What Is Cloud Hosting & Why Do I Care?

Ok, so we have described some of the benefits of Cloud Computing, but what actually is it?  How does it actually differ from non-cloud infrastructure?

At its most simple, Cloud Computing is the combining of physical hardware resources into a single divisible very powerful resource. Physical resources would include CPU (processing power), storage, memory and network capacity.  When there are 10 servers each with 4 CPU's, 128GB RAM and they are combined into 'the cloud', the resource pool then has 40 CPU's and 1280GB available for the services running on it!

Storage is split to a Storage Area Network (SAN) which means data is available from every network resource within the cloud.

In order to aggregate these resources, a Hypervisor is used which then virtualises hardware and presents it for use by the chosen software running on the cloud, say Windows Server, or a RedHat Web Server.

Again, the advantages of Cloud Computing are clear:

  • Built in redundancy - an individual server fails, who cares, it falls from the cloud and a new server is brought online to take up the load - the cloud it always over-provisioned.
  • Efficient use of resources - in the old days, every server was over specified fro the 'peaks'.  These 'peaks' are now represented by a shared over specified recourse pool.
  • Easy Scalability - as the needs grown, so does the cloud - nothing taken offline - add more resource to the pool and then allocated them to services as required.
  • Cloud hosting allows you to quickly, cheaply and effectively slice your roles up onto into different virtual instances.  No need to cram everything into one server anymore to keep costs down.  This allows better role separation, redundancy, scalability and easier management.
  • Environmentally friendly because you're using less resources as a whole. Servers require lots of cooling - as much as 50% of the power consumed is for this purpose - and by using a cloud platform, density is increased thus reducing this massively.  Add on the cost of then actually powering is and manufacturing fewer servers and the benefits become clear.  Moreover.  in the old days, when a server was no longer powerful enough to run the tasks required of it, it was thrown away and a newer more powerful ones bought to replace it.  Remember, with the cloud, resource is resource a CPU is a CPU if it is in the pool it is adding power! Our facility also boasts sourcing it's energy from 100% renewable source
  • More Cost Effective!  Even with the greater resilience and backups provided for you, it is still cheaper to provide than bare-metal systems!