What is Cloud Server? How to Choose the Best Cloud Hosting Provider?
What is a Cloud Server?
A cloud server is a shared section of a server. It’s allocated for your use and controlled by the service or cloud provider. On your end, it appears that you are running your own compute and storage space. However—and this is an important point—there are usually a large number of other people using the same compute and storage resources within their own virtualized environment.
Cloud servers offer you the ability to save on purchasing and management costs that would otherwise go to developing and maintaining your own infrastructure. Additionally, with cloud storage, you get billed for only the amount of storage you use, which means you can increase your compute and storage services and scale as needed.
How Cloud Server Storage Works
At a basic level, all that is needed to create a cloud storage system is a single data server connected to the internet. With this in place, users can upload files to the server for storage, edit them online, and download them if required. All this can be achieved through a web-based interface not too dissimilar to Google Drive or Gmail.
However, in practice, this isn’t appropriate for businesses. Today’s businesses need to have guarantees that their data is always accessible, that their systems will stay online, and that if there is a sudden and unexpected demand for storage or resources, there is sufficient capacity in the system to cater for it.
For this reason, cloud storage systems are built around hundreds, sometimes thousands, of data servers, many of which are deliberately left as backup machines in case the servers in operation fail or need to undergo maintenance. This is known as redundancy and is a key element of cloud computing. Redundancy is what also enables companies to know there is additional storage or resources available on demand if they should need it.
How to choose the best Cloud Hosting Server?
Indeed, many providers have multiple data centers in different locations so that, even in the event of earthquakes or other natural disasters, if one center goes offline, another center can continue to provide the service.
Whilst no system can ever be completely infallible, cloud server storage provides a level of availability that is unparalleled by any other system. However, even creating a smaller scale infrastructure is beyond the means of most companies as it requires significant financial investment in buildings, technology and staffing. For this reason, public cloud storage and its pay as you go pricing model offers businesses by far the most cost effective way of attaining these benefits.
How to Choose the Best Cloud Hosting Provider?
The best cloud hosting providers should have the following features:
- N+1 Redundancy or at least 3+ Tier Data Center
- High Scalable Cloud infrastructure
- Enterprise/Premium level hardware
- 24/7/365 Server monitoring and management
- Flexibility to upgrade or downgrade according to your needs
- Anti-virus and anti-spam applications and DDoS protection for high security
- A good amount of experience and expertise in cloud servers.