How to Choose the Best Cloud Hosting Solution
Cloud computing is one of the hottest topics within the technology sector today. Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are just some of the major hitters that are demonstrating the amazing potential this new form of computing. They can also take some of the credit for the recent explosion of cloud hosting services.
The Allure Behind the Cloud
Perhaps the true beauty of cloud computing is the ability it provides to do much more with much less. No need to have your own infrastructure. All the equipment, applications, and resources you need are provided for you, allowing you to save internal resources, and boost productivity in the process. In addition, the cloud’s fee structure of only pay for what you use gives you the opportunity to enjoy significant cost savings.
Cloud hosting is similar to traditional web hosting, but also quite different at the same time. In this environment, your website, and all its files and applications, are running on a cluster of interconnected servers. This is unlike shared hosting where you are sharing a single server, or even dedicated hosting where you have one entire server to yourself. Since you have access to a multitude of servers, the processing power available to you is essentially unlimited, enabling you to scale up at any time as your needs increase.
There are numerous advantages of cloud hosting and when evaluating them, it is clear to see that it outperforms traditional web hosting in many ways. Having said that, it also comes with some potential disadvantages that warrant consideration. For this reason, you must look at the big picture and consider several factors if you want the best cloud hosting solution.
Your Specific Needs
Cloud hosting is a big decision. This is true not only in terms of the service provider, but the decision to go with this type of solution itself. Before you do anything, it is advisable to carefully evaluate your needs, and take a serious look at your business. Do you really need a cloud-based solution, or is dedicated or managed hosting enough to support your needs? If you only require a simple website with standard features, moving to the cloud may only introduce a level of complexity you don’t need.
Type of Cloud Hosting
Cloud hosting mainly comes in two forms: public and private. With a public cloud, you are essentially sharing resources with other users among multiple virtual servers, similar to a shared web hosting arrangement. With a private solution, you have your own cluster of servers to accommodate your storage needs, similar to dedicated hosting. The private variation gives you the power to manage your own servers, as well as more flexibility as far as storage is concerned. What you must decide here is the level control you require and how comfortable you are sharing resources with others.
Today, many organizations depend on the internet as a way to create awareness and cater to their target audience. The operations they run are often of mission-critical importance tasks that cannot afford to be compromised under any circumstance. Organizations are increasingly turning to the cloud as a more reliable way to maintain their IT infrastructure. The benefits of outsourcing your in-house operations to this environment include cost savings on power, connectivity, and personnel among several other crucial elements.
Although the cloud is largely viewed as a reliable offering in comparison to both in-house and traditional hosting solutions, the true level of reliability lies in the service provider you choose. You have to keep in mind that while cloud hosting is a hot commodity, it is still a relatively new offering on the market. There are some companies that specialize in this technology, and others that are merely jumping on the bandwagon and trying to capitalize on an emerging trend. This should give you the motivation to seek out a firm that has the expertise and infrastructure capable of ensuring a reliable cloud hosting service.
Level of Security
The biggest concern associated with cloud computing is security. It is a very controversial issue because on one side you have cloud proponents saying that it is more secure than traditional solutions, and on the other, critics who say it presents a higher level of security risks. Regardless of which side is right or wrong, the fact of the matter is that the concerns are real. Just about every system once thought invulnerable to security attacks has been exploited in some form or another. When it comes to the cloud hosting fiasco, security will continue to be an issue, so it is important to make sure the company you select has the technology, personnel, and policies in place to keep your vital data safe. Needless to say, reputation should play a large role in your decision.
Plan for the Future
Cloud hosting gives you a robust platform that offers flexibility and on-demand resources. It is an ideal solution for those who need the freedom to instantly expand in order to support growth in internet traffic, data, and applications. However, because it is such an important decision, you need to go into the situation thinking about the long term ramifications. It is essential to understand how the pricing structures, service level agreements, and other related elements will impact you going forward. While the cloud is suitable for many requirements, it could also turn out be a costly endeavor over the long haul if you do not properly plan for the future.
Do You Need Cloud Hosting?
As we mentioned earlier, cloud hosting is not necessarily the best option for those who need a simple website. It is better suited for users who demand more power and have more complex requirements. If you are sure that this is the right move for you, be certain that you carefully evaluate your needs before choosing a service provider. The last thing you want to do is find yourself in a predicament where you cannot afford the service, or do not have enough resources to accomplish your goals.