problems.
You can easily get more resources without migrating your website to a different server, and the additional flexibility means that you don’t need to pay for hardware you won’t use.
Can my website be hosted in the cloud?
Yes, it most likely can. The virtual machine that is responsible for serving the content mimics a regular server. It can host different web applications, and it can be configured to fit your specific needs. If you go for a self-managed cloud hosting package, you can even choose which operating system it’s going to use.
Is cloud hosting more expensive than traditional hosting?
Compare the entry-level cloud hosting plans with the bog-standard shared hosts, and you’ll see that the cloud hosting solutions are more expensive. They do give you guaranteed resources, however, and they can help you grow your business much more easily thanks to the improved scalability.
What’s more, once the popularity of your website grows, the upgrade process is much more flexible, and you can only pay for the additional hardware power you want, which means that overall, cloud hosting could prove to be a much more cost-effective solution.
Are cloud-hosted websites faster than the ones hosted on traditional hosting plans?
There are a number of different factors that play a role in the load times for websites. Even the geographical proximity between end users and the data centers hosting the websites can have a significant effect. Generally speaking, however, there are a few aspects of cloud hosting that enable websites to run better.
The distributed approach makes load balancing easier, meaning that properly configured servers are unlikely to be put under too much pressure. Hosting accounts that reach their limits in terms of server resources can’t exceed them, and they can’t affect the performance of other accounts hosted on the same server network.