What are Cloud Servers and How Can Cloud Computing Help My Business?

Cloud computing has really come of age in the past several years. Business has embraced the concept of the cloud as it has brought convenience, scalability and increased mobility at a reasonable cost. By embracing the cloud, it’s no longer necessary to invest in hardware and software that needs to be continuously upgraded and updated.

Because your resources can be spread over several servers the threat of downtime has been greatly reduced. The cloud is how to host a website today.  Let’s quickly examine exactly what the cloud is, and how your business can take advantage of what it has to offer.

What Is “The Cloud”

The cloud can best be defined as a collection of interconnected IT services and infrastructures that are accessible via a network. Storage and software functions are split throughout this network and work in tandem to provide a seamless experience.

The main concept behind cloud hosting is “divide and rule.” The resources used to manage and maintain your website are spread across various servers and used on an “as-needed” basis. Because of this, downtime is significantly reduced as the cloud has built in redundancy. In the event one server goes down, your tasks are automatically switched to a different server.

The best example of how to host a website on the cloud is Google. Google has their resources spread over hundreds of cloud servers around the world. In the past decade Google has not had any downtime with the exception of planned maintenance of services like AdSense and AdWords. Sites like Apple’s iCloud, Kindle Cloud Reader and Spotify are all examples of cloud-based services.

How Does The Cloud Work?

The Cloud’s main feature is that resources can be drawn from many different sources instead of being limited to the resources in a single computer. The most common resource to decentralize in the Cloud is the storage.

Using decentralized storage allows for huge flexibility and far greater service uptime.  The reason for his is that if the server node that your instance is running on has any problems your cloud server can be re-launched on a spare node.  This is known as N+ redundancy.

In servers that are not in a Cloud setup, your storage would be held on hard disks that physically reside inside the server node, much like a normal home computer.  This removes the ability to simply re-launch your services on spare hardware without physically removing the harddisks and installing them into a new server with extended downtime.

The first step to getting yourself into Cloud hosting is to find a reputable Cloud Hosting Provider. For example, Togglebox is an excellent hosting solution and a pioneering cloud adopter.

The cloud is increasingly how business is getting done online. Whether you are hosting simple websites, or moving your entire IT department to a virtual environment, Cloud hosting has a solution for you.