Cloud hosting is often referred to as an “up and coming” technology that is, “the future”, and it is certainly taking the IT industry by storm. Cloud computing is already here and if there was ever a buzz word, “Cloud” is certainly it!
In fact it has been predicted that by 2012 85% of Fortune 1000 companies will be using a cloud hosting solution or infrastructure. Clearly more than an “up and coming” technology!
Cloud hosting is rapidly becoming established, is accepted as the standard for scalable web hosting, and offers numerous benefits over old shared or expensive dedicated hosting solutions. Cloud has been defined differently by many different people and is often difficult to define, however cloud hosting is the easiest form of a cloud infrastructure ro define and claim benefits from…
Scalability across a cloud hosting infrastructure is not just hardware based, but consumption billing based also.
As the load from user requests increases the company managing the cloud infrastructure hosting the project simply add more nodes to their system increasing the combined computation and capacity.
There is no longer the need to purchase additional boxes to just improve the RAM across a hosting solution but not make use of the additional CPU capacity that box provides. This reduces wasted resources and wasted investment.
Cloud hosting infrastructure utility allocation of resources allows “pay as you go” or consumption billing, allowing companies to pay for only the resources they consume. However, most cloud hosting packages still provide a package allowance to add value for larger hosting packages. Again, this pay for consumption model reduces expenditure for unused resources and helps to keep company hosting costs down
Moving from an internal dedicated hosting solution and out sourcing to a cloud provider reduces the work load on system administrators in a company and allows them to focus on other critical parts of the companies infrastructure. This reduces staff expenditure and may also reduces the requirements for a large network administration team.
As previously stated the pay for consumption nature of a cloud hosting solution leads to savings in unused resources and can reduces the total hosting expenditure, not only in servers, but also in the infrastructure required for an internal data centre.
Stability and Security
A cloud infrastructure allows load to be spread across numerous servers, reducing single points of failure in a network. If a single server fails it will have no effect on uptime, as the remaining servers will take up the load.
In a misson critical project this stability is vital and providing a clustered solution in house can be extremely expensive for small business and cost ineffective to purchase numerous powerful servers.
There are some concerns about the security of hosting and storing sensitive data externally. However cloud hosting providers use security policies not only on their hardware, but also for gaining access to their building and data centres.
This physical security combined with cryptography, the use of secure protocols like ssh, the prevention of insecure methods such as telnet, and the expertise of cloud system administrators means that data is often more secure on a cloud system than an internally hosted infrastructure.
Cloud photo courtesy of tipiro/Jose Roberto V Moraes