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Introduction to Cloud Hosting

There are so many benefits of cloud based ERP solutions including cost and mobility - two employees wearing dark blue.
Corinne Boyd

By Corinne Boyd Digital Marketing Manager, Updated 17 May 2017

The purpose of Cloud hosting is to provide organisations with access to servers which can be used to house a range of services, all without requiring that they take charge of managing the hardware or networking infrastructure in-house.

With the advent of the Cloud era, vendors can offer IT resources in the same way that utilities such as electricity and water are provided. And this gives businesses the benefit of a flexible, scalable approach to hosting that is more cost-effective as a result.

 

Cloud Hosting Basics

Cloud hosting offers server resources which can be adjusted on the fly, facilitating on-demand increases in capacity and bandwidth in conjunction with payments that only need to account for usage. This eliminates other extraneous costs, such as those associated with hardware procurement, maintenance and upgrades which would otherwise be incurred.

While in the past it was necessary for businesses to host sites on either a single dedicated server, or one shared with multiple other clients, resulting in a battle for resources, the cloud is a modern alternative that alleviates many of the issues associated with older solutions. Hosting takes place at multiple data centres, often spread across a number of different geographic locations, allowing sites to cater to a global audience and to improve continuity without resulting in higher costs for clients.

Cloud hosting is a broad term which also includes sub-categories such as IaaS (infrastructure as a service) and PaaS (platform as a service) within it.

IaaS solutions provide organisations with access to a virtualised environment in which the functions of physical hardware are replicated by remote servers. It is possible to perform all of the tasks associated with in-house hosting in this environment, meaning that firms can control the type of software that is installed and then use this to create whatever apps or site that they require. PaaS makes things even simpler, adding the app-building ecosystem into the equation and allowing developers to dive right into the creation process.

This means that IaaS is suitable for larger companies with extensive resources at their disposal and experienced teams ready to manage this open-ended environment. Meanwhile PaaS is ideal for smaller firms that want to gain the benefits of the cloud without having to manage as many aspects of the set-up and infrastructure themselves.

Public vs Private Cloud Hosting

  • Public Cloud hosting is popular because it makes it possible to host sites, apps and services on data centre hardware which is administrated and operated entirely by a third party provider. This means that the provider is responsible not only for offering virtualised hosting packages that will appeal to enterprise clients, but also for ensuring that there are adequate security measures, continuity plans and hardware redundancy in place to provide protection and minimise downtime.
  • Private Cloud hosting gives businesses more control over the intricacies of the servers’ operations, potentially improving security and enhancing privacy when compared with a public platform that is shared with others. Larger organisations can build their own data centres to operate a private cloud infrastructure, or buy access to resources made available by providers.

Key Benefits of Cloud Hosting

One of the main reasons that businesses are flocking to cloud hosting is the increased reliability that such services can offer, easily outdoing the single server solutions of the past in this respect. If one server or an entire data centre is taken out of action, additional resources drawn from other facilities can kick in and keep sites online.

Cloud data centres are set up to deliver unmatched levels of security, both for the physical server hardware and against the digital threats that any infrastructure of this kind will face. This goes along with the aforementioned scalability and flexibility of the Cloud, far outstripping legacy systems.

 

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