Cloud computing has been the latest buzz word ever since last year 2008, promoted by large Information Technology companies such as Google, Microsoft and IBM. It’s very similar in nature to grid computing (An alignment of individual computers serve virtually as a single one, providing combined computing resources) though more focused on the way of consumption rather than the infrastructure itself.
The biggest Cloud is the Internet itself. It is a form of computing that supplies resources as a service to the consumers (enterprises or individuals) and that is paid for in the manner of utility such as electricity. This way, traditional sunk cost of building a huge self-supporting IT infrastructure can be avoided and users only pay for what they use as they go and exit freely. The actual physical infrastructure is created and managed by experienced hands who run and support it as well as the computing buyers.
It’s much like the on demand allocation of computing resources such as CPU time, network capabilities and digital storage with flexibility in scaling. The whole system frees the users from learning and managing all this stuff.
Cloud hosting, or cloud web hosting, similarly, backed by large clouds of computing devices or a cluster of servers, supplies hosting resources such as data storage, network bandwidth and CPU usage and bills the customer in the way of utility. With a cloud host, we only pay what we use and never have to worry about how this cloud stuff is accomplished in the back stage. We don’t have to worry about any of the technical aspects such as load balance and security, nor the hardware performance (CPU, RAM, hard drive, etc.), nor the chores such as device repair or replacement. We just consume and enjoy the results – the hosting resources – and use them to feed our websites and applications.
In simple words, any of the websites hosted on a hosting cloud or cloud based hosting should have the potential to spread its computing needs across the entire cloud, introducing the following benefits:
- Instantly available resources from the pool (not restricted by any single physical server at all) to be allocated to where it’s most needed.
- High scalability enables easy and fast scaling in resource consumption, either manually or automatically.
- Sudden website usage surge will not be a problem at all because the burden is evenly spread across the entire network.
- High availability and great reduced failure risk because the cloud works as a whole and any integral piece of hardware in it is dispensable. The failure of any one of them will not affect any of the hosted websites at all.
One of the most prominent players in the current cloud hosting market is Rackspace Cloud.