Website Hosting: The Difference Between Cloud and Traditional
Right now budgets are tight for many businesses, large or small, leading them to turn to more efficient and new ways to maintain their web hosting needs. The world of web hosting is changing, and many businesses are looking into the possibilities of cloud hosting vs. the traditional setups that have been used for so long.
There are two types of traditional hosting: dedicated and shared. With dedicated hosting, a business will pay for all of the resources of a server from a service provider. This business now has a set amount of bandwidth, CPU, RAM, and drive space dedicated to them and the client also has full control over all of the server's resources.
Shared hosting is a bit different and is more widely used among small and medium-sized businesses. With this kind of traditional hosting, the client pays for a set amount of storage on a single server. The client then shares resources with other websites also using the server; hence the name "shared hosting." This method of traditional hosting is not only cost efficient and low maintenance, but the hosting company is also responsible for keeping everything maintained and updated.
While traditional hosting has its pluses, it also has several faults as well, especially when it comes to shared hosting. When resources are shared between multiple sites on a single server, spikes in traffic to any of them can lead to decreased performance on your own website. Also, with sharing a server comes sharing possible security breaches as well. When there are performance problems and security breaches on the other sites sharing your server, there is a chance your site will be brought down with them. Lastly, if the hosting server itself starts experiencing technical issues, you and everyone else on that server will be affected.
When using shared hosting, you are paying for a predetermined amount of storage and processing power. Depending on your traffic situation, this could be good or bad news. The good news is that if you have a predictable flow of traffic, shared hosting could be a good solution for you. The bad news is that if your traffic is quickly increasing or has sudden spikes when new products are released, you may be held back by the set amount of storage you have. However, this issue can be offset by purchasing additional server space to increase your storage and processing power. If traffic falls again though, you'll be stuck paying for resources that aren't being utilized.
Cloud hosting offers some benefits that traditional hosting just can't beat. One of these advantages is scalability as cloud hosting companies can provide space on an as-needed basis. Instead of getting a predetermined amount of space on a single server that may be under- or overutilized, the client pays as they go for space they actually need.
Cloud hosting uses a cluster of multiple servers. The information contained on those servers is mirrored across the whole cluster. So, if one server in that cluster goes down, there is no downtime, and no information is lost. Think of cloud hosting as a school of fish. All of the fish in the school are going in the same direction, doing the same thing, and know all of the same information on how to function. If one of those fish gets eaten, nothing is lost because all of the other fish still retain their memory and keep moving.
Due to having a cluster of multiple servers, cloud hosting is much more resilient than traditional hosting. Problems with another website are very unlikely to affect your personal bandwidth or performance.
Cloud hosting companies also provide a service known as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). This means that they hold, run, and manage all of the hardware needed and the client only pays for the resources they use.
Depending on the business you run, cloud hosting could be the right option for you. Cloud hosting is able to scale its servers to meet your needs. If your website receives more traffic, the server scales up, and during times when you have less traffic, the server will scale down, all of which is done automatically. With cloud hosting, you won't ever have to worry about manually adding or removing space.
As cloud hosting is a relatively new technology, many businesses who are used to traditional hosting are a bit more hesitant to take that leap. Traditional hosting can still be particularly suitable as it provides clients with a convenient, cost-efficient hosting solution and many of its users never have any issues. If you're looking for another low-cost, flexible, and scalable solution though, it might be time to try cloud hosting.