Cloud Hosting: What It Offers And What It Doesn't

By: Kidman Nicole

The word 'cloud' no longer refers only to the sky. In this technology-driven world, it now refers to storage in the ether or cyberspace. Think smartphones and cloud storage services. They all fall under cloud hosting.

Cloud hosting allows users to access huge volumes of data remotely. Rather than use a desktop software or purchase several hard disk drives to store terabytes of information, all users have to do is access the cloud where tech experts can distribute software and offer storage and hosting services to consumers.

This is not to say that cloud hosting doesn't have pitfalls. Certain concerns are quite serious and are in the process of being addressed (read, security). Still, with the way things are going, we could soon see the day when all data is hosted in the cloud and still-used physical components become a thing of the past.

The benefits

The advantages of cloud computing continues to be appreciated by a growing number of end-users, both individuals and businesses alike. Even mobile phone applications are utilizing it. The growing popularity has led developers and authorities to come up with security measures to keep hackers and threats at bay.

Cloud hosting is cheap, far cheaper than using traditional software and storage devices. License fees, upgrades and maintenance charges push up the cost of traditional services which can run up into thousands of dollars when meant for professional use, for example, by companies. By remotely providing and accessing services, cost is greatly reduced and so is time.

Since services are accessed via the internet and data is stored in remote servers, users can enjoy unlimited storage without purchasing traditional devices like hard disks. This is important where the storing and accessing of huge volumes of data is necessary.

Easy customization and automatic integration of software is enabled through cloud computing. Users don't need to manually upgrade or customize applications. This saves time and effort.

Data recovery in the event that computer systems crash is made much simpler with cloud hosting. The people behind cloud services are competent and capable of providing data recovery services so clients needn't worry about having to recover lost information themselves.

The disadvantages

We mentioned several drawbacks cloud computing presents which need to be addressed quickly and efficiently if hackers are to be warded off. Technical issues are another.

Security is the chief concern among users of cloud hosting services. Everything, be it identification, bank account details, emails and other confidential information is stored in the cloud. This wouldn't be a problem in utopia but we're well aware of hackers and how the idea of accessing private information spurs them. The internet doesn't offer fool-proof security and since cloud hosting is offered to end-users via the internet, there's always a chance that servers can be hacked.

While data backup and recovery are made simpler and more efficient with cloud hosting, service providers may experience technical issues to cause downtime. If clients have to be logged on the entire day this can pose problems and cause a delay in work completion.

Like all internet-related services, cloud hosting has much to offer and its drawbacks should be taken seriously. The only way to guarantee good service is to choose a provider that has made a name for itself in offering high security service and minimal downtime.

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