Cloud hosting: what you need to know

You’d probably come across the term cloud hosting, if you’ve ever looked into host a website or app. Rather than hosting your website or application on a single machine, the pall allows you to distribute your data across multiple linked servers located across a wide geographic area. These servers exist only on virtual ground – hence the name cloud.

Cloud Hosting uses the computing power of many machines, and because of that, you have a lot more potential than you would with traditional hosting. You also have access to the services offered by these machines.

Public Cloud vs. Private Cloud

When your hosting account has been set up on a single server, you can either share the server with other accounts (a shared server) or run an individual server specifically for your site (a dedicated server). Cloud hosting allows you to make a similar choice.

The hardware is shared between multiple virtualized accounts, so the cost of the resource is shared. However, unlike traditional shared hosting, virtual server resources are protected by a ring. You don’t share disk space, processing power or anything else with another account – you just share rack space in data centers. Essentially, you get all the benefits of shared hosting without any of the downsides.

However, it is possible to produce a private cloud configuration that does not share its structure with other accounts if the public cloud is not what you are looking for. This has an additional cost but offers more security and control.

Cloud vs Single Server

One might wonder why the hosting world is moving from dedicated server hosting to cloud technology? The answer is that it has major benefits, which are explained below.

Reliability

If your website is hosted on a single server and that server is offline, your website will not be visible to visitors. If your website is shared between a set of interconnected machines, on the other hand, these machines all store the same information, if one of them goes offline, the others can take over and your website remains online.

What is the difference between server and cloud hosting?

Cloud hosting uses the computing power of many machines and because of this, you have a lot more potential than you would with traditional hosting. You also have access to the services offered by these machines.

Scalability

The underlying infrastructure of your cloud hosting setup gives you access to more system resources than you would ever need. Even though these resources have been shared among all the different accounts in your public cloud setup, you still have access to plenty of spare processing power for this purpose.

You can easily scale these resources with a quick phone call to your hosting company when you know you expect additional traffic or you can configure the hosting architecture to automatically scale resources based on real-time needs.

Versatility

By nature, cloud hosting is also incredibly versatile. You can choose a custom solution tailored to your specific needs. The exact architecture, space, processing power, operating system, and security you need with a cloud setup can be selected by you.

If your site uses a relatively small front end but accesses a massive database and you need to host large files to download from an otherwise small site, the cloud can accommodate them.

Managed Cloud Hosting

Also known as managed cloud computing, managed cloud hosting allows organizations to share and access resources, including hardware and software tools and databases, over a remote network through multiple servers located at another place.

In managed cloud hosting, servers are purchased in slices or virtual servers. Managed cloud hosting primarily focuses on security and constant availability. Unlike servers which are acquired on an hourly basis, managed cloud hosting is provided under monthly (or longer) contracts for businesses that run business-critical applications for long periods of time.

Web4Africa

Web4Africa offers Virtual servers from data centers in Accra (Ghana), Nairobi (Kenya), Lagos (Nigeria) and Johannesburg (South Africa).