Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What Is Cloud Hosting?

A shared hosting plan is typically based on “geo hosting,” meaning that you are sharing rented space on the hosting company’s physical server that is set up in a particular geographically-based location. Shared hosting is fine, up until the point that your storage and traffic needs begin to overwhelm a shared environment.
Until recently, there have been two choices available to solve this problem: virtual private server (VPS) hosting and dedicated server hosting. However, a new option has presented itself to website owners looking to improve their hosting: cloud hosting. Each of these hosting platforms has benefits and drawbacks, and each is ideal for users with very different requirements.

What Is Cloud Hosting?

The word “cloud” in this sense refers to a collection of servers that are integrated to work together, which allows them to share resources and loads. Cloud hosts are composed of several servers, usually all located in different places around the world. Cloud hosting, like shared geo hosting plans, allows several users to share the same resources. However, the resources of cloud hosting are much greater than those of a physical server. This makes it available at a lower cost than a dedicated hosting plan.
Cloud hosting is well-prepared to manage peaks in traffic and data transfer. You will typically pay a flat rate for the service during times of regular traffic, and will be charged an additional fee only during times of peak use or high resource loads. This makes it a highly scalable option, with the ability to enjoy the benefits of dedicated hosting without the high rates. You will retain the availability of the highest bandwidth you may need at any given time, but you will only pay for this service when you actually use it. Keep in mind that the per-unit cost for data transfer will typically be higher with a cloud host than with a geo host.
Cloud hosting can become extremely beneficial for users with certain situations. For example, you may be involved in a resource-intensive, large-scale app development project or something else involving high data transfer. For such an operation, cloud hosting provides a necessarily wide variety of resources.

Potential Issues With Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting does have a few key issues to resolve before it becomes a completely viable option. Even though the shared resources are much greater than those of a shared geo hosting plan, you can expect that other users will often hit peak times as well. To balance these heavy loads, the servers will often shift data around with the other hosting clients. You could see your resources suddenly located thousands of miles away, even in another country. You will not know the actual location of the server that has been assigned to you or your users by the random “load balancing” system. If your data must travel a very long distance to reach a user, transfer can become incredibly slow.
This constant shifting of resources is quite a balancing act. It can result in a generally slower response time for all website operations. It can also pose a security threat. Cloud hosting poses a potential vulnerability in its load-balancing operations. Traditional hosting companies have well-established security protocols. With cloud hosting, no industry standard for security exists, although some larger cloud hosts are currently developing guidelines to protect against unauthorized access. Currently, cloud hosting is unable to offer the same high level of security as geo hosting options.

Cloud Hosting or Geo Hosting?

Geo hosting may be the best option for websites where connection time is very important: those that are primarily user-driven. A dedicated server will provide higher quality email service, faster page loads and a more predictable cost. If this is your situation, you need to find a geo host with a data center situated as close as possible to you and the majority of your users.
Geo hosting provides the possibility of a fairly simple transfer to a dedicated server should the need arise. This transfer will provide a solution to heavy traffic problems and provides greater stability as your business expands and your needs grow. Dedicated servers give you your own space to store vital data and perform complex operations. This means a more secure, stable environment.
Users with fairly level loads may benefit more from geo hosting services. Geo hosting also provides the possibility of scalability. While a shared hosting plan can provide only limited load balancing operations, a quality geo host can assist you in upgrading your account with no risk of security threats. Geo hosting utilizes Secure Shell (SSH), which will secure your databases during transfer. Cloud hosting does not currently offer this ability. If your website operations require the highest level of security, your best hosting option is a dedicated geo-based server plan.
Cloud hosting may be a good fit for websites that have a high level of variation in their requirements. It can also be beneficial for users who are involved in very high-resource operations such as large-scale development projects. Cloud hosting can help save money if your resource needs cause vastly fluctuating server loads on a random schedule.
Ensure that you are choosing the best option for your needs by considering your current situation in relation to your expected future growth and expansion plans. Don’t neglect to perform diligent research on the hosting company itself. You need a reliable host that offers professional technical support all day, every day. You need to know you can get the help you need right away, should some problem arise. Your users expect your website to be available always, and if it is not available, your competitor’s website will be waiting to pick up your slack.
Brian Flores is a SEO and blogger for InMotion Hosting, one of the top providers of dedicated hosting in the country. He works with a team of awesome writers to post useful tutorials on WebHostingHelpGuy. You can follow him on Twitter @WHHG_InMotion or @BrianAFlores.

3 Responses to “What Type of Web Hosting Is Best For Your Business? Cloud Hosting or Geo Hosting?”

  1. TheKoolDots
    19. May, 2011
    Very Useful Information,
    Keeping up with the related technology is a must for both ISP (internet services providers) and users of these services.
    Thanks for the post.

  2. John Hendricks
    20. May, 2011
    If you are thinking about how to create a website for your business, your website must give your customers a big impression. Therefore, it is your site to support the professional Web hosting provider is important that you choose. Thank u very much for sharing.

  3. onit web design
    23. Jun, 2011
    Its mad to think that we all save into the clouds.

    I agree tha A dedicated server will always provide higher quality email service, and i guess it something we all are used to.
    The clouds will take over.
    Great read many thanks.

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