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Cloud hosting FAQs : What you want to know

Web Hosting Blog

Cloud hosting is still relatively new in the hosting space, and it’s grown in popularity over time due to its flexibility, uptime, and ability to scale with your site. With the cloud being so popular naturally, people have a lot of questions about what it is, how it works and the benefits to business.

At CWCS, our goal is always to give you the information you need to make the hosting solution for your business.

So, we’ve put together a list of some of the most frequently asked questions we are asked about cloud hosting. 

What is cloud hosting? 

Cloud hosting works by using a network of virtual servers in a process called virtualisation. Virtualisation splits a physical server into multiple virtual machines, aka cloud servers, which connect and create a single network for hosting a website. So, instead of having all your site’s files on a single server, they are spread amongst an entire network. 

This infrastructure sets it apart from other forms of web hosting. This setup allows your site’s files to move seamlessly between servers, which means that if a hardware failure occurs, your files will move to another server, preventing any downtime. 

Cloud-based servers can be changed, created, or even deleted on demand, offering much more flexibility than physical servers.

Who should use cloud hosting? 

Anyone! There are lots of different cloud hosting options on the market. You just need to find the right one for you. At CWCS, we specialise in managed cloud hosting for SMEs. Our experts provide the technical know-how and time needed to manage your cloud. But there are lots of other solutions on the market if managed hosting isn’t for you. 

How many types of cloud hosting are there?

Public Cloud – Public cloud is a multi-tenant cloud environment. This means that you share the CPU, RAM storage and network hardware with multiple tenants. 

Think of it as an apartment building – multiple residents live in the same building and share resources. But, each person has their own dedicated space (apartment). 

Private Cloud – Private cloud is a single-tenant cloud environment. They only host one company’s data, so all the server’s resources, including CPU, RAM storage and network, are dedicated to a single business. 

If a public cloud is like an apartment building, a private cloud would be like a house. Only the tenant has access to the building and all of the resources inside the home. 

How secure is the cloud? 

How safe is the cloud – this is the question we get asked the most. In short, cloud hosting is just as secure as any other type of hosting, but because it’s done in a virtual environment and not on a physical server, it has a bad reputation. 

There was a lot of reluctance to adopt this new technology; businesses couldn’t understand the appeal of parting with their data and in-house storage and moving it to the cloud. And naturally, there was the concern that it wouldn’t be as safe as the technology they were already using. 

Overall, cloud hosting is secure, but, as with any form of hosting, there are a few things you need to be aware of:

The bad neighbour effect – if you use public hosting, this is for you. The bad neighbour effect is the idea that a site on the network could compromise the other sites. The easiest way to stop this problem is to choose a hosting provider with systems in place, such as VM isolation.

Loss of data control – One of the biggest objections to cloud hosting is the perceived loss of control of your data. Outsourcing your data storage to a third party is a little scary. Still, most hosting providers understand the importance of data security and build systems with your information security in mind. They are also transparent about handling this data. Ensure your hosting provider is ISO 27001 certified. This shows that they take security seriously. 

There are also some security benefits to using cloud hosting:

You’re not affected by hardware infections –  if a physical server becomes compromised, this won’t affect your site. Instead, your site is loaded from a different server away from the issue.

The most reliable and longstanding managed cloud providers have groups dedicated to protecting your information and monitoring for potential threats. 

What are the main benefits of cloud hosting?

Reliability – The biggest risk when storing all your data on one server is losing all your information if you have an unexpected disaster like a fire or theft. 

But with cloud hosting, your data is shared between a network of interconnected servers, so if one server fails, your information is moved seamlessly to another server – keeping your website online. 

Scalability – For example, some industries, like eCommerce, experience high traffic times where they might need extra resources for a short time. With cloud hosting, it’s easy to add and remove these resources as and when you need them. 

Customisable – It’s easy to tailor a cloud server plan to your business because cloud servers are incredibly versatile. 

Performance  – Cloud hosting allows for easier load balancing between multiple server environments, putting much less strain on a single server’s resources. In short, it gives you lightning-fast speeds and increased traffic capacity.

Is it really better for the planet? 

Yes. With so many of us trying to make more environmentally friendly choices, you will also want to pick the greenest hosting option.

A recent study at CWCS revealed that a cloud server uses 88% less power than a dedicated server. This fact is important because UK data centres account for 12% of UK energy consumption and 3% of all global energy.   

By using the cloud, you’re making a more eco-friendly choice. 

How does cloud hosting differ from VPS and dedicated hosting?

With VPS hosting, you have a partitioned part of the server, which you can customise to suit your needs. 

Dedicated hosting gives you a server and all its resources to use and customise to your business requirements. But with cloud hosting, you’re not limited to a single server. Instead, your resources are spread amongst the network of servers you use. 

Anything else ….. 

If you have any questions that we haven’t managed to answer in the blog or if you just want to talk it through in more detail, get in touch with a member of our team. Our experts are always happy to help you choose the right cloud plan for you.