Cloud Computing: Welcome to the Future

January 31, 2010 by Forrest Yingling
Recently, cloud computing has been getting a great deal of attention in the press and has been having a huge impact on the web hosting industry.  Many are confused by what exactly “the cloud” is.  Cloud Computing refers to a process by which clients pay for server space or website hosting by the amount of hard drive space, memory, bandwidth and number of hours used.  This business model offers customizable web hosting on a utility or subscription basis with on-demand service that can be easily altered.

A nice option about most cloud computing plans is that the server space being leased can be fully tailored to the client’s exact specifications and needs.  The fact that they are not paying a constant price is desirable for the owners of websites that have irregular traffic spikes or peak during certain times of the year.  For example, e-commerce storeowners that experience an increase in traffic and sales around certain holidays or offer more products for sale during certain seasons can easily add additional bandwidth, disk space and memory during these times.  Then during the off-peak times of year they can simply scale their capacity back down so that they are not paying for more than they need.

Prices for cloud hosting can be as cheap as $.015 per hour for a 10GB drive with 256MB memory or as expensive as $.96 per hour for a 620GB drive with 15,672MB of memory.  Cloud computing can also be desirable for people that own and maintain more than one website as there are also unlimited website hosting plans available.

With cloud computing, everything is managed and run online.  There is no need to have any software installed on a personal computer.  This allows users to access their account from anywhere in the world and from any device.  The provider is in charge of managing the hardware and network, which of course has advantages and disadvantages.

If you are considering giving the cloud computing approach to web hosting a try, an important thing to remember is to make sure that your provider guarantees service and solutions for network downtime and allows you to customize your site.  Cloud computing has been a good solution to efficiency problems that many webmasters have experienced.

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