· Cloud hosting is simply providing cloud services as a host. These services provide hosting for websites on virtual servers which pull their computing resource from extensive underlying networks of physical web servers.
· It follows the utility model of computing in that it is available as a service rather than a product. The client can tap into their services as much as they need, depending on the demands of their website, and they will only pay for what they use.
· It exists as an alternative to hosting websites on single server (either dedicated or shared servers) and can be considered as an extension of the concept clustered hosting where websites are hosted on multiple servers.
· With cloud hosting, the network of servers that are used in vast and often pulled from different data centers in different locations.
· Practical examples of cloud hosting can fall under both the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) classifications
· Under IaaS offerings the client is simply provided with the virtualized hardware resource on which they can install their own choice of software environment before building their web application.
· On a PaaS service however, the client is also provided with this software environment, for example, as a solution stack (operating system, database support, web server software, and programming support), on which they can go straight to installing and developing their web application.
· Businesses with complex IT infrastructures and experienced IT professionals may wish to opt for the more customizable IaaS model but others may prefer the ease of a PaaS option.
· A development of the concept of cloud hosting for enterprise customers is the Virtual Data Centre (VDC). This employs a virtualized network of servers in the cloud which can be used to host all of a business’s IT operations including its websites
· The more obvious examples of cloud hosting involve the use of public cloud models - that is hosting websites on virtual servers which pull resource from the same pool as other publicly available virtual servers and use the same public networks to transmit the data; data which is physically stored on the underlying shared servers which form the cloud resource.
Features and Benefits of cloud hosting
Scalability and Flexibility: Resources are available in real time on demand and not limited to the physical constraints/capacity of one server. If the client site demand extra resources from its hosting platform due to visitor traffic or implementation of new functionality that resources will be accessed seamlessly
Reliability: The websites are hosted on virtual servers instead of being hosted on one single instance of a physical server. This virtual severs draw its resources, such as disk space, from an extensive network of underlying physical servers. If one server goes offline, it dilute the requested data from other servers.
Utility style costing: the client only pays for what they actually use. The resources are available on demand but there is no waste capacity remaining unused when the demand is lower.
Responsive load balancing: Load balancing is software based and therefore can be instantly scalable to respond to changing demands
Physical security: The underlying physical servers are still housed within data centers and so benefit from the security measures that those facilities implement to prevent people accessing or disrupting on site.