Web projects are usually not static, but subject to a strong dynamic. It can happen that over-cautious web agencies recommend oversized hosting packages or dedicated servers to their customers and drive up costs. Particularly price-conscious people, on the other hand, initially only rent a small amount of web space, and after a few months discover that this solution does not meet the business requirements at all. But where is the best way?
In classic hosting, websites are located on a physical server. Customers rent capacities and choose a clearly defined service package at a clearly defined price – a predictable thing! But the examples show: The bill doesn’t always add up. This is why companies and agencies are increasingly relying on cloud hosting. The model promises scalable, virtualized servers at all times that always provide the performance that is needed at the moment.
How does cloud hosting work?
Cloud hosting is a service that gives users access to virtualized server resources over the Internet. These resources are typically provided by a large cluster of physical servers – the cloud. If, for example, the operator of a web shop needs more capacity for action days with special sales peaks than for his everyday business, additional computing power and resources can be activated almost in real time.
Private, Public or Hybrid Cloud? Cloud hosting is offered in three variants – as a service in a private, public or hybrid cloud.
Hosting in a private cloud is similar to a classic dedicated server. Only a single customer uses the infrastructure and thus operates its own cloud. This variant is usually used by larger companies that expect a high degree of security from such a solution.
In a public cloud, hosters make their server resources available to a larger number of customers. Depending on the peak load, free resources are used by different customers or additionally connected. This model enables extremely high scalability for customers. Every cloud user receives the optimal hosting performance for him. With many contract variants for public cloud hosting, only the service that has been called up is billed exactly to the hour.
Some companies want the flexibility of a cloud, but trust dedicated servers for key applications. These then often opt for a hybrid cloud solution. For permanent loads, they rely on the undivided resources of dedicated systems because they hope that this will deliver consistent performance. They use cloud resources as a flexible load overflow.
The basic idea of the public cloud: flexible and scalable
This shows that the basic idea of cloud computing is actually only realized in the public cloud. A cloud provider provides resources that all customers share! Every member of the cloud community receives their optimal hosting service. Ideally, customers of a cloud hosting can also freely configure and quickly scale all applications as well as hardware and software options. Whether processor performance, memory or hard disk size – in a public cloud it is possible to adapt all relevant server parameters to the running operation. Some providers have already automated these adaptation processes to such an extent that the administration effort has been considerably reduced: This is called “autoscaling“. If hosting customers really only pay for the resources actually used according to the “pay-as-you-use” principle instead of for a complete server, cloud hosting is often a cost-effective alternative to conventional hosting. It is particularly user-friendly if unused resources can be “frozen”. In this case, the usage price can drop considerably.
Three Central Elements of Cloud Computing
Cloud hosting is based on the three central elements of cloud computing: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). The hardware resources required for a hosting project are provided as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) over the Internet. This level is often referred to as “instances”. PaaS is based on the instances: These are usually working environments for the development of online applications such as web servers, middleware or databases. The services are supplemented by SaaS, i.e. applications that are usually ready for immediate use and can be rented.
Cloud hosting not only opens up new possibilities for website-based projects. The individually available, highly scalable services also drive innovation in other business applications. Via IaaS, PaaS and SaaS, for example, virtual workstations or automated archives can be set up with sophisticated backup systems. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions are also gaining ground in the cloud. Because with these IT solutions, the value-added process can always be planned and controlled in an up-to-date and demand-oriented manner.
Security in the Cloud
One question continues to drive IT experts around: Is cloud hosting really secure?
The risks to web projects in the cloud are typically no greater than the risks to projects on other hosting infrastructures. As explained in the guide to secure cloud projects, companies should take the same care with projects in the cloud as with web projects running on a traditional hosting architecture.
Successful in the Cloud
- Contact persons familiar with the project
- DSGVO compliant
- Individual concepts
- 24/7 Management
Your proactive cloud specialist
Of course, all providers describe their cloud solutions as secure, and probably no provider can be accused of not exercising care. However, it is a good idea to choose a managed service provider that operates its servers or services via German data centers and is familiar with German data protection guidelines. With other providers, the “locations” may be spread all over the world. Then there is the risk that data will be stored in countries that do not strictly regulate its transmission and use.