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How Does Cloud Hosting Work?

Posted by QuoteColo on November 12, 2013 - Updated on November 12, 2013

how does cloud hosting work

There is a major issue within the Cloud Hosting industry. That issue complicates consumer understanding of the Cloud, muddles up the meaning of Cloud Computing and fully takes consumers away from fully understanding how Cloud hosting solutions actually work. The issue at hand, of course, is that no one – not a single carrier – has fully defined what the Cloud is and more importantly, how it works using simple language the public can understand.

The Cloud has been clouded up by Cloud hosting service providers. Well, that stops now. Below is how Cloud Hosting really works.

Cloud Hosting and Data Centers

Cloud hosting sounds like a fancy new capability of IT providers – it isn’t. At its core, the Cloud is nothing more than a fancy marketing term for hosting your data and solutions on the Internet. That “Cloud” is housed on single/multiple servers operating on a 24/7/365 basis within the walls of a secured colocation data center facility. When it comes down to it, the Cloud is nothing more than the ability of a consumer/business to host their data within a server located in a colocation data center facility.

As you might have noticed, we are using the terminology, “to host” over “to store” for a reason. While the Cloud does allow for storage, the definition of Cloud Hosting is a bit different than the standard definition of the Cloud.

What is Cloud Hosting?

Back in the day, consumers purchased shared servers and dedicated servers. A bit after back in the day came to a close, consumers had the ability to purchase a new solution called VPS or Virtual Private Server. As noted in the name, a VPS is the act of hosting in a virtual environment. This is the Cloud. Through the use of various virtualization technologies – KVM, OpenVZ, Xen, Hyper V – your server, which was one hosted on a bare metal server, is now hosted in a virtual environment. This means the resources within your VPS i.e. Cloud server, are virtualized. With virtualized Cloud resources, RAM, CPU, Disk (Storage) and Bandwidth, your Cloud hosting server has the ability to scale almost instantly. As resources aren’t physical anymore, scaling within Cloud hosting is a matter of virtually provisioning greater/lesser needs within an instants notice.

Cloud Hosting is traditional hosting with virtualization and instant scalability. It isn’t that hard to understand or define.

Cloud Hosting Concerns

From a vendor point of view, major Cloud hosting concerns show themselves in the form of local provisioning (How many Cloud servers can we fit on a single node? How many Cloud servers can utilize our SAN without overloading the infrastructure? And the ability to instantly scale Cloud server resources without showing any lag on the customer facing side.

On the customer facing side, the truth is resources don’t matter. Sure, Cloud server solutions love to talk about RAM, Bandwidth, Disk and CPU cores (Cloud hosting resources) yet consumers just don’t care. The major issues with Cloud hosting from a consumer perspective are Cloud server security and Cloud server uptime.

Both concerns are valid and reasonable. Consumers want to know their once physical server stored on a bare metal box is just as secure as it was. The idea of virtualization, the very idea and name – the Cloud – implies soft and unsecure. Due to this, with concern for Cloud server security is warranted and reasonable. Just to let you know, Cloud hosting providers supply managed firewalls to protect their client interests.

On the other side, the other major concern is Cloud server uptime. With virtualization, will downtime increase? The answer is no. As Cloud servers are stored within colocation servers held in a data center, Cloud hosting solution providers offer 99.9999% uptime SLA’s to quell the fears of consumers.

So, should you invest in Cloud hosting services? With solutions running the gambit in price from $5 per month to $100 per month, the investment is worth it.

What Do You Think?