What is Cloud Hosting?
The ‘cloud’ is a loose term for a diverse set of products and services.
Cloud hosting solutions vary greatly. Even if they appear the same ‘on the outside’, they are not. Each has a unique combination of underlying infrastructure, features, interfaces and layers. That said, they can be organised into three general categories, each defined by the architecture of the solution. That all important architecture determines or influences the level of control, flexibility and transparency each solution delivers.
The Cloud 1 type of platform is a Software as a Service (SaaS) model. Each customers application has code running on a background server, creating a virtual individual server which may be hosting solutions such as web, database, compute engine, customer relationship management (CRM) or eCommerce. Essentially, each customer is running their applications on a server shared with other customers of the hosting provider. This means that data input, output and processing become co-mingled with other customers data during operations and transactions.
This type of public cloud differs hugely from Cloud 1.0 solutions. Virtualised servers run across a massive underlying hardware environment and tap into an almost limitless reservoir of raw computing power. Customers create their own virtual instances for websites, databases, security applications etc as required. The computing resources are dispersed and absorbed across the hosting providers entire cloud environment, yet each customers data inputs, outputs and processing are kept entirely separate from those of others.
Cloud 3 solutions are sometimes called ‘private’ clouds and are Cloud 2.0 solutions running on a customers dedicated hardware. Like any cloud, they differ according to each providers infrastructure and hardware.