The Cloud offers an easy and easy solution to protect its resources and to recover its data almost everywhere. Even as a result of the revelations of the American informer Edward Snowden as well as the scandal of the photos of the Hollywood stars leaked, the credibility of the Cloud hosting has been significantly damaged. Many users have doubts about the security of their information and their projects. But few know the true meaning of terms like Cloud, Cloud hosting and cloud computing.
What is the Cloud really?
Many hosting service providers offer their customers the ability to save private or business data within a cloud. The data is not saved on a hard disk or on a physical server, but is located within the provider’s cloud server parks. This gives the user the impression that the IT infrastructure used is in a distant place and that it has the consistency of a “cloud”.
Access to the Cloud is via a network, such as the Internet. This has a great advantage, which is to make sure that the user can retrieve the saved contents anywhere, provided that you have a connection. The services that offer streaming music like Spotify are based for example on this Cloud technology which gives the user the possibility to listen to the songs he wants anywhere, anytime. In addition, companies are offered the option of a “private cloud”, i.e. a space accessible only through an internal intranet within the company.
What use options does the Cloud offer?
Basically we must distinguish between two specific types of use of the Cloud: the use of online memory services or streaming services such as Dropbox or Amazon Prime, which allow the customer only to purchase memory space, and therefore to access the contents of the Cloud thus not coming into direct contact with the actual hosting. Very different is the case in which the user would like to directly use the Cloud technology for hosting purposes. For such situations, a Cloud server is available, which the client can customize based on his IT project. In this case it is irrelevant whether you want to use hosting for a website or for an online store: server resources can also be used for the management and common use of applications.
The particularity of Cloud hosting is that it works independently of a hardware. Unlike normal hosting, which is linked to a physical server, processes are assigned by any central software to the required hardware resources. Defective equipment is replaced without problems, without causing site or server interruptions.
Cloud Hosting: Flexible and Economical
However, independence from a specific hardware resource does not ensure that the Cloud hosting is absolutely foolproof, but allows the customer to define the necessary performance once again, for example without a complete server replacement being necessary. At its discretion it is possible to decrease or increase the performance of the processor, the work or the memory of the hard disk. The user only has to pay for the space he actually used. The cost calculation is counted in seconds or hours depending on the supplier.
This principle called “Pay as you use” (i.e. “pay what you consume”) makes the Cloud as flexible and economical as any other server solution. Instead of continuing to pay a high price for a large server, you can simply increase capacity at peak times. Online store managers selling seasonal products such as winter clothing will no longer have to worry about hosting costs in the spring or summer months: they will simply decrease the resources required and therefore also reduce costs to a minimum.
What is the difference between cloud hosting and cloud computing?
Anyone who inquires about cloud hosting will also come across the theme of cloud computing. It can be simplified by saying that cloud hosting is just a branch of what is grouped under the term cloud computing. The possibilities offered by this discipline go well beyond the mere configuration of a server. So what exactly is Cloud computing and what are its advantages?
Below we will illustrate three different technical assistance models, to clarify how the Cloud server works and what is still part of the Cloud computing theme …
1) Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): The user obtains access to virtual hardware resources such as computers, networks or memory space through the Cloud. He has all the freedom with regards to the software used and is himself responsible for installation and maintenance.
2) Platform as a Service (Paas): The supplier provides the user on the Cloud server with a software environment in a framework format (i.e. a sort of simple structure) and management services. The user can develop or run his own applications on this platform at any time.
3) Software as a Service (SaaS): This Cloud Computing model is also referred to as “higher level”. Who benefits from it uses software already made available as Office applications and must not personally deal with either the update or the functionality.
How secure is the data in the cloud?
When one wants to judge how safe data stored in a cloud are, two factors play a fundamental role: the place where the server is located and the company headquarters of the service provider used. In the event that the Cloud services server is located abroad, then the respective laws of the country. It must be taken into account that the American laws on the protection of personal data are less stringent. Companies with offices in the USA are therefore subject to US law, even if their server is physically located in Europe. To ensure that you have the best possible security of your data, it is useful to inquire before signing the contract about the location of the Cloud server’s registered office and other legal details.
What makes the cloud hosting so interesting?
Using a Cloud hosting you are exposed to the risk of data spying; however, this also applies when using other types of servers. However, this also has the advantages that Cloud computing offers: since the Cloud server can be reached in principle wherever there is internet, access is theoretically possible from any place in the world. Whether on the subway or when waiting for your flight at the airport, the user can freely work on his projects as well as listen to streaming music or watch a movie online. All data is therefore always in the same place and an internet connection is the only requirement. If for some reason you want to increase applications, IT tools and memory space, simply contact the provider.
Cloud servers ensure a high degree of reliability because they are not tied to fixed hardware. This makes them an excellent choice for hosting websites or online stores, for which high availability is essential. Probably the greatest advantage of Cloud hosting is the unique cost model: unlike traditional solutions offered by servers, the user does not have to pay any fixed monthly fee, but pays his individual plan which is calculated according to the actual use. The calculation of the sum to be paid is calculated based on the supplier per seconds or hours according to the “Pay as you use” principle.