Cloud hosting is hosting on virtual servers that pull their computing resources from other extensive physical servers. The general consensus with Cloud hosting is that you can use the service as you need leading to cost savings (you only pay for what you use).
How does it work?
Most service providers make use of the public cloud which pulls resources from publicly available virtual servers. Additional security is required for this to ensure data is kept private. Private clouds can be used where privacy and security are a top concern.
Why not just use a single, physical server?
Cloud Hosting is a better alternative to hosting something such as your website on a single server. If that server goes down, so does your website. Cloud hosting normally falls under Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). With PaaS you are provided with a software environment which you can start using immediately. If you chose to go the IaaS route you are provided with the virtualised hardware which you can install your own software environment.
Advantages of using Cloud Hosting
Cloud Hosting is more reliable as it draws it’s more from an extensive network of physical servers. If one of these servers goes offline it has no effect on your data. You only pay for what you use so there is no wasted capacity. The physical servers are still housed in data centres with good security already in place. Load balancing is software based and can, therefore, be instantly scalable to respond to changing demands. With Cloud Hosting the resource is available in real-time and on demand and is not limited to the capacity of just one physical server on your business premises.