Cloud hosting is the way of outsourcing an organization’s computing and storage resources to a service provider that offers its infrastructure services in a utility model.

The cloud provider oversees the setup, cloud infrastructure, security, and maintenance while allowing clients to modify hardware and applications and scale servers on the online. Compute and storage resources are spread out across over a hundred virtual machines (VMs) that load balance I/O requests in a cloud infrastructure configuration.

The cloud hosting model is a less expensive option in contrast to the traditional dedicated server model requires companies to build and manage their own data centers. In the traditional model, servers and storage, with dedicated hardware and dedicated resources, reside on-premises and can be a costly capital and operating expense for organizations.

Benefits of cloud hosting

Cloud hosting provides significant capital and operational saving to organizations because they don’t have to spend a lot on the initial upfront capital cost associated with owning and managing data centers. IT also has the ability to scale more efficiently, using and paying just for the resources they need. In addition, long data retention becomes a more simplified process, eliminating the costly management of disks and tape systems.

Companies using a cloud hosting service get data protection benefits such as high availability and disaster recovery. Many organizations prefer a hybrid model that mixes compute and storage resources residing on-premises with compute and storage in a cloud provider’s environment.

One of the main advantages of using cloud hosting services is flexible and more cost-effective scalability in building applications, websites, and other services. Since clients can scale as needed, they are charged only for the services they use and don’t pay for any unused capacity. This payment system makes cloud hosting a relatively cheap method of storage.

But disadvantages exist. Security issues with the cloud have increased more attention as the cloud adaption rate has grown. With data leaving the company data center, organizations run the risk of intellectual property theft and loss, compliance violations, absence of oversight over rogue employees activities, and data breaches.

Additional aspects to consider include high availability, recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO).

Top vendors/providers

Cloud hosting services have fueled a rise in the infrastructure as service (IaaS) model, in which a third-party provider offers the hardware, software, servers, storage, and networking resources to a client, regularly with a pay per use method.

Well known cloud hosting offerings include Amazon Web Services (AWS), the Google Cloud Platform, IBM Cloud and Microsoft Azure. AWS is the most dominant player in the market, offering broad computing services and number of regions and zones than other cloud providers. However, Azure and Google have gained traction in recent years.

AWS offers its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) to handle compute services, alongside Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) and Amazon Glacier for storage. Google offers its Google Compute Engine (GCE) and Google Cloud Storage for the enterprise. Microsoft Azure gives Azure Virtual Machines and Azure Virtual Machine Scale Sets, and its storage includes blob, file and queue storage. Its Microsoft Office 365 is a famous cloud service.

Every one of the three noteworthy public cloud provider offer products that support containers, including Amazon’s EC2 Container Service (ECS), Google’s Container Engine and Azure’s very own container services.