5 Reasons Your Next Host Will Be Cloud-Based

Cloud computing
‘Cloud’ is an industry buzz word. It has evolved to mean a variety of different things to different people.

In this article, we’ll look specifically at cloud hosting: what it is, and what it can offer.

We’ll also see why you’ll eventually end up using a cloud host.

What is Cloud Hosting?

Cloud hosting is a new kind of hosting architecture.

Several physical machines work together to host one site, spreading the load across all of them.

The group of servers can expand or reduce the resources a site uses, depending on demand.

Media Temple first popularized this style of hosting, though it calls its version grid hosting. Now, cloud hosting seems to be cropping up everywhere. Established hosting companies, such as Godaddy and Site5, are offering cloud-based solutions alongside shared hosting.

It’s likely your next host will be using a cloud setup, even if you don’t know it. Here are five good reasons for that.

1. The Cloud is Getting Cheaper

When Media Temple introduced grid hosting, the cost was about two or three times higher than shared hosting. Now, it’s falling.

As an example, look at SiteCloud; its pricing is comparable to (or cheaper than) traditional shared hosting.

For the most part, the cost difference between a traditional shared, VPS or even dedicated server and a cloud-based version is virtually nil.

2. The Cloud is Scalable

Cloud hosting is instantly scalable, so it’s almost impossible to hit any resource limits.

It’s not hampered by the same physical limitations as traditional hosting plans.

Where a single, physical machine has limited resources, a cloud infrastructure allows sites and accounts to easily expand and contract by using the resources provided by multiple servers.

Accounts that endure traffic spikes may pay more money for the resources they do use, but they won’t usually be taken offline.

3. The Cloud is More Reliable

The cloud is more redundant than traditional single-server setups.

Single points of hardware failure are eliminated; a single bad hard drive or faulty network card won’t take down a site.

Catastrophes are rarer, and generally problems have to be quite severe to have any impact on availability. Depending on how redundant the network is, and how many physical locations it has, it may be able to survive even large-scale disasters.

4. The Cloud is Speedy

To be clear, a cloud network is not inherently faster or slower than regular hosting. But it can be faster in some cases.

Geography is not everything when selecting a host, but the right location can help. A cloud host can function much like a CDN, putting your site in multiple locations across the globe for faster access.

And since physical limitations are largely removed, there are no issues of overtaxed servers straining under the load. This is especially noticeable during traffic spikes.

5. The Cloud is Simple

Cloud hosting used to be difficult to use, so it was a product favoured only by the most knowledgeable and dedicated of users.

Now, cloud hosting packages are indistinguishable from traditional hosting packages. Some even offer the same control panel as traditional hosting plans.

Now, or in the future, you may use a cloud host without knowing it.

The Future Of the Cloud

Cloud hosting is becoming more affordable and less complex.

There are still some drawbacks to cloud hosting; charges for CPU cycles are undesirable to some. But the cloud is rapidly reaching a point where the benefits outweigh the negatives, and the cloud can benefit more people than ever.

It still may be another year or two before cloud hosting truly comes into its own. But next time you change your hosting company, you may end up working in the cloud.

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