Current cloud hosting solutions
Since the emergence of the web 2.0 companies and users’ needs have adapted to the technological changes. One of the most significative changes has been the introduction of web hosting, a service where a provider offers a server in which all the resources hosted are accessible via Internet. It began in 1991 and users needed their own server to store all the information and resources required. Hosting companies from all over the world started to offer their services, which were based on physical hardware, to other companies and end users.
We will now have a look at how the different types of hosting solutions are classified from traditional versions to the evolution of the solution that has revolutionized the market: cloud hosting.
Traditional hosting solutions
- Shared hosting
It consists on a server divided in folders for every website hosted in it, each of which contains a given amount of megas. All the webs hosted share the same CPU, RAM memory and internet connection, so there are issues like slowness, impossibility to obtain high traffic peaks and frequent server downs. Shared hosting is the most popular and the most affordable one. However, the main downside of this is that bandwidth and storage capacity are limited. Normally, users pay a monthly subscription to the provider for the rent of space in their server. This is the best option for users who want to create a personal website, a blog or a small online company, since server management knowledge is not necessary and costs are reduced.
- Dedicated hosting
Users who select this kind of hosting get their own server, which is accessible whenever they want. This means that they get unlimited storage capacity, RAM memory, number of websites, etc. Dedicated hosting is generally used by big and well-known e-commerce companies with a big number of clients who visit their websites every day. But, sometimes, dedicated hosting services are also acquired by small companies that want to give server space to their own clients.
- Co-located hosting
This hosting has the same characteristics than the dedicated one. The main difference is that users buy their own server, instead of renting it from a hosting service company. This server is physically located in a data center, so the internet connection speed is higher than the one they can have at home. Users pay for the bandwidth, the maintenance fees, the secure connection and the transfer data consumption; in addition, they have to configure every parameter, since the company does not manage the server
4. Virtual Dedicated Server
This kind of hosting is characterized by a dynamic and steady performance, an easy-to-maintain infrastructure and simplified updates and expansions. This is why this is the best solution for companies that need more options than the ones offered by shared hostings. VDS use only one computer that simulates various servers. Each of these serves is independent, with its own Operating System and the capacity to reset itself without this affecting the other computers. In addition, the hard disk and RAM memory are shared between the resources hosted in that server. The main advantages of this server is that it’s very flexible and can be adapted to the user’s demands, depending on the amount of the resources needed.
Cloud hosting solution
The concept of offering IT resources through a global network was first introduced in 1960s by JCR Licklide, who thought that everybody could be interconnected to access programs and data from anywhere. Other researches consider John McCarthy as the scientific who developed the cloud computing concept as a public service. However, it was not until the 1990s when the Internet started to offer bandwidth, which caused the expansion of cloud computing.
The first company to introduce this application was Salesforce in 1999, which started to offer business applications through its straightforward website.
After this, companies like Google, Amazon or Microsoft started building their own infrastructure, in which their resources were configured and continually associated among them.
Cloud hosting is a service based on an infrastructure composed by various servers that are interconnected, and to which users access from their computer in order to consult information or use programs operating in them. Each computer works independently from one another, so more servers can be added without stopping the service.
It is a very flexible solution since there is not a physical limit to store as much information as desired: the resources needed can be contracted in a specific moment in time and then expanded as the project grows.
Cloud hosting is the most popular solution nowadays since this option offers a large number of advantages:
- Clients only pay for the resources used, so it is not necessary to take stock for future usage, only what they need at the time. In addition, they don’t spend money on maintenance and infrastructures.
- When there is a malfunction in one of the servers, the rest of computers can continue working and all the data continues to be available for users thanks to the redundancy of the platforms.
- Users can access the data independently from the location of the device; they only need a web browser.
- The security of a website hosted in the cloud is guaranteed by several servers, since the service provider is responsible for the protection of the clients’ data.
Types of cloud hosting services
There are three types of cloud hosting services. Each of them has different characteristics that make them optimal for the company or the users’ needs.
- Public cloud hosting
Users engage the resources needed for their projects and the service provider takes care of the maintenance and management of the infrastructure. As explained above, user will only pay for the resources consumed and they can apply for an extension whenever they want. In addition, public cloud hosting is the best option for limited-term projects or projects whose needs vary throughout the process.Finally, this option is one of the most secure ones since hardware and software providers take care of the security of the data.
- Private cloud hosting
In a private cloud hosting, service and infrastructure are bundled in the same network, so security and control levels are very high. In this case, both hardware and software resources are destined for just one person who can manage these resources or can ask the company of the infrastructure to manage them. This is the reason why maintenance costs are higher, although they can turn into profits. This kind of hosting is optimal for those who have a large amount of resources to manage and who own several technological systems.
- Hybrid cloud hosting
A given company, user or organization may use both public and private cloud hosting characteristics to solve different requirements. They have their own infrastructure and can manage the resources in it; but they can also access the resources in the public cloud, which is managed by the service provider.
Hybrid cloud is not as expensive a solution as the private cloud is, since companies can benefit from economic savings, but with a high security level.
Cloud hosting applications:
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
It is a cloud service with which users can have access to software products via the Internet. Both software and data are managed and hosted in a company’s external server. The main advantage of this model business is that there is a reduction of costs for all the users in the process. In this sense, users only pay for the rent of the service and a simple hardware.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
It is a cloud service category that offers an IT infrastructure, whose cost depends on the consumed resources, and access to resources consisting of processing infrastructure (virtualized hardware). It includes the services related to CPU and disk storage.
- Platform as a service (PaaS)
This solution consists of the development of cost-cutting software applications, regarding aspects such as development, design, test and distribution. All the resources are hosted in the cloud and accessible via the Internet.
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