Cloud hosting is built off the power of computer clouds. There are two main types of cloud hosting, private and public clouds. For the most part, when people talk about a cloud hosting solution they are referring to the second one, a public clouds. Clouds are a method of shared hosting that allows a lot of different users to share dynamic resources and potential for scalability without paying too much for them.
Private cloud hosting takes the resources that are leveraged in a public cloud and applies them all to a single company. We’re going to look at the technology behind private cloud hosting and talk about some use cases so that you can figure out whether or not it might be the right hosting solution for your site.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing combines a bunch of different resources that don’t need to be actively managed by the person who is using them. Usually, there are large data centers that many people can access over the internet. Large clouds have a bunch of different locations and servers that function.
Cloud computing outsources tasks to data centers that are far away, using the vast computing resources of distant servers to manage local tasks. Cloud computing basically relies on virtualization, which is the same technology that splits a single server into a number of different virtual hosts for VPS hosting. Virtualization allows a single physical processer to function in a virtual environment, allowing greater flexibility for scaling.
The Difference Between Private and Public Clouds
A public cloud is the type of thing that most people think of when they think of cloud computing. It is offered through huge tech companies like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft through their respective services. When you use data from the cloud, you generally pay for the amount of computing that you’re using. Unlike simply using the processing power of a localized computer system–usually called edge computing–a cloud offers you access to huge data and huge speeds. For a lot of businesses, the kind of scale that a cloud solution offers makes it a great computer option.
Advantages of Private Cloud Hosting
Private cloud hosting offers all the scalability and performance that public cloud solutions offer, but you also get a lot more reliability, customization, and security.
When you run a private cloud, it’s roughly as secure as running data off of physical servers that are also private. You aren’t hooked up to anyone else’s website and you aren’t sharing a hosting environment with anyone. In some cases, there are regulations that only allow certain kinds of data to be stored with certain kinds of security. For instance, there’s an HIPAA regulation that requires certain health information that is electronically protected to be stored and transmitted in certain ways. If you’ve got data like this, private clouds might be the only solution.
There is a chance that a different site on a public cloud has some fatal errors that create problems for everyone on the cloud. They could drain resources, have security issues, or even bring down the cloud as a whole. With a private cloud, you’ll never have to lie awake at night wondering whether or not this has happened to your site. There’s no vague emails from your host about how there was a problem with the cloud and they’re seeking to fix it. Then again, clouds don’t go down all the time. You shouldn’t get the impression that flying a hosting cloud is a lot like flying a plane, in the sense that you might be constantly nervous about the state of the plane.
Flexibility and Customization
Unlike a public cloud, you don’t have to share space with other people. Hosting companies running public clouds will configure their services to make happy the most selection of people that they can at a time. Think about it like a pizza order. If and a bunch of people are ordering a pizza together, there will be a lot of compromise on the toppings that end up on the said pizza. If you buy a pizza for yourself, the toppings can be anything you want them to be. You don’t need to take anyone else into consideration. Public and private clouds have the same distinction. There’s all sorts of pizza toppings that might be great for your website that other websites wouldn’t want to leverage. If you have your own cloud, you aren’t limited to the pepperoni of hosting services. You can get things that are more complex and optimized to run your site and business.
Private Clouds vs. Dedicated Servers
Private clouds are a similar hosting solution to dedicated servers, but there are some critical differences. Dedicated servers offer hardware that is used for security, speed, and technical advantages. If your site needs a tone of resources for hosting, this is the traditional route. When you leverage physical servers, hardware modifications and software modifications are both available. There is a ton of security, because the physical servers can be hosted in-house or on a trusted off-site location.
A private cloud uses a different kind of technical architecture than a dedicated server, allowing you to group together different servers and resources. But for the most part, these different solutions offer a similar server environment. Most hosts would treat cloud servers and dedicated servers as roughly the same kind of solution, and can even manage them with the same tools or software. If you’re used to using a private cloud but then switch to a dedicated server, you’d find the environments remarkably similar.
A single physical dedicated server can support a number of cloud servers with virtual partitions. While a public cloud environment generally utilizes the resources of many different servers in a single data center, a private cloud may be only a single server. If the private cloud needs more resources, it might utilize multiple servers.
What is the advantage of a virtual server then? The same thing that you’d expect from a public cloud: additional flexibility. It can be scaled immediately, created in a matter of minutes, and completely destroyed if no longer needed. Tying yourself to a private cloud allows you to scale in more cost-effective and immediate ways than relying on physical server additions. Private cloud hosting solutions can respond to the demands of a site that dedicated hosting cannot.
However, this isn’t to say that servers and dedicated server hosting are products of a bygone era of computing. Dedicated servers still have a ton of customization available, from processors to RAM. Dedicated servers are the best way to get a ton of processing from a single server, allowing you to utilize a single in-house physical machine to run your hosting solutions. They offer better stability in the long run through their optimized computing solutions and reliability. If you are going to host a single high-traffic website, a dedicated server still might be better than a cloud. It allows you to customize a bunch of stuff on the backend.
Final Advice: Why Build a Private Cloud?
There’s a powerful argument to be made that using a dedicated server environment is still more powerful than building a comparable private cloud. And while you certainly should consider the differences, keep in mind the major advantage of a private cloud environment: unparalleled scalability. With a private cloud, you can easily change the virtual environment that you’re running in. Depending on who hosts your private cloud, they probably have tons of extra resources that they can toss your way if and when you need them.