What is the Cloud?
Many providers give their customers the possibility of recording (and more broadly hosting) their data, both private and professional. This data is then stored not on a hard drive or on a physical server on-site, but on a fleet of servers provided by the cloud provider. Thus, the user has the impression that this digital infrastructure is distant as if it was covered by a “cloud” (English Cloud).
Access to the Cloud is via a network, on the Internet for example. The advantage is that the user can download his recorded data from anywhere. This requires an Internet connection.
What are the possibilities of using the Cloud?
There are basically two different kinds of Clouds. By using online storage or streaming services such as Dropbox or Amazon Prime, the customer only acquires recording space and access to content from the Cloud. It is different when users want to use cloud technology directly to host their data. In this case, a supplier will provide a Cloud server that the customer can adapt to his IT project. Whether it’s a website or an online store, it doesn’t matter. Server resources can also be used for the management and common use of applications.
The special feature of Cloud hosting is that it works without equipment. Unlike traditional forms of hosting linked to physical servers, processes are filtered via central software and redirected to appropriate hardware. A defective component can be replaced without a problem without causing failure of the website and the server.
Cloud hosting: flexible and inexpensive
Even if the resources are intangible, cloud hosting is not secure from any problem. Above all, it allows customers to define the performance they need at all times, without requiring a complete replacement of servers. It can increase or decrease the performance of its processors, its memory capacity or disk space. The user only has to pay for what he has used, counted in seconds or even hours.
It is this principle of “Pay-as-you-use” that makes the Cloud as flexible and inexpensive, unlike other server solutions. Instead of having to pay the price for a large server, the capacity of a cloud can simply be increased during traffic peaks. The administrators of online stores whose ranges vary according to the seasons do not have to worry all year round about the cost of their hosting. The number of resources can decrease at the same time as their expenses.
Is there a difference between Cloud Hosting and Cloud Computing?
It is by learning about Cloud hosting that we come across the concept of Cloud Computing. To simplify, we can say that the first is only a part of the second. The possibilities of Cloud Computing go far beyond setting up a server. However, what is Cloud Computing and what advantages does it offer?
Here are the definitions of three different Cloud Computing services highlighting the functioning of a Cloud server:
- SaaS (Software as a Service): the user receives through the Cloud access to a material resource such as a computer, a network or even a backup space. He is free to use the software and is responsible for installation and monitoring.
- PaaS (Platform as a Service): the supplier makes a software environment available to the user in the form of “frameworks” (software structure) and takes care of its maintenance. The user can develop and manage their own applications on this platform.
- IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service): this Cloud Computing model is considered the most important. The user can have access to software made available, Office for example, and must neither manage the updates, nor the functionalities.
How secure is the cloud?
Two points must be taken into account with regard to data protection in a Cloud: the geolocation of the server and the headquarters of the service provider company. If the cloud service server is located abroad, the law of the country will then be applicable.
Why is cloud hosting so interesting?
Certainly, hosting involves risks of data theft, but this also applies to other servers. Cloud Computing has many advantages, for example, an Internet connection which makes the Cloud accessible from anywhere. Both on the train and in the airport waiting room, the user can work on his projects, can load music and even films. Thanks to a simple connection to the Internet, the data is continuously updated. Contact with a supplier is sufficient to add applications or to increase its storage and memory capacity.
The Cloud server, due to its immateriality, ensures high operational security. It is, therefore, an excellent choice for hosting a website or an online store whose essential needs are memory and traffic capacity. The most important advantage of Cloud hosting is its economic model: unlike conventional server solutions, the user does not pay a fixed price every month but an amount varying according to his use, counted in seconds or even in hours.
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