If you’ve ever considered hosting a website or application, you’ve likely come across the term “cloud hosting.”
There is a bit of a buzz around cloud web hosting these days and if you are exploring various hosting options, you will definitely run across this term.
Cloud hosting works a little differently than other well-known hosting types, such as shared hosting, VPS (virtual private server) hosting, or dedicated server hosting.
This guide will help answer that question.
What is cloud hosting?
A hosting that enables a website to use the resources of multiple servers, giving a faster performance is cloud hosting. Cloud hosting is a great way to reduce the amount of time and money you spend on hosting your website.
Working of Cloud Hosting / The Cloud Hosting Process: What Is It?
Cloud hosting runs by virtualization. It is a technology that divides a physical server into multiple virtual machines called cloud servers. Cloud servers connect to create a single network for hosting a website.
This type of hosting is also called cluster server hosting due to its interconnected cloud structure. Cloud hosting differs from traditional web hosting due to its underlying infrastructure. The latter usually employs a centralised architecture where a single server stores multiple websites concurrently.
The underlying infrastructure makes cloud hosting different from traditional web hosting. Traditional web hosting commonly uses a centralized approach where a single server stores various sites at once.
Perks of Cloud Hosting
- High availability: When a server fails, the remaining servers cover for it and keep the website running. This makes cloud hosting more reliable than traditional web hosting, wherein a website must always rely on its server to be online.
- Traffic load balancing: When a website receives traffic, the infrastructure will distribute the load across multiple cloud servers. This helps to maintain the site’s performance as the number of visitors increases.
- Scalability: With cloud hosting, webmasters are not constrained by the bandwidth, storage space or processing power of a single server. They can utilise additional virtual environment resources to support the growth of their website.
- Greater security: In general, Cloud hosting is less prone to disasters and physical malfunctions as it uses several servers in a virtual world. Moreover, the load balancing factor can help prevent DDoS attacks.
The website types that use Cloud Hosting
E-commerce stores, news publications, search engines or aggregators, social networks, and other high-traffic projects are some of the major kinds of websites that use cloud hosting.
It is good for websites that require a great deal of processing power, bandwidth, and disk space to accommodate a large number of visitors and the huge data they store.
The architecture of cloud hosting makes it simple to forecast traffic spikes, which generally occur during heavy sales or when a blog post goes viral. The load balancing will ensure that the traffic doesn’t overload any virtual server’s resources.
Furthermore, some of these websites might require extra security to handle sensitive data, like customer data and payment details.
In this situation, they may choose a private cloud over a public cloud. It generally includes a dedicated cloud infrastructure that is hosted on a private network to restrict unauthorised access.
For these reasons, web hosts usually charge more for cloud hosting services than shared or VPS hosting, which is more suitable for small to medium-sized sites.
A) Cloud Hosting versus Other Types of Web Hosting
Before making a website, it’s important to recognize which type of web hosting you can use for it. The service you select must offer sufficient resources and optimal performance to support the site without exceeding the budget.
In this section, we will be comparing cloud hosting with, shared and VPS( two traditional hosting services) to help you in making the right decision.
Cloud Hosting vs Shared Hosting
Traditional shared hosting is not as powerful as its cloud counterpart. Even so, it is a fitting solution for those looking to create a personal website or a small online store.
In this type of hosting, one server will hold various websites, all of which share its resources.
It can hold only a limited amount of traffic – between 10 to one hundred thousand monthly visitors because of the shared nature of the server. The right amount depends on the bandwidth, storage capacity, and processing power available.
To prevent performance or security issues, avoid reaching the resource usage limit.
Listed here are some of the pros and cons of shared hosting:
The price for shared hosting costs between $1/month and $10/month. On the other hand, cloud hosting has a wider price range, ranging from $10/month to more than $70/month.
Webmasters can manage their hosting without having any technical expertise. Additionally, the setup procedure from registration to payment usually involves a few clicks.
With shared hosting, the web hosts will take care of the back-end elements to enhance performance and security.
How well a website works will depend on how many people visit it, site size, and what security steps other users take. If one site is hacked, it is likely that others will be as well.
In contrast to cloud hosting, webmasters are limited to using the processing power, bandwidth, and disc space allotted by the hosting company. They will have to upgrade to a more comprehensive plan if they require more resources.
B) Cloud Hosting vs VPS Hosting
VPS is a virtual private server. Multiple users share a single server similar to shared hosting. However, it is different because it uses virtualization, the same technology that powers cloud hosting to create independent/ distinct server partitions. By doing this, rather than having to share resources with other webmasters, each user receives a dedicated resource pool to run their website.
