What’s the Difference between Web Hosting and Cloud Computing?
Most internet users cannot tell the difference between web hosting and cloud computing. These two terms are similar but their differences have not always been clear.
What is web hosting?
Web hosting is the business of providing server space, web services and file maintenance for websites controlled by companies or individuals that do not have their own web servers.
There are different types of web hosting:
- Shared Hosting/virtual hosting/mass hosting. Your content and applications are uploaded into a server which is then shared with other customers who also use the web host. The web host owns the equipment and the server and they have technicians who monitor and manage the servers.
- Dedicated hosting is specialized hosting. It is much more sophisticated and the most popular type of hosting. With dedicated hosting, you can rent an entire server for yourself and you can gain access to all the web host provider’s resources to host one or more websites. With dedicated hosting, either you or your web host provider owns the equipment.
- Root server hosting/semi-managed hosting. This is a form of dedicated hosting. Root server hosting gives uninterrupted internet connectivity. It is flexible in that, you can choose hardware specifications and operations systems that are best suited to your needs.
- Reseller hosting is the best type of hosting for entrepreneurs and businesses who wish to host on behalf of their own clients. You can have a contract with a web hosting provider and then sell their services under your own brand.
What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing is a type of computing that relies on sharing computing resources instead of having local servers or personal devices to handle applications.
As with web hosting, there are also different types of cloud computing and these are the most common:
- Software as a Service (SaaS) SaaS is the most popular and widely used form of cloud computing. It provides all the functions of a complicated traditional application. But instead of making use of a locally installed application, these functions are provided through a web browser.
- Platform as a Service. This type of cloud computing provides virtualized servers where users can run existing applications or develop new ones without worrying about the maintenance of the operating systems, server hardware, computing capacity or load balancing.
- Infrastructure as a Service. This form of cloud computing provides virtualized servers, networks, storage and systems software designed to add to or replace the functions of an entire data center.
Web hosting and cloud computing both have advantages and some disadvantages.
The best type of web hosting is dedicated hosting.
A dedicated web administrator has more control over a dedicated server. This makes the server more secure compared to a shared server. In addition to this, dedicated hosting is more reliable because a server administrator is self-sufficient and can optimize page loads by tweaking variables such as page load speed and general server allocation.
The disadvantage of web hosting is that there is a need to monitor, install, upgrade and configure programs, add sites deal with potential hacks, and troubleshoot systems. Therefore, there is a need for the business to have an employee (maybe more than one employee) to have the necessary system administration skills in order to achieve successful implementation of a website that is hosted on a dedicated web server.
In recent years, several businesses have already been making use of cloud computing. One benefit of cloud computing is that when a company’s information is stored in “the cloud” they are able to reduce their over-all expenses.
However, large corporations are wary of cloud computing. There is a lack of trust between these corporations and storage providers. Even if some companies do trust their storage provider, they still have security concerns. Most big corporations are hesitant or unwilling to allow any of their sensitive data to be put in “the cloud.” There is always the possibility of hackers getting their hands on the data. In addition to that, users are not able to access the servers that have their stored data. Lastly, if the storage providers close up shop, it will be very hard to retrieve a company’s data.
So, which one is better for your business? Web hosting or cloud computing?
It depends on what your priorities are.
If your priority is to minimize operational expenses, cloud computing is for you. However, if you want more security for your sensitive data, web hosting is the better option.
Whatever decision you will make, you have to be sure that all your needs will be met once you choose one over the other.
(Contributed by Raging Creations, 2012)