What is the cloud?
What is the cloud?
It’s come to my attention, that a clear majority of people don’t understand exactly what cloud hosting means. Those familiar with Dropbox or Google drive, know that they can send and receive files, or access their files from anywhere. You may ask, what does that mean exactly? Let’s take a close look at where the cloud came from, what it is, and why you should switch to the cloud if you haven’t already.
Defining the cloud
Let’s first define what the cloud is. In the words of The National Institute of Standards and Technology, “Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction”. Allow me to translate that for you. All across the world, There are rooms full of computers, thousands of computers. The computing power is pooled together to store and process information. Think of it as one powerful supercomputer. The cloud gives access to this computer, and allows you to choose how much of that computers’ resources is needed. What makes the cloud so great? Anyone, anywhere can access it, without having to know much about it.
History of the cloud
Wait, where did the cloud come from? The concept of cloud computing dates back to the 1960’s. The phrase derives from the use of a cloud symbol to diagram the framework of the cloud. The diagram reveals that any computer connected to the internet, can access the cloud and its computational power and storage.
The coinage of the term is highly controversial. Technology Review traced the origin all the way back to 1996. Compaq, one of the largest suppliers of PC systems during the 1990s, was thinking up the future of the internet business, calling it “cloud computing”. However, the first reported public use of the phrase appears to have been in 2006, when Eric Schmidt (then Google’s CEO) described an approach to data storage as “cloud computing”. That just so happened to be right before (later that month) Amazon’s release of the first modern cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Elastic compute cloud (EC2).
Who provides cloud computing
Fast forward to today, there are many company’s offering cloud services, ranging from storage to compute power and even deep learning.
Amazon – Among the top contender’s, and my personal favorite, is Amazons’ subsidiary Amazon Web Services (AWS). Today, they are one of the largest providers in the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) market. Not only are they among industry leaders, they continuously add new services to their cloud services portfolio every year.
Dropbox – Making its debut in 2007, Dropbox is a file-hosting service offering storage, file synchronization and client software for business and individual use. Once a file is synchronized, you can log into a mobile phone app or sign in to the website to access your files.
Google – In 2007, Google released its Google apps, its alternative to Microsoft office. Now called G suite, Google has only become serious about offering cloud services in the past few years.
Hosting websites with the cloud
Now that we have a general understanding of what the cloud is, we can dive in to the topic of discussion here today. EC2, Amazons’ cloud compute service, offers up resources equivalent to having your own physical computer in front of you. It’s just like having a dedicated server at your fingertips, only a quarter of the cost (dedicated hosting servers start at around $120/month). With that computer, you can install the proper and necessary tools to offer a website to the world wide web.
That’s where WordPress and Linux come in to play. Why is Linux the go to choice when it comes to hosting? Linux is a powerful operating system. Among many reasons, it is lightweight, but WordPress was developed with Linux in mind.
With the knowledge, and proper server configurations, AWS makes it possible to deploy a web server in a matter of minutes. What does that mean for you? Your website is easily scalable. In fact, so easy, its just a matter of a couple clicks. Alt-Tab-Design will grow with your business.
We offer a few affordable WordPress hosting plans, on a month-to-month basis, no contracts involved. Those are intended to be starter plans, for the average small business. With how scalable the cloud is, we can create hosting environments as powerful as needed. That means you’re not just limited to our starter plans. If your website or application has greater needs, we can host it for you.