Because of this, when a website outgrows its shared hosting plan, VPS is often regarded as the next step. Performance-wise, it is also much more comparable to cloud hosting.
Apart from this, users will have complete root access to their own server, allowing them to configure the hosting environment according to their requirements. Usually, this feature is unavailable with managed cloud or shared hosting services.
Following are the pros and cons of VPS web hosting:
Provides reliable service/ Performs reliably
Having a dedicated server space ensures that problems with one website won’t affect the other sites.
Full root access
This feature is helpful for tech-savvy users who need an operating system or software for their projects.
Dedicated IP address
Most web hosting providers cover this in their VPS plans. Comparing it to a shared IP address. It’s a much safer choice because it will protect your email reputation of your and keep spammers from linking to your website.
Technical skills required
Most VPS hosting services come unmanaged, so you will need to update yourself with server management knowledge to host your project well. Because of this, VPS is considerably less user-friendly than cloud hosting.
Cloud hosting is a modern, dependable form of hosting – it’s no surprise that you’re interested in it!
Cloud web hosting makes use of a virtual network of cloud servers to host a single site. Traditional hosting on the other hand stores one or multiple sites on a single server.
The prime benefit of cloud hosting is reliability. When one cloud server goes down, other servers can step in to keep the website online. It is also less prone to hardware failure, and webmasters may scale their hosting resources as necessary to foresee traffic spikes.
If cloud web hosting seems to be the right solution for you, Three plans are available from Hostinger, with prices ranging from ₹799 to ₹5099.
With CloudLinux technology, a 99.9% uptime guarantee, Cloudflare integration to enable CDN, and global data centres, your site will be active/ operational At all times
As such, it is the best solution for large-scale projects like business websites, eCommerce websites, online marketplaces, and search engines.
Subscription plans for cloud hosting
One of the web hosting companies is Hostinger operating in India and across the globe which is suited for any kind of website. Hostinger’s most popular features are fast speeds, cost-effectiveness, and excellent assistance.
Some of its main points are as follows:
Average speed: 176 ms (around the world), 99 ms (India)
Average page loading time: 0.55 seconds
Key features: unlimited bandwidth, 20 GB of free storage space, free domains, integration with Cloudflare CDN, LiteSpeed caching for fast content delivery, and GitHub.
Customer support: live chat-based support, Lively customer support, and interactions in native languages.
Pricing: Monthly plans priced starting from Rs. 59/- up to 219/-.
- Every account comes with a free domain.
- Steady speeds across all international areas.
- Free access to the website-building tool Zyro.
- Excellent customer support.
- Deficiency of advanced hosting features.
- Only advanced plans offer website backups.
Bluehost, which was established in 2003, is a leading name in web hosting globally.
In India, this web host has been a preferred choice for a number of well-known business brands.
In contrast to other platforms, all Bluehost data centres are housed/ located in India.
Here are some of its key points:
- Average Speed: 154 ms (around the world), 330 ms (India)
- Average Page Loading Time: 0.98 seconds
- Uptime: 99.99%
- Key Features: 50 GB SSD space, spam protection, 1 free domain, free Office 365 mailbox for 30 days, unlimited data transfer, and SSL certificates.
- Customer Support: The service is poor and unreliable in India.
Pricing: The price ranges from Rs. 199/- to 366/- per month, On the expensive side
- Offers Windows and Linux hosting
- Strong and consistent network coverage across the globe.
- Among its competitors, Bluehost stands the fastest in website speed in India.
- Among bloggers and affiliate marketers, this is a popular choice.
Customizable and scalable.
- Costly Plans
- Poor customer service.
Found in a small dorm room of Florida Atlantic University, HostGator is an internationally recognized web hosting service. It has expanded into a leading provider of hosting and other related services like shared, reseller, VPS, and dedicated web hosting.
Here are some of its key points:
- Average speed: 857 ms (average)
- Average page loading time: 1.03 seconds
- Uptime: 99.93%
- Key features: 1-click WordPress installer, easily accessible cPanel dashboard to manage hosting services, unlimited email ids, free SSL certificate.
- Customer support: 24*7 in-house assistance
- Pricing: Affordable pricing, ranging from Rs. 399/- to Rs. 749/-.
- money-back guarantee for 45-day
- Offers flexible billing periods with more discounts
- All new accounts get free migration services.
- In comparison to other hosting providers, the monthly price is quite high.
- Aggressive upselling and additional services must be considered
How can we choose the right cloud hosting provider Or
List of Factors for Choosing the Right Cloud Service Provider
As you determine which cloud providers you will use, you will want to assess the possibilities provided by various cloud providers. And see how they would support your unique business characteristics and objectives.
The following are the key factors to consider for every company :
The security measures offered by each provider, as well as your specific security measures, and the mechanisms they use to preserve your applications and data should all be understood.
Additionally, make sure you completely comprehend the particular areas that each party is responsible for. (Go through the AWS’s Shared Responsibility Model documentation as well as Azure’s and Google’s approach to security.)
Additionally, review what security features are provided for free by each vendor you’re evaluating, and which additional paid services are available from the providers themselves. And where you may need to add third-party partners’ technology.
For instance, both AWS and Google Cloud make that process comparatively easy by listing their security features, paid products, and partner integrations on the security segment of their respective websites.
Security is of top concern in the cloud, so it’s important to ask meticulous and explicit questions that connect to your special cases, industry, regulatory requirements, and any other concerns you may have. Do not overlook to assess this essential feature of operating in the cloud.
Next, ensure you select a cloud architecture platform that can help you fulfil compliance standards that go with your industry and organization. If you are obligated to GDPR, SOC -2, PCI DSS, HIPAA, or any other frameworks, make sure you understand what it will take to attain compliance once your applications and data are living in a public cloud infrastructure. Be sure you realise where your duties lie, and which sides of compliance the provider will assist you to check off.
When selecting a cloud provider, think about how the architecture will be included in your workflows now and in the future. For example, if your organisation has already invested majorly in the Microsoft universe, it might make sense to proceed with Azure, since Microsoft gives its consumers licenses (and often some free credits). If your business relies more on Amazon or Google services, then it may be best to look forward to those vendors for ease of integration and consolidation.
Additionally, you might want to study cloud storage architectures when coming to decision. When it comes to storage, the three main vendors have similar architectures and offer multiple types of storage to cater to different needs, but they all have different types of archival storage. If this is crucial for you, you will want to analyse the nuanced differences between them. Each of the services provides options for storing and fetching data frequently vs. infrequently (hot vs. cool storage). Generally, cool storage costs less but comes with various restrictions.
You will also want to spend some time considering what various cloud platforms will demand from you to manage. Each of the services holds up various orchestration tools and combines with other services. If you have services that are specifically important to your business, make sure that the cloud provider you pick up provides a simple way to mingle with them (or that your business is comfortable porting over to a similar service that is supported). You will also want to consider how much time and effort it will take for your team to manage various facets of the cloud infrastructure before you make a final decision.
This consideration is important when businesses have strict needs in terms of availability, response time, capacity, and support (which almost everyone does these days). Cloud Service Level Agreements (Cloud SLAs) is a crucial aspect to determine when selecting a provider. It’s important to build a clear contractual relationship (read: legally enforceable) between a cloud service customer and a cloud service provider. Full attention should also be given to legal requirements for the safety of data hosted in the cloud service, specifically in light of GDPR regulations. You need to be able to gain trust in your cloud provider to do the right thing, and you need a legal agreement that will back you up if something goes wrong.
Support is another criterion that needs to be thought about. You will be able to get help quickly and simply. In some instances, the only support you will receive is through a chat service or call centre. This might or might not be acceptable to you. On other occasions, you may have access to a dedicated resource, but there’s a possibility there will be restrictions on time and access. Ask questions upfront on what amount and form of support you will have access to before you pick the cloud provider.
While it should never be the single or most vital factor, there’s no denying that cost will play a major role in determining which cloud service provider you select. It is good to go through both sticker price and associated costs (including personnel you may need to hire to manage your instances). Let’s look at the pricing structure of the three major players:
Amazon calculates price by rounding up the number of hours used. The minimum use is one hour. Instances can be bought in one of three ways:
Pay-as-you-go: no upfront cost, Pay for what you use.
- Reserved: Reserve instances for one or three years, with an upfront cost based on usage
- Volume discounts: Gather more services as the company grows, and receive volume discounts for some specific services, such as S3
- Google Cloud Platform: GCP bills are used for instances per second. Astonishingly, Google also provides “sustained-use pricing” and “committed use discounts” for computing services that offer an easier and more elastic model as compared to AWS’s reserved instances.
Azure bills customers on-demand by the hour, gigabyte, or millions of executions, based on the specific product. They also give the choice to reserve instances, like AWS.
As you can see, there is no direct comparison to figure out when it comes to prices. It is not as AWS costs $5 and GCP costs $10. Instead, you will need to go through your usage patterns (or predicted usage patterns) and consider which of the best three fits your business model, budget, timeline, and so on.