Last Updated on March 11, 2021 by Filip Poutintsev
Cloud hosting services provide hosting for websites on virtual servers. Cloud hosting is an alternative of hosting websites on single servers which can either be shared or dedicated servers. Since hosting is carried out with the help of virtual cloud servers that is why cloud hosting is also known as virtual cloud hosting.
Virtual cloud hosting makes applications and websites accessible using cloud resources. In traditional hosting, websites/applications are deployed on a single server. But things are different in case of cloud hosting where a network of connected virtual and physical cloud servers hosts the application or website, ensuring greater flexibility and scalability.
Virtual cloud hosting is a server and network infrastructure that uses software to divide a single physical server into multiple virtual servers. Often, these devices are referred to as virtual machines (VM). Cloud hosts provide a virtual machine that is functionally identical to a dedicated server and has many advantages over the physical server.
Some of the benefits of virtual servers are
- A virtual server can be created, installed, and configured within seconds.
- Development and deployment are more simplified
- Chances of failure are minimal
- Easy to maintain
In virtual cloud hosting, multiple virtual servers are used to balance the load and maximize uptime. This means if one server fails others kicks in to keep the system running and gives a steady performance.
Virtual cloud hosting is used by different e-commerce companies, corporate websites, social media, etc. Cloud hosting is the best fit for those companies that need to run their website 24*7 without any disturbance.
What is the Cloud?
“The cloud” refers to servers that are accessed over the Internet. The cloud enables users to access the same files and applications from almost any device, because the computing and storage take place on servers in a data centre, instead of locally on the user device.
Cloud servers are located in data centres around the world. A cloud server is a virtual server, in comparison to a physical server. Virtual servers are built and hosted virtually, through the internet hence you can access a cloud server from anywhere, remotely.
How Does Virtual Cloud Hosting Work?
Traditionally a website was hosted on a single server in a single datacenter i.e. a single machine is solely dedicated to hosting a website. But the cloud changed it all by using different servers at the same time to host the website. You manage your data through a “virtual machine” that accesses all the different servers across the “cloud”.
Each server in a cloud setting carries out a particular set of tasks. In the event of one server failing, other servers function in a back-up capacity to provide the required resources to ensure the ongoing availability of web hosting services. At the same time, cloud hosting makes it easy to scale in case you need more power.
There are two approaches in cloud hosting namely Centralized Approach and Distributed Approach. In the Centralized approach, one server hosts multiple websites and if the server goes down so do all the websites hosted by it.
In a Distributed approach multiple servers are used to host a website from different locations. So if one server fails to take control of the website, hence the website runs continuously without any break.
Pros of Virtual Cloud Hosting
Cloud hosting offers a wide range of benefits from simple convenience to enterprise-level solutions. Some of the pros of virtual cloud hosting are explained below:
Since your web hosting infrastructure is in the cloud, you can access the data using the internet from anywhere in the world. With cloud-based hosting, geographic location is not an issue. Cloud storage is storage that is accessible via the Internet usually from a device like a laptop but it could even be from a smartphone.
With cloud storage, you only pay for the amount of storage you want. You have the ability to easily scale your server resources up and down on an as-needed basis. This allows for the flexibility to scale up quickly to deal with unexpected traffic surges, but also to create an infrastructure that can grow with your requirements over a longer period.
Virtual cloud hosting helps you to lower your overall cost of website hosting. Cloud hosting helps to get rid of the maintaining physical servers which include cost buying own hardware, house, manpower, etc. You can also scale up the capacity as per the need and you don’t have to pay for unused capacity.
4. Better Performance
In virtual cloud hosting there are multiple servers connected in a network working as a one to host a website hence provide better performance. If traffic increases, a cloud host can automatically allocate resources. Multiple virtual servers are used to balance the load and if one server fails then others take the control.
Since data is the most important thing for any company and clients always consider a service provider with better security options. Cloud Hosting assures better security than the traditional hosting system as the cloud is isolated from physical server issues like hacking, hardware failure, and system overload. In case one server experience any type of issue you can switch to another server without having any downtime.
6. Backup and Disaster Recovery
Another advantage of virtual cloud hosting is it makes disaster recovery much easier as data backup is automatically generated. The use of multiple virtual cloud servers ensures no loss of data in case of any disaster. We can make a second copy of the primary data and store it on some server and can be used in case of an emergency.
7. Higher Speed
You can deploy a cloud hosting server in a significantly less amount of time which is very less compared to the traditional hosting system. Multiple servers are working continuously and hence helps to retrieve or update data with great ease. Backing up the data onto the disk is much speedier and easier.
8. Better Uptime and Availability
With virtual cloud hosting the uptime rates are much higher in comparison to traditional hosting because the whole system is built on interconnected servers, you never have to worry about a system failure. Some cloud hosting service providers promise 99.9%. With cloud hosting, you don’t have to worry about any downtown issues.
Cons of Virtual Cloud Hosting
Some of the cons related to Virtual Cloud Hosting are explained below
1. Prone to Cyber Attacks
With virtual cloud hosting, everything is accessible from the internet which makes the data stored in the cloud much vulnerable. Just because data is stored in the cloud doesn’t mean it is safe and sound there rather it is much vulnerable.
Anyone can get access to that data and make use of it. Many big organizations have suffered cyber-attacks and data breaches in the past. The internet is not completely secure, and for this reason, there is always the possibility of stealth of sensitive data
2. Dependent on the Internet
Virtual cloud hosting relies on a network of servers which entirely depend on the internet to function. Your access to the data is dependent on internet access. You need an active internet connection in order to send files to the cloud and retrieve them. It means if you have any problem with the internet connection, users will face the problem of accessing the service.
3. Loss of Control
With virtual cloud hosting, you have to give complete control over your data to someone else. You have to trust another party as you are giving all your data to them so that they can host your website on the cloud. With companies with highly sensitive data, with strict regulations, a cloud server might not be a good option.
4. Limited Bandwidth
Different services provider comes with different features. If you think of using cloud computing for your website hosting then you must choose a provider that offers unlimited bandwidth. Because if the business surpasses the allocated bandwidth, then the cost of extra bandwidth might get higher.
5. Cloud Can Be Much Expensive
Virtual cloud hosting is cost-effective however there are some hidden costs that aren’t included in the package. Due to this users are forced to pay more money than the actual deal. Cloud hosting is generally more expensive as compared to most other third-party web hosting solutions.
6. Technical Issues
Though cloud makes your website/application run smoothly, this doesn’t mean you won’t encounter any technical problem ever. If you experience any technical issues, you have no choice but to call your hosted provider’s technical support for help. It is dependent on the service provider’s tech team and their efficiency.
Virtual Cloud Hosting has become increasingly popular in the last few years due to its numerous benefits over the traditional hosting system. As it is flexible, scalable, gives high performance offers a unique set of features for a business.
However, you may still find yourself trapped with certain limitations like speed, space, security, and availability. In the end, the benefits of virtual cloud hosting technology come down to the service provider you choose.
Despite concerns about the security of virtual cloud hosting, many businesses see that the cost savings, accessibility, and disaster recovery are more valuable than the associated risks.