Cloud webhosting is a relatively recent innovation that is becoming increasingly popular in Australia. Its getting more popular because of its practical advantages over the use of shared hosting options and its price flexibility over the use of dedicated servers.
Cloud hosting uses the resources of a cluster of servers (ie ‘the cloud’), spreading the load and using the resources on a “per need’ basis.
Advantages of cloud Hosting
A website’s load can then be more evenly balanced with downtime’s largely eliminated. Cloud hosting is particularly useful for websites that experience occasional but large spikes in traffic, or want to be able to scale up quickly.
For example, a website that promotes an annual music festival might find that for most of the year the site attracts few visitors. In the months leading up to the festival, as various acts are announced, more people start visiting the site culminating in a huge spike on the day that tickets go on sale.
To prevent the site crashing, the website hosting would need to accommodate (and pay for) this potential peak demand all year, despite it only being needed for one day a year.
Cloud hosting would offer such a site the capacity to only use and pay for the resources that it needs at any particular time.
Cloud Hosting Options
There are more than 150 different companies that now offer cloud hosting as part of their packages, from large multinationals to small/medium sized businesses
Packages vary from provision of fully managed solutions to similarly large corporations to web hosting options for bloggers.
Before choosing your Cloud Host, try to be clear about what specifications you require and what the prime reason for shifting to cloud hosting.
- Is it reliability?
- Is it price?
- How important is customer service?
Here’s a small, but by no means exhaustive list of some of the best providers.
Google Cloud Hosting
Unsurprisingly, the world’s largest internet company is offering a variety of cloud hosting options, suitable for static websites, virtual machines, containers and managed platforms.
At the time of writing, they’re offering $300 free credit as a trial. Depending on your needs that’s a very tempting offer.
Boasting that you can launch a new cloud server in 30 seconds or less,Californian based Dream Host offer cloud hosting through their DreamCompute product.
All accounts come with 100GB of block storage and free bandwith, with prices starting from US$4.50pm.
Based in Arizona, LiquidWeb is one of the leading cloud web hosting companies
Even their own VPS and dedicated servers are hosted on their own private cloud server.According to their website, their four separate data centres ensure that any “failure will not affect your server”.Prices start from US$150pm.
With servers located in Los Angeles Chicago Sao Paulo Johannesburg Siauliai , Amsterdam , Frankfurt and London, Host1 Plus have, perhaps the largest geographical distribution of all leading cloud host providers.
Packages start from US$4pm
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Internet giant Amazon possibly operate the most advanced hardware and the most reliable and fast virtual servers in the world.There are a vast array of different pricing options to match whatever specifications you’re looking for.
Although originally catering only for businesses with managed solutions, since 2013 Fast Comet have provided public cloud hosting services.
Their fully managed cloud VPS services begin at US$49.95pm with all their pricing options including back ups and restores and a ten-minute customer service response time.
LA based Gigapros take pride in delivering ‘exactly what you asked for” with their signature policy of “Zero Overselling”.
Cloud hosting packages start at US$65 per month, providing not only high speed hardware along with guarantees on reliability, but a range of other extras to make your life that little bit easier such as entire server cloning and single click installations of over 350 applications.
Future of Cloud Hosting
Given the pace of technological advancement, it is notoriously difficult to predict with any accuracy whether Cloud Hosting will become the norm within the next five years. Certainly Google made it clear in their 2016 NEXT Conference that the enhancement of the Google Cloud Platform for enterprises was going to be a priority.
The impact of more and more enterprises shifting to cloud hosting will work to drive the costs down for smaller users. One would expect more and more providers to continue entering the market.