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Should you put your website up in the clouds?

Web hosting has experienced some massive changes. Believe it or not, there used to only be two choices for web hosting. You could choose between a shared server, or a dedicated server. That was it. There was no happy middle ground. There were no virtual servers, and there was no talk of hosting in the cloud. Today, the cloud seems to get all the spotlight. It is a relatively new form of hosting that not everyone is familiar with. The term actually comes from early diagrams of how cloud hosting works. When these early diagrams were drawn up, all of the server resources and hardware were outlined. The physical outline that was drawn on the diagram was the shape of a cloud. The rest is history, but you might be wondering what cloud hosting is, or more importantly, how cloud hosting works.

How Cloud Hosting Works

With cloud hosting, the servers resources don’t all exist in the same server. They may not even exist in the same room. The CPUs can be located in one room, and all the storage media can be stored somewhere else. All of the server resources are spread out over a series. The resources are only used on an as needed basis. This might seem less effective when you think about it, but this type of hosting has several advantages.

Here is a good example. Suppose the server that your website is hosted on is doing just fine. Out of the blue, a piece of hardware fails. There is no backup to this piece of hardware. Your website does not exist until this piece of hardware is replaced. If the piece of hardware was data storage and there was no backup, your site is gone.

In a cloud hosting environment, things work much differently. If a piece of hardware fails, the server can just request an alternate piece of hardware that is stored somewhere else. The end result is no interruption in service for your website. That is where cloud hosting is a huge advantage.

Virtual private servers are also a new addition to the server world, and some of the servers exist in the cloud. This service is called VPS cloud hosting. This type of web hosting offers all the visits of the cloud, with all the added benefits of a virtual private server. A virtual private server gives your website its own unique share of a server’s resources. This is a huge advantage over the regular shared hosting environment.

As technology continues to evolve, so will all of our web hosting choices. They will get faster, more affordable and more intelligent.

1 Comment

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