The term cloud hosting and cloud computing has been in the news, a lot, lately. It has become such a buzz word and it will continue for some time since its introduction is early in its infancy and its utility and structure is pure genius. As in physics, when solutions of such simplicity are stumbled upon, it is referred to as an elegant solution.
Cloud hosting is fairly new in terms of the technology issue of processing and storage. Because it is possible to locate machines that are purely processing powerhouses and then attache them to storage boxes it becomes a cheaper and more cost effective solution to having multiple repetitive processors on a box of storage. It becomes a lot more sophisticated when in computing the roles are specialized.
So a server in amsterdam might be running top of the line processing with little to no storage and share this processing power with a number of other processing sites, while the data is stored in another location, in Asia or south America. The benefit is that costs are better distributed and resources are better utilized in a way that reduces the per unit costs to everybody.
This is a very dynamic infrastructure and each administrator does not just have access to one processing site or one storage site, they are part of a group that has access to the physical hardware almost anywhere and everywhere around the world. By doing this they better utilize any of the free capacity that is available.
The typical cloud host has the following characteristics:
They are able to access a very extensive network from a very diverse pool of resources. Servers are typically held in many different Class IP locations.
Pay Per Use
Most of the cloud computing strategy is based on an on-demand pricing schedule, meaning you pay for the capacity you are using.
The crux of the entire concept is to pool the resources and tie them up so that it can be effectively and efficiently deployed, utilized and priced.
As opposed to static systems that are server centric and a person either takes what is there or leaves it, cloud systems can marshal the services of any component online without much difficulty, so a customer is able to request a wide range of structures which can expand or contract as the load and traffic volume change.
These issues make a true cloud hosting a very viable alternative to conventional hosting and it is the next phase in hosting evolution.