What is Cloud Hosting?
A unique set of infrastructures, features, interfaces and layers
Donya Business Development Consultant
Providing the perfect computing environment that can deal with any variation in service levels, project length or user access needs is a time-consuming and costly task – and full of risks for any business. The solution identified by many organisations is to use cloud computing, and in particular the solutions offered by hosting companies. But what is cloud hosting?
The “cloud” generally refers to any computing services or resources, including storage, that are accessed remotely, on demand, usually over the Internet or via a wide area network. Organisations benefit from economies of scale that can include savings generated by sharing buildings, electricity or personnel, as well as shared hardware and software. Virtualisation allows much more efficient use of servers and storage, and speeds up access to configurable resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal effort on the part of clients.
Cloud services can be public, private or a hybrid of the two. They may provide shared computing hardware (referred to as Infrastructure as a Service, or IaaS), access to software running on top of that hardware, such as operating systems, databases, programming environments or web servers (Platform as a Service; PaaS), or even shared applications running remotely (Software as a Service; SaaS).
Cloud hosting providers offer one or more varieties of cloud computing services. These typically share some or all of the characteristics associated with cloud computing, as defined by organisations such as the US National Institute of Standards and Technology:
These features allow organisations to benefit from rapid deployment that simply isn’t possible or cost effective when done in-house. Such agility and flexibility means that businesses can respond to innovation and seize emerging opportunities quickly. And when equipment is sited at multiple locations, the cloud offers levels of redundancy and security that few businesses can afford.
Public cloud services are available for any client to use. Located at sites owned by the hosting provider, physical resources are shared by its customers. Hence not all public cloud services are equal: reliability, security, pricing and speed can vary widely, as can service and support levels.
Although a good public cloud will offer high levels of control, flexibility and reliability, private clouds remove the concerns that some have about public cloud hosting. While the same hosting company may run private clouds on behalf of many organisations, each is hosted on its own separate, dedicated infrastructure but still benefits from virtualisation and shared resources.
Many hosting providers offering ‘cloud computing’ actually only offer public cloud services. At PEER 1 Hosting we can deliver both public and private cloud solutions, or a combination (or ‘hybrid’) of the two where that offers the best solution. We’re also confident that our cloud services, including our public cloud server and storage hosting, are second to none. Learn more about our offering at http://www.peer1hosting.co.uk/hosting/cloud-hosting
PEER 1 Hosting is all about CHOICE – your cloud, your way. Whether you want a cloud based on an enterprise platform like VMware, or an open-source Xen-based cloud. Whether you are a do-it-yourself or a do-it-for-me. Managed or unmanaged. High-touch or low-maintenance.