What is Cloud Hosting?

Simply put, “cloud hosting” is the provision of hosting as a service rather than a product.

What does that even mean?

With shared hosting you pay a fixed price for a finite allocation of hosting resource.

e.g £25 a year buys you X MB of disk space and Y GB of transfer. If you go over that you’ll be suspended or need to upgrade your plan.

Cloud hosting, however, lets you use as much hosting resource as you need but you’ll pay for what for what you use. As such cloud hosting is typically billed in the same way as other utilities we use on demand, such as water, gas and electricity. This can be brilliant, expensive or both, depending on your usage and budget!

Is that the only difference?

No. Cloud hosting providers will often asses charges against you for a larger range of resource usage than traditional hosting. It’s common to be billed for; disk space, bandwidth, CPU cycles, memory usage, storage access (IOPS) though typically support is included.

There might well be a flat tariff that includes an allowance, and then you’ll be charged on overages above this threshold. Every provider differs, that’s why it’s important to know the basics, and understand their billing model.

Why utility billing?

When you flick the light switch in your house you know it’ll work.

If you need to boil the kettle, use your PC and the kids are watching TV you don’t worry about whether or not you can put the washing machine on or not.

At the end of the month your utility company send you a bill, saying “you used X units at Y cost”