As the 2002 song hopes to find out why we build castles in the sky, some 20 years later it is clear that the answer lies in the clouds.
These clouds are in fact networks of virtual servers based on networks of physical servers (machines) which are remote to the end-user. An advantage of having a network of servers to rely on is that multiple servers balance the workload. As we will see later in this article, this will prove to be beneficial on many levels.
Cloud hosting is not a new concept; however, it is being changed and revolutionized with time. With public, private, and hybrid cloud, this type of service is expanding to accommodate the growing and changing needs of its users. One example of this is managed cloud hosting created to assist users with none, or little expertise in the field, as well as those experienced workers who are looking to outsource server-related work. Its features and benefits make it an obvious choice for most businesses and private users alike.
Scalability is one of the main issues resolved by this type of plan. With increasing traffic or a growing business, you will eventually run out of resources set by your initial hosting plan. Its concept is designed to accommodate your fluctuating need for resources. Being based on a network of servers, many premium cloud service providers will enable you to quickly get to additional resources and make a seamless transition. This is great news since you do not have to be able to plan your use of resources too much ahead of time. You will be paying only for what you use and not for an upgraded plan that you might hardly dip into.
Security and privacy are perhaps what many find discouraging about a cloud server. Somehow, people feel that they will be able to keep their data safer if it is not connected to the Internet and seemingly available to billions of people. However, what they do not realize is that security is, in fact, a feature of this service.
When it comes to security protocols, one of the main tasks of a hosting provider is to keep your data safe and enable easy access to it. Having said that, they have specialized teams working on security. They are likely better at their job than, for example, an in-house IT department of an SME.
A downside could be the greatest threat to cloud security which is a misconfiguration or a human error related to security configuration and permissions. This is usually done by those who are not specialized in network security and/or do not see it as important as functionality. Luckily there are services including managed cloud hosting which provide a simple-to-use experience and 24/7 support which help resolve this issue.
Speaking of the true end-users, the ones that are going to access the data, Having data hosted in a cloud makes all the difference as the data becomes ready-on-the-go. The multiple servers included in a cloud mean that the load gets distributed. What is achieved with this distribution is speed which means higher responsiveness.
With digital nomads, people on business trips, or nowadays increasingly working remotely, being able to access data and apps from anywhere around the globe without compromising load times is a dream come true. For this reason, the cloud service has become irreplaceable for expanding businesses.
Businesses can benefit from having a way of collaborating with others who are miles away and possibly across borders. What this can give them is the flexibility that they need to fit into the world of shifting circumstances, needs, and rules.
Backup and Recovery
The best cloud service providers know that you rely on them to back up your data the same way you would if you had an in-house server. Once again, due to there being multiple physical servers involved, rather than a single one, you have an advantage that you would never get with an in-house server. Using the mirroring technique your data is backed up on more than one server so you can rest assured that there is something to fall back on.
Should anything unpredictable happen on your or the cloud provider’s end, you will still be able to have access to your data in a short period. If your computer fails, you can simply use a different device and continue your work uninterrupted. On the other hand, should there be an issue on the provider’s side and one of the servers fails to respond, there is always another one to fall back on.
This type of efficient recovery and self-healing is particularly prominent in times when a disaster strikes that normally would have destroyed your on-premises physical server.
Seeing that this is a suitable solution for many, the hosting plans come in a great variety and at various prices. We have touched upon this in the scalability section when we mentioned that cloud users pay only for the resources they end up using. This sounds only fair especially when you compare it with hosting plans which offer only set resources and make you pay for much more than you will end up using, every time you need to scale up. However, the best thing about cloud web hosting is not just that it fits any pocket. It is also about how much you are saving by using it.
Using cloud services helps you save money on what you would have spent for setting up, maintaining, and upgrading an in–house server. As many small businesses do not have in-house IT, a cloud can cut down on their IT consulting fees for server-related tasks. Alternatively, if there is an IT department that used to spend some of their time on maintaining the server, they can now focus on other projects and improve your business further. Finally, you will be saving on the hardware required for the setup and the upgrades.
Cloud servers have been around for a while but they are improving with each day. They have many advantages as well as features that can help revolutionize businesses.
Having data available anytime, anywhere to all interested parties means that there is more room for analysis and collaboration. This gives teams a competitive advantage over those who do not have such features at their disposal.
In conclusion, cloud hosting means living the life we should all live. It uses only as much as it needs. It also helps you and your business live green by reducing your environmental footprint.
Cloud services combine what matters into an efficient whole. It encompasses technological trends, industry trends, and lifestyle trends.