Cloud hosting isn’t a new concept, but it’s one that’s taken some time to be fully understood, especially by small to medium-sized businesses, who thought that moving their systems to the cloud would be a complicated and expensive exercise.
Now that time has passed, and Covid has happened (enforcing a quicker move to remote-working), a growing number of small to medium-size businesses are shifting their entire operations over to cloud hosted services because of the scalability and flexibility it offers.
Likewise, startups are choosing cloud-hosted setups because it embraces latest technology and is clearly the way of the future.
But not everyone knows what cloud hosting entails, so what follows are some answers to common questions:
What is the difference between cloud computing and cloud hosting?
Cloud computing is the delivery of apps and data, and just about anything else, via the internet. So, instead of accessing these via a physical hard drive, you access them via the net.
In other words, your cloud vendor provides virtual hardware where you can store data, specific software, databases, operating systems and apps.
Cloud hosting is one aspect of cloud computing. It’s basically a set of computing resources that a cloud provider makes available for hosting your data or services.
It’s sometimes known as “infrastructure as a service” because the storage, hardware and network you need is provided by a cloud vendor.
How can startups benefit from cloud hosting?
You don’t need much: All you need is a device that can link to the internet, and you’ll be able to access your business apps running on the virtual cloud server.
Ease of setup: Migrating your servers to the cloud happens in one of two straightforward ways: 1) Your cloud vendor either takes a full system backup of your servers and then restores your files to a virtual machine created in the cloud, or 2) Your cloud vendor uses a VMware convertor tool to migrate your server infrastructure directly to its hosted platform across a secure VPN tunnel. Either way, it’s a straightforward process that’s done for you.
Scalability: Your cloud vendor allocates additional power, storage or memory on demand, so as your business grows you can scale your operations to suit demands.
Flexibility: Your team members can work from any location, as long as they have a device that’s connected to the internet and their personal login details.
Security: Cyber security is built into reputable cloud hosting solutions, where services such as automated backup and disaster recovery are also cyber secure add-ons.
Cost savings: Cloud computing eliminates the need for physical, on-site servers so you save on storage, servers and management services. You also only pay for the storage and memory you use, monthly, and without having to buy into a long-term contract.
Which hassles will cloud hosting eliminate?
Power cuts: Your data won’t be lost when loadshedding kicks in because the data is stored offsite on the virtual server.
Upgrades: Software and OS upgrades happen at the source, eliminating the need to upgrade every device on your network.
Downtime: Most cloud vendors guarantee 99% uptime.
The beauty of cloud hosting is that once you’ve decided to go for it, migrating your server infrastructure to a cloud-hosted environment can take place in a day.