We’ve all heard about “The Cloud”, but what it means exactly can still cause some confusion. Is it hosting based in the sky? Run on servers made of white fluff? More importantly, is it right for you?
What is Cloud Hosting?
Your site depends on applications that need to run smoothly and scale with your needs. Cloud hosting offers the flexibility to do just that. You can think of hosting in the cloud, like living in a magic house that expands or contracts based on the number of people living in it. Instead of building and running their own infrastructure to run in-house applications, customer management software, etc. companies are simply uploading and configuring these applications to the cloud. The infrastructure is already there. This allows companies to get their important applications up and running within a matter of days.
With cloud computing you can grow without worry. You only pay for what you use. On other web hosting platforms such as Shared, VPS, or Dedicated hosting; your account comes with set specifications like the amount of memory or storage available on the server. With cloud hosting, these specifications will change to meet your site’s needs. This has the benefit of never having to worry about upgrading, downgrading your hosting account to a more appropriate level. However it also makes billing a little less predictable.
Companies are better able to focus their IT team when utilizing Cloud hosting. On a Cloud Server you don’t have to worry about maintaining the server’s infrastructure. It’s all taken care of. This frees up your IT department to target new possibilities.
Having the ability to access and store data from anywhere is appealing, but is secure? More than 80% of 4,000 business and IT manager surveyed by Ponemon Institute are transferring, or plan to transfer sensitive or confidential date to the cloud. While cloud hosting can be just as secure as hosting in-house, it’s important to remember that the standard ‘security’ measures like strong passwords, backups, and patching remain the same.
Companies may use cloud computing differently depending on what they offer. For instance, a store may use their cloud account to run their commerce software. Another cloud owner may use it to run a small application they have developed. Its high customizability means you may use new kinds of services through the cloud. From e-mail, to word processing, or photo sharing many applications are can be made accessible through cloud computing.