Whilst cloud computing is not necessarily a new concept, the world of cloud servers and virtual hosting may result in a few head scratches. Cloud computing is evident in many of the processes that we as consumers partake in every day – from free email services to social media apps. Cloud computing is really an umbrella term for a whole range of different services, one of which is gaining momentum due to its ability to seriously improve the infrastructure of their web hosting.
Cloud hosting follows the core principles of cloud computing but apply them to a server setting. But how can you take advantage of cloud hosting if you are an e-retailer?
Benefits of cloud hosting
With cloud servers essentially all computational resources are accessed via the internet remotely and most importantly virtually. This means that server instances can be instantly scaled and instantly set up to accommodate the requirements of the websites in a dynamic fashion. Cloud hosting is also in effect a kind of self-service, pay per usage server whereby users can pay only for actual computing capacity used. Everyone is interested in the bottom line, none more so than ecommerce websites whose business is reliant on the up keep of their web technology. As such the main benefits of choosing a cloud server to handle all of the computing requirements and resources of running an ecommerce website can be divided primarily into two areas – cost savings and access.
Cloud hosting affords ecommerce websites considerable amount of saving by removing the need for a website to be hosted on a traditional server. There are several reasons why this saves money. The first is the removal of the requirement for general maintenance of the physical server and purchasing of additional requirements to increase server resources. Server managers only need to concern themselves with the software requirements and the software maintenance of the server in a virtual setting.
There is another saving to be considered as well; because all resources are virtual, there is no time lost when upgrading the server. Similarly the server does not have to be created or built in resource blocks to accommodate additional resource spend – e.g. when under above normal traffic or heavy load. The visualized environment allows servers to be created to fit with the resource requirements of the user and can be scaled to fit their requirements. For eCommerce sites this could be a life saver especially during peak seasons and holiday shopping periods. Websites can be dynamic to fit the computational resource requirements in periods of both high and low demand. All of this translates into considerable savings for the eCommerce website.
As with most things today, there are a large number of companies promising cloud server but offering anything but what should be expected. However, how does one choose the best cloud server company and make sure that it is the right one for the eCommerce website? The following tips should help in making an educated decision:
- Price is often the first consideration for most people; however, do not let it be the deciding factor. Make sure the pricing structure fits with the website’s computational requirements. For example is the server company selling a Pay As You Go model or are they selling virtual servers in resource blocks? If the latter then it is unlikely they are selling a true cloud server package but rather a standard VPS (virtual private server).
- Complete flexibility of resource allocation (CPU, RAM, storage) – as previously mentioned if resource is sold in blocks then it is unlikely that the virtual server will follow a dynamic approach to resource allocation.
- The company’s area of expertise or the specialist services offered should match the ecommerce website’s requirements. Specialist cloud companies are able to provide more bespoke service than those who offer a general hosting package.
- Technical support – One should ensure that the company has a good reputation in this area; it is an important consideration.
ElasticHosts’ cloud server offering combines fully flexible virtual servers with fantastic personable service. Find out more about ElasticHosts’ own linux cloud hosting.