A Deeper Look At Shared and Cloud Web Hosting

One truth continues to remain for businesses regardless of generation; time is money. If the staff of a company continuously has to deal with periods in which intranet is inaccessible or incredibly slow, money is being wasted. It’s likely that your businesses website resides on a shared hosting server. Shared hosting allows many websites to share resources of a single web server, making expensive hardware and network infrastructure more affordable for independent bloggers and fledgling businesses.
A web server is an extremely powerful computer — but it is still only one computer. Shared hosting companies sell “space” within their servers to many customers to keep their servers running at or near their maximum capacity. Selling to many customers allows a hosting company to remain profitable while maintaining costly servers.
For small and medium-sized businesses, shared hosting isn’t necessarily the best solution. On a shared server, your website share’s resources with dozens of other sites. If the owner of one website installs a new plugin or other software component that crashes the server, every website located on that server becomes inaccessible.
Similarly, if one website experiences a traffic surge that overloads the server, every website on the server becomes slow. In a shared hosting environment, every user has the ability to tax the server’s availability and performance for every other user.
Cloud Hosting vs. Shared Hosting
In a cloud hosting environment, many servers work simultaneously to handle the demands of all customers. Virtualization technology creates a software-based server that accesses the underlying hardware and infrastructure of many physical servers that sometimes exist in several data centers around the world. As a cloud hosting customer, you are not paying for a product necessarily — access to a single server — you’re paying for a service: on-demand access to the infrastructure provided by many servers. Rather than paying a flat monthly fee for hosting, you instead pay only for the resources that your website actually requires — and those resources can scale according to demand.
Rather than paying a flat monthly fee for hosting, you instead pay for the resources that your website actually requires — and those resources can scale according to demand.
Cloud Hosting Improves Website Speed
Cloud hosting leverages the combined power of many servers in multiple locations. It therefore, has the ability to improve a website’s speed in two ways.
The first way in which cloud hosting improves website speed is intelligent load balancing.
In a cloud-based environment, servers handle different tasks simultaneously. A software virtualization layer allocates resources of those servers as necessary to accomplish tasks as efficiently as possible. When a user tries to access your company’s website, or intranet, the virtualization layer that manages the cloud will send the request to the server that can complete it most quickly.
The second way in which cloud hosting improves website speed is scalability. With cloud hosting, you are not limited to the resources of a single server — you have the collective resources of the entire network at your disposal.
If your website experiences a sudden traffic spike because of an event such as Black Friday or a piece of content that goes viral, the cloud automatically allocates more resources to meet the increased user demand.
It would be incredibly rare that a single website’s traffic spike would bring an entire cloud network to a halt, you’ll know that your website will exhibit the same level of responsiveness whether it has 10 simultaneous users or 10,000.
Cloud Hosting Improves Website Availability
No individual server can remain problem-free 100 percent of the time; a server can go offline during a software update or because of a hardware failure. In a shared hosting environment, an individual customer can bear the responsibility for bringing a server down. A customer may install a faulty website plugin, for example, that creates an opening for a hacking intrusion.
If you depend on a single server to power your website, the loss of that one server renders your website inaccessible until the hosting provider fixes the problem.
A computer can fail for a variety of different reasons, so there is always some risk inherent to web hosting. Cloud hosting mitigates that risk by spreading it across many servers. While the loss of an individual server reduces the cloud’s total resources, the resources are usually plentiful enough that no single website will experience downtime as a result.
The virtualization layer simply shifts the load to the servers that remain available.

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