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What Is Cloud Server Hosting?

Updated on November 28, 2011

The concept of the cloud has been one of the biggest trends in computing, but few people actually understand what it means. In essence, having a service run through the cloud means that it is spread across a large number of computers that share it and other tasks rather than being tied to specific machines. There are both benefits and problems associated with cloud server hosting.

When is Cloud Server Hosting Most Beneficial?

Going with cloud server hosting is most beneficial in situations where your need for resources can vary a great deal. For example, if you are running a website that offers classes through video conferencing, your need for processing and bandwidth will be much higher during classes than it will be at other times. With some types of hosting it may be necessary to pay for enough resources that your site would be able to run at its peak capacity at all times. With a cloud setup you are sharing resources among a larger pool of customers. This means that, providing that you schedule your class offerings for off-peak hours, you should be able to get acceptable performance without paying higher rates for dedicated resources that you will not be using the majority of the time.

When Should Cloud Server Hosting Be Avoided?

The main situation where you should avoid using cloud server hosting is when security is your primary concern. This type of setup inherently involves sharing the same servers among many different users. If any individual account does something with their software that manages to compromise the system, this risks compromising your portion of the data as well. In addition, because resources are shared, attacks that are intended to target other people on the system can incidentally have negative impacts on the quality of your service. As a result, cloud solutions are generally not appropriate for highly sensitive or critical applications.

The move toward cloud server hosting offers companies a simplified way to handle contracting for server resources at the expense of having to share those resources with other customers of the cloud service. In many cases this is beneficial, but you should seriously consider your security needs and whether the benefits outweigh the increased risks for your situation.

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