Cloud computing is the outsourcing of computer hardware and resources. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is typically what most people refer to when talking about cloud computing. In the case of cloud hosting, for web services, it can be the act of running your website, etc., on a remote computer, typically at a data center. Most of the time, this comes through another company offering to host your website on their infrastructure, at a cost.
There are many reasons why a company would choose to outsource their web hosting. One major reason is cost. Rather than having a server, or multiple servers, constantly running at your own office, you’re essentially paying to “rent” the resources needed from someone else. It’s similar to owning a home versus renting an apartment. There’s not a lot of upfront cost, and very little overhead/management when the “landlord