Choosing the right web hosting for your online business goes a long way in determining its success. The reason is simple, web hosting impacts the way your customers perceive your website; a slow-loading website gives a negative impression, whereas, if it loads within a couple of seconds, then it is deemed to be positive. Well, speed is one factor out of the many, and it all depends on the kind of hosting you choose for your business website.
Cloud is the one word that has been around for quite some time now. Prior to its existence in the tech world, all cloud meant was a white fuzzy thing floating in the sky. But thanks to technological advancement, Cloud these days even refers to a type of virtual storage entity. Added to that, Cloud Hosting is a prominent hosting type based on the functionality of Cloud. In fact, according to Statista as of 2018, there are 3.6 billion people who are accessing cloud computing services globally as opposed to 2.4 billion in 2013. However, despite the high number of people using the cloud, there are still several myths surrounding it.
In this article, I’ll address the 5 common myths people associate with the cloud. Furthermore, we’ll see the different types of cloud technologies/models to help businesses and in the latter part of the article, we’ll discuss what cloud hosting is and its benefits for you, as a web professional. So without further ado, let us begin with understanding the different types of cloud models before clearing the confusion enveloping the cloud.
There are primarily three cloud models viz. IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. Depending on your business type you can choose a cloud model. Let us have a brief look at each of these:
- IaaS: IaaS stands for Infrastructure as a Service. It is the most basic of cloud models providing services like servers, storage, computing resources etc. This computing model does not require users to purchase and maintain private servers and is said to be an on-demand cloud model. This model is most suited for startups for hosting a website, analysing data etc. Rackspace, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Linode, etc. are examples of IaaS.
- PaaS: PaaS stands for Platform as a Service. This computing model delivers a framework that is useful for developing, testing, deploying and managing web applications. Apart from the application and data, all the components are managed by the cloud provider. PaaS is useful to you no matter the size of your company provided you do utilise it.
AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Windows Azure, Heroku, Force.com, Google App Engine, Apache Stratos, OpenShift etc. are examples of PaaS.
- SaaS: SaaS stands for Software as a Service. It is the most commonly used cloud models and is also known as cloud applications service. In SaaS, you need not manage your cloud as your service provider takes care of everything for you. It is as simple as, you purchase a plan, log in and get started.
Google Apps, Dropbox, Salesforce, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, Trello etc. are examples of SaaS.
Now that you’ve chosen a cloud model you might think you’ve demystified the cloud. However, security is a common concern irrespective of the service you choose. Listed below are the 5 most common myths that as the word suggests are only myths.
#Myth 1: Cloud is not Secure
Keeping data secure is one of the most important things a business needs to take care of. Losing your data can lead to a severe loss of employees, as well as, customers trust. Moreover, this eventually affects the revenue generated. Cloud security is one of the topmost concerns plaguing users in today’s day and age.
Debunking the Myth:
First and foremost, businesses need to understand that data is vulnerable on any type of storage device, be it physical or virtual. Added to this, it is important to research well before choosing a cloud provider. A good and reliable cloud provider offers multiple security features like enabling Intrusion Detection Systems to blacklist malicious users, high-end encryption to block fishy traffic, firewalls for protection against viruses, malwares, etc. along with this, they are also PCI compliant.
#Myth 2: Private Cloud and Virtualisation are same
Virtualization refers to the act of creating a virtual (rather than an actual) version of something. This includes virtual computer hardware platforms, storage devices, and computer network resources. Going by the definition virtualization can help in the creation of a Private Cloud. However, it does not necessarily mean it is a Private Cloud.
Debunking the Myth:
Private Cloud is an infrastructure that is dedicated to an organization on their private network and is not shared amongst other users outside the network.
The major difference between these two is that virtualization is a technology that enables the creation of virtual instances/machines, whereas, a Private Cloud, is a service that comes out of the said operation.
#Myth 3: Cloud Traps your Data
Once your data is on the cloud, you’re trapped! Oh no, this by no means is a small concern, is it? Especially with your data being saved on a third-party website, which is equivalent to you not being able to migrate to another service provider. This truly poses a threat to the cloud user.
Debunking the Myth:
No service provider can keep you or your data trapped, as it is against the privacy code! In fact, using the word ‘trapped’ is in itself too harsh.
Talking about migration over the years, various tools have been developed to allow data migration from public clouds. For example, Snowball – Amazon’s data transportation tool, Velosrata, Scalr, Platform9, ZeroStack etc. With the high-level competition in the market, more and more startups are coming up with their data migration tools. But it all depends on the user to use them wisely and appropriately.
Apart from this, if your website is hosted on a cloud service provider, they too allow for website migration, and that includes your data too.
#Myth 4: Cloud and Eco-Friendly? Oh, no!
Since clouds are hosted on data centres, many users think that they would lead to consumption of a huge amount of resources and energy. Which, in turn, would contribute a large quantity of harmful chemical gases being released in the environment.
Debunking the Myth:
If you observe critically, then combining servers and storing them at one data centre instead of placing them differently reduces pollution and saves energy. Moreover, if you aren’t a big business with high traffic, then investing in a dedicated physical server might mean more usage of energy and less usage of server space.
#Myth 5: You Have No Control of your Cloud
Several businesses in the market think that once they have moved to the cloud, they need not manage anything and relax. After all, cloud management is not the concern of the user but that of a cloud service provider!
Debunking the Myth:
Contrary to this popular belief, users have the right to manage their Cloud. Just because a user purchases a fully managed cloud plan, where the hosting provider takes care of security and load balancing doesn’t mean they would be controlling or rather managing your Cloud fully. In fact, users too need to monitor their network layer and hardware layers. Apart from this, if the users want to install new applications, they need to do it themselves from their cloud management dashboard or control panel.
Now, that we’ve understood the 3 cloud models and debunked the several misconceptions surrounding the Cloud, let us touch upon one aspect of where the cloud is beneficial to web professionals and small-medium sized business owners.
As a web professional, one of the key things you do is develop, design and manage websites. Whereas, if you are running a small-medium sized e-commerce business, then you have your website to take care of. As with any website, you need hosting to make it live on the internet. Even though there are multiple hosting options available since we’ve covered cloud, let us see what Cloud Hosting is and its advantages.
What is Cloud Hosting?
Cloud hosting is an interconnection of multiple virtual server instances of physical servers to pool the resources from these virtual servers. With Cloud hosting, it is easy to scale and add resources as and when needed. Thus it is ideal for websites that need to keep up with their performance, in spite, of sudden traffic surges.
There are several advantages of Cloud Hosting viz. there is no single point of failure, the cloud is easily scalable & flexible and so is the hosting, and lastly, it is reliable and secure as we’ve just cleared all the myths surrounding it.
We at HostGator offer Cloud Hosting at affordable rates with umpteen features the above features along with integrated caching, data mirroring, easy resource management etc. to help you breeze through website management.
Every technology has its own set of pros and cons, and as users, it is up to us to research it in depth before investing in it. Moreover, if you are looking for any cloud service, be it hosting or simply a cloud instance, make sure you read the privacy terms & conditions, and choose a service provider that is reliable and secure. After all, prevention is better than cure!