Guest post by Charlie Homes
Now the basics of cloud computing breakdown like this. You have multiple server systems interlinked with one another spread across a number of power sources that also feature a redundant amount of data on them. They can be accessed from anywhere in the world and are almost crash resistant. You can customize your bandwidth requirements to fit the changes and fluctuations of a dynamic demand market and are capable of optimizing which IT resource goes where. Plus you can run Linux or windows depending on your operating system preference. However, when it comes to security you are going to have to remember one key thing. Access is still the same as any other hosting option. If you have highly sensitive information avoid using an offsite storage location that creates multiple versions of your data that can be accessed day or night.
So cloud is one option, the other is dedicated hosting. Dedicated is of course hosting on-site or through a third party at a set location.
The flexibility of cloud allows you to monitor your bandwidth usage. This comes in handy if you think your system has been corrupted though. You can easily track how much data is being sent out and you can avoid problems by lowering your levels and then tracking the output. If you find the leak quickly you can then remove it effective and permanently. Cloud hosting is typically used by smaller to medium sized start ups. If you are still looking for a cost effective means of working online while at the same time trying to make the most of a limited budget then cloud is a good investment.
Cloud though deals in redundancies. There are multiple versions of the same data or media across multiple servers. This means that data is much harder to lose but also much harder to protect. When you have duplicates on a much broader scale then you have to factor in that not all information can be protected. If you are a public site then you should not have any major concerns. If you are simply looking for simple blog cloud hosting then your only concern should be creating useable content from anywhere.
Spammers, hackers and viruses can cause major problems for ecommerce companies. If you are using a dedicated server your files are localized in one area which does increase security however if you get hit with a bandwidth problem and your site goes down that might also mean your whole company can fall also. Cloud is a way of keeping your site(s) flexible to traffic spikes. Dedicated hosting is a means of having complete control over your information though. You have the ability to set your access limits. Cloud is accessible from anywhere. Dedicated is much more concentrated and restricted. However if you have a problem and your server goes down, guess what? You are screwed. Current trends in ecommerce will dictate that server down time and server maintenance can crush companies. Loss of users and revenue can cause bad reputations that are difficult to shake.
The reason Gmail and Google as whole functions on cloud servers is because they know their users expect that system to always be available to them at all times. If your access is limited you are limiting your ability to function. Security is important but not at the cost of your business. Any system has its cracks. No wall is impervious. The key point to web security is being smart and being vigilant. No server is impervious just as no person is perfect. It is always wise to plan for the worst while hoping for the best.
Post by Charlie Homes. A web consultant for hosting.com. Feel free to check out their Server Colocation.