The cloud hosting technology has reached the point where it is ready for real world use in data centers, and a lot of them are already making the switch and allocating more and more servers for this purpose.
And they’re really doing the right thing, because cloud hosting will allow customers to have any processing power they need, and pay only for what they use, which is much cheaper than dedicated servers or clusters. If the client’s site is loaded one day and idle the other, he will pay more for the first day and less for the other. And probably the best thing is that the website will never be inaccessible or slow, because it’s got the power of hundreds and thousands of physical machines behind it, allocating as many resources as it needs.
If you are thinking of switching to cloud hosting or are only looking for the best first host (for which cloud hosting is just as good, if not better, than even shared), here is a list of some of the best cloud hosting providers.
While the invention of cloud computing and storage is greatly beneficial for the hosting industry, it does come with a few disadvantages, even though a lot of them are pretty standard for new technology and will most probably be only temporary.
Any of the existing issues will no doubt be fixed in the following years, but users that wish to switch from the usual cluster, dedicated, VPS or shared hosting do have to take them into consideration now.
Less security. This is the single most important issue. In a cloud hosting setup, all of the servers are connected together and run one central OS, which controls everything, so all of the subsequent virtual servers are easily susceptible to any attacks and hacker intrusions. This has been a serious problem with VPS servers (and still is!), where one breached user account can relatively easily give the attacking hackers access to everything else on the actual physical server, including the ability to control it. As you may have thought, this is extremely undesirable on any machines running VPS servers and having dozens of clients on each one. Now imagine the same problem at a level about 1000 times higher. It would be extremely bad for any business and especially its privacy and security.
Most of the time, the software used on a web server machine is just as important as the hardware inside it.
The base of all the software of any web server is the operating system. It is the single most important thing that you’ll install on a machine, and it is quite difficult to replace without down time, which is bad for any web site or application you host on it. Sometimes, especially if you have a lot of customizations, it is literally impossible to replace the OS.
That’s why you should take extra care when choosing your server’s operating system, or alternatively optimize all of your software to work independently, which may be very hard to do. Some operating systems work better for some purposes like stability, reliability, upgradeability and others work better for totally different purposes like performance, speed, support for the newest features, etc.
The USA hosts 60% of all the data centers and servers worldwide, and the reason is clear, as it is the country where the Internet has been invented and the first country to start using it commercially on a wide scale.
But what do you do if you don’t want your web site or application hosted in the US? You could have plenty of reasons for this: no presence or customers in the country (although this is a bit far fetched, it’s possible), no copyright licenses for your content (but you have a license in the EU, for example), privacy concerns (right now, the USA, UK are having some big debates about whether data centers can just take any info on clients’ servers and give it to the governing authorities).
Well, you still have the choice of hosting your stuff in any other countries that have data centers and work worldwide (more and more do these days) and with companies that have normal, acceptable prices (not pay $70 per Gigabyte like you see on Google, which are simply people that rent servers in foreign countries and resell them to you at these crazy rates). It would be better if you knew the language and laws of the country where you choose to get the hosting, but it’s not necessary, as a lot of them have an English language option and accept foreign credit cards and other payment methods.
Dedicated servers are the best choice for any hosting needs. They give you the most processing power and resources you can get, and the freedom to do whatever you want with them. You just can’t get the same flexibility from shared hosting and VPS servers (although the latter are pretty customizable, they severely lack in power).
Having a dedicated machine also means that your site will never be down because of resources overuse, it can only slow down if it’s heavily overloaded.
Dedicated servers used to be expensive, but nowadays they’re pretty cheap and affordable to almost everyone. They also come with guaranteed RAM, disk space and bandwidth; no one else can use them and you can’t run into the situation when you’re supposed to have 300GB, but filled only 100GB and your disk is full (which happens because of the data centers and hosting companies overselling their servers).
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