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Clouducation 101 Pt. 4: Web Hosting in the Cloud

By Salvatore Poliandro, FortressITX Director of Datacenter Operations

Last week, we chatted about how the Cloud impacts the lives of general consumers, web developers and businesses. At the end of that blog, I asked this question: “Can the Cloud save you time while managing your web hosting company?” In a word, yes.

But how does it save you time (and money), you ask? It’s simple really.

Cloud Web Hosting is governed by the same rules, principles and benefits that normal cloud solutions are; that is to say, scalability, security, load balancing and VM’s.

Scalability, as you already know, is:

  • The ability to use and pay for the resources you’re currently utilizing at the moment.

Ex. You own and operate a website which sells fresh clementines. Your website stays open for business year round however due to the nature of the picking season, your incoming traffic and demand for product peaks from October – February. In late December, at the apex of the season, your site receives so much traffic and demand that it crashes leaving your desperate to get it up and running again on a DM (Dedicated Machine). The Cloud can fix this issue by allowing you to increase your website resources and utilize what is needed to ensure your customers are happy. This leads to VM’s and load balancing.

Web Hosting in the Cloud is a process of using multiple VM’s (Virtual Machines) to meet your needs and in today’s world, your needs happen now. When the amount of traffic coming into your site triples causing the demand for your product to triple, your needs must be met in real time to ensure customer satisfaction. You can’t afford to wait on installing new hardware and setting up new servers within a DM. Cloud Web Hosting means all of your hosting is accomplished through a virtual machine whose resources are scalable. Your needs rise, so do your resources and more importantly, by utilizing VM’s, you can meet your needs in real time. It goes without saying but being able to scale in real time means you never have to worry about crashing.

Crashing leads me to load balancing. If you don’t know what load balancing is, well, it’s exactly as it sounds. Load balancing is:

  • A process of distributing workloads across multiple VM’s
  • Load Balancing allows you to maximize throughput, minimize response time, avoid overload and eventual shutdown

In English, load balancing is a process which allows incoming traffic to a website to be spread across multiple VM’s ensuring your website stays up and running during peak hours. In terms of Cloud Web Hosting, load balancing helps to make sure no matter the amount of incoming traffic you are experiencing, your website will always stay up and more importantly will avoid being overloaded saving you money and a whole host of headaches.

Headaches. Remember the days when you had to set up and install your own software and hardware firewalls to make sure your website and computing applications were safely protected? Remember the days when your software and hardware firewalls would only last so long before a hacker managed to break the security and infect your website with a whole host of nasty viruses? And remember when you had to clean those viruses out and buy/install new software and hardware firewalls? Yeah, not fun. Well with Cloud Web Hosting, all those issues go away. With your web hosting company being hosted in the Cloud, your provider takes care of all the security measures. Your provider deploys hardware and software firewalls, they maintain the firewalls and they update the firewalls. Cloud Web Hosting means security isn’t your concern anymore which lets you get back to handling your business.

So, how does the Cloud save you time and money while managing your web hosting company?

  • Scalability
  • VM’s
  • Load Balancing
  • Security

Now, get back to preparing for clementine season. Next week, I will flesh out the specifics of Cloud Web Hosting with a more technical discussion centering on the topics presented in this blog.

Until next week.




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