Is The Cloud Really The Future?

by admin on April 19, 2013

One could be forgiven for thinking that the title of this article is asking a rather ridiculous question.  After all, it appears that rather than representing the future, cloud technology is actually representative of the now. iTunes and Gmail are just two of the well-known services used by millions around the world that are hosted on the cloud, while in total there are thousands of widely used platforms that find their home in the same place.

That said, cloud technology has not proven dominant everywhere in every industry across the world. At least, it hasn’t yet. One place where it is still an emerging force is in the web hosting industry, where individuals and businesses are remaining committed to the traditional physical servers rather than moving their hosting to a cloud one.

Will the cloud eventually become the dominant, perhaps even the only, option when it comes to web hosting, or is it destined to remain on the periphery and perhaps make a mere scratch on what is a huge industry?

The best way to analyse this is to look at some of the key benefits and potential downsides of cloud hosting.

Feeling the Cloud Benefits

Think about a home computer in terms of what the cloud does. It means you save space saving music, videos, emails, or other content, as well as then being able to access them from wherever you are.

While these functions might not matter to a business in terms of web hosting, their benefit will be that they no longer require a physical server. This will save them a lot of money, both in respect of the server maintenance itself as well as the power and expenditure if they maintain their own data centre.

A cloud-hosted site is potentially more reliable, as the site takes its resources from a selection of servers, rather than just the one. So, if one server is offline for any reason, the resources are simply taken from another. This means things such as downtime and page speed will be less of an issue for cloud websites.

Are There Any Dark Clouds?

Despite its popularity for the features and services already mentioned, the cloud is still something of an unknown quantity when it comes to web hosting. This in itself is enough of a downside for many businesses, while the potential for security breaches is also keeping many attached to traditional servers.

It is difficult to escape the feeling that security will be the key. With reliability and cost very attractive, ensuring that a cloud hosted website is as secure as possible, especially given the recent number of high-profile hackings, is likely to be the final barrier to this solution becoming the market leader.

Before the Time Comes

While cloud-hosting services continue to develop and grow, expect VPS hosting and dedicated hosting to remain popular. Shared hosting is likely to become obsolete, especially as small businesses who use them will find VPS hosting a more cost effective and reliable option, should they not wish to head onto the cloud at this time.

Is the Cloud the Future?

Anyone who believes that the cloud is just a fad is likely to be disappointed in the months and years to come. While the cloud is the now in some areas, it most definitely represents the future for web hosting services.

Robert is a VPS hosting consultant who is interested in how the cloud is developing as a web hosting solution, and how the hosting industry in general is set to evolve over the coming years.

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