Cloud Hosting: How Does it Really Work?

Defining the Cloud

Technologists tend to provide an overly-complicated answer to the question “what is the cloud?”. In the context of cloud hosting, there is no physical object which you can point to and label as the cloud. It’s more of an electronic structure where data is stored over many different computers and served up via a network connection, typically the Internet.

The Cloud vs. The Internet

Is there really a difference between these terms? The short answer is yes, but not by much. Reference to the cloud is usually a reference to one small piece of the whole Internet. But if you take into consideration that the Internet behaves as one macroscopic cloud system you start to see the idea more clearly.

Division of Computing Power

You may be wondering how the combination of multiple server environments will scale as any cloud system grows in size. The distribution of power and storage capacity is often controlled by a backend software OS/system.

Amazon Web Services

The most popular book seller on the Internet made a huge decision in 2006 to begin constructing a cloud-based server environment. The whole company placed a large investment into this technology and it paid off handsomely. Now the AWS brand products are seen everywhere and power hundreds of thousands of websites.

Web Apps in the Cloud

I’d like to offer just a couple examples of popular cloud-based apps which have come out in recent years. The Internet has become a digital storage medium for transferring files all over the world. In one way this can be described as a move into the cloud and away from the limitations of physical devices.

Google Documents

I was originally a huge fan of Gmail when Google first put out the service. With each account, they included about 2GB of free server space for e-mail attachments. Now the company has taken another step forward building the Google Docs engine.

Quick Data Sharing

I remember building websites back in 2006 where my partner and myself would frequently have to exchange files between computers. Back then it was much easier to utilize our USB flash drives since there were not nearly as many resources on the Internet. Yet today we practically have a smorgasbord of options to choose from!

Where to Go from Here?

These applications provide just a small outlook towards the many prospects of cloud hosting. As web developers become privy to the details of building scalable environments the cloud-based server structures will begin to revolutionize the Internet and web design.

Additional Links

Conclusion

Cloud hosting is the most notable improvement to physical server farms that we’ve ever seen. Unfortunately the knowledge required to build such a setup is still very archaic, but it’s gaining momentum quickly. The mainstream tech sphere is booming with news about cloud computing and its massive efficiency in energy consumption.

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