Cloud hosting is the process of outsourcing an organization’s computing and storage resources to a service provider who offers its infrastructure services in a utility model.
the cloud provider oversees configuration, cloud infrastructure, security, and maintenance, while sometimes allowing customers to customize hardware and applications and scale servers online. Compute and storage resources are distributed across hundreds of virtual machines (VMs) that load balance I/O requests in a cloud infrastructure configuration.
The cloud hosting model is a cheaper alternative to the traditional dedicated server model which requires companies to build and manage their own data centers. In the traditional model, servers and storage, along with dedicated hardware and virtual resources, reside on-premises and can be costly capital and operating expenses for organizations.
Benefits of Cloud Hosting
Cloud hosting provides organizations with significant capital and operational savings because they do not have to spend a lot of money on the initial capital cost associated with owning and managing data centers. . Computers also have the ability to ladder more efficiently, using and paying for only the resources they need. Additionally, long-term data retention becomes a more streamlined process, eliminating costly management of disk and tape systems.
Businesses using a cloud hosting service enjoy data protection benefits such as high availability and disaster recovery. Many organizations prefer a hybrid model which combines compute and storage resources residing on-premises with compute and storage resources in a cloud provider’s environment.
One of the major benefits of using cloud hosting services is flexible and more cost-effective scalability in building apps, websites, and other services. Because users can scale as needed, they are only billed for the services they use and don’t pay for unused capacity. This payment system makes cloud hosting a relatively inexpensive method of storage.
But there are drawbacks. Security issues with the cloud have attracted more attention as the rate of cloud adoption has increased. When data leaves the corporate data center, organizations run the risk of intellectual property theft and loss, compliance violations, lack of oversight of malicious employee actions, and data breaches.
Other aspects to consider include high availability, recovery point objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Goal (OTR).
Cloud hosting services have fueled the rise of infrastructure as a service (IaaS), in which a third-party vendor offers hardware, software, servers, storage, and networking resources to a customer, usually with a pay-as-you-go method.
Popular cloud hosting plans include Amazon Web Services (AWS), the Google Cloud Platform, IBM Cloud and Microsoft Azure. AWS is the dominant player in the market, offering extensive computing services and more regions and zones than other cloud providers. However, Azure and Google have been gaining ground in recent years.
AWS offers its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) to manage compute services, as well as Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) and Amazon Glacier for storage. Google offers its Google Compute Engine (GCE) and Google Cloud Storage for the enterprise. Microsoft Azure provides Azure VMs and Azure VM scale groups, and its storage includes blob, file, and queue storage. Its Microsoft Office 365 is a popular cloud service.
All three major public cloud providers offer container-aware products, including Amazon’s EC2 Container Service (ECS), Google’s Container Engine, and Azure’s own container services.