Cloud Hosting- Still Stumbling Over The Clouds
Cloud computing is just around the corner; some may argue that it’s already here, and it’s been with us for a while (think Google). Although a maturing technology, cloud hosting is still surrounded with a lot of hype. Customers are, in a way, still stumbling over the “clouds”.
Different cloud hosting companies offer different cloud service platforms, built on different cloud computing technologies. What all of these have in common is that they are supposed to not only pose as the latest buzzword in a marketing message, but offer a better solution to the customer’s hosting needs. So, what are the benefits of cloud hosting over the shared or dedicated hosting solutions?
The idea behind the cloud hosting is to charge the customer for the resources that they are actually using, thus allowing for a greater cost control. There is no underutilized bandwidth. A customer is not paying for a fixed amount of server bandwidth in advance, regardless of the amount of traffic he receives, as it was the case in the past. When the hosting is in the cloud, a spike in the server load increases the cost, and a drop decreases the cost.
It’s self-contradictory that this actually makes hosting in the cloud a better solution for bigger websites. While the prices have come down in the last few years, cloud hosting is still out of reach for many small businesses. For now, it is a cheaper and simpler option for websites with heavy traffic because they don’ have to factor in sudden traffic surges, as they would have in the past. When you’re hosting your data in the cloud, a hosting provider is the only one responsible for the server infrastructure.
There is no more server crashing, and downtimes are rarely experienced. In the case that one server goes down, the others continue to work so there is virtually no downtime. The servers in the cloud are using load balancing technologies, and have hardware updates done continuously. The advantages that cloud hosting has to offer can – paradoxically – turn out to also be its biggest vulnerabilities!
Security is still the concern most often expressed by the customers. It was said, over and again, that the data is safely stored on servers housed within the data centers operating security measures. However, the concern about the security of customer’s data when sharing their hardware with other users is legitimate. Besides, where exactly is their data? The customers have lost the control over the physical location of their data which may be unsettling for many.