Enter the new world of cloud hosting; as the term suggests, rather than have a website that is hosted on a single virtual server as we traditionally have, your website is hosted across multiple connected virtual private servers (VPS). This connection to multiple servers increases the processing power of your server infinitely. A good example of this kind of hosting is Google. Google operations, including their searches, are operating under a huge computer network, which people, including you, tap into from their local computers.
Cost is another advantage if you need processing power. You no longer have to reserve massive power to handle a sudden surge in traffic to your website. You are charged according to the amount of computing power used. On slow days you pay less, while on busy days you pay more; you pay for what you use ONLY.
You do not know where your data is located and you are therefore not sure who has access to it and if it is safe, because you share the same physical hardware with others. Due to its exponential growth in popularity, many have jumped into this network based hosting without a sound security strategy, leading to serious security concerns. One may not even get advance warning that something is about to go wrong and even in some cases, they do not know if anything has actually gone wrong.
It is all you hear about any more. The term cloud is thrown around so often and in so many contexts what it actually means seems to be getting lost. I even hear people use the term synonymously with the internet itself. Cloud computing and mobile seems to have completely taken over the industry media yet most people don't seem comfortable with the terms and ideas.
This is quite simply the most important thing to happen to online retail since the wide spread adoption of broadband. Social media has been the big buzz for a long time, but how much actual profit have you been able to trace back to that twitter account? The cloud can save you real money, real time, and when that big break comes it can save your butt. It is vital to your business to take the time to get to know this technology.
What is cloud hosting At a high level the cloud has come to mean a pool of infrastructure, providing services into a pool, usable by collection of virtual servers or applications. Clear as mud, no? Let's try that again.
The cloud is just plumbing. With traditional hosting you are buying a bottle of water. With cloud hosting you are having city water installed with a tap in your kitchen. You know, in the back of your mind, it is far more complicated than opening the bottle but when done correctly that complexity is hidden from you. You pay for what you use, and can use all you need.
The confusion in the term tends to come from the thousands or millions of possible ways this could be implemented. There are some general trends forming but the rate of growth in the technology and ideas is exactly what is driving the excitement in this space.
This has only been a quick glace into what has become the tech industry buzz word of the moment, but hopefully I have clarified things enough that you can dig a bit deeper into how this technology can help your business get the most use out of your IT budget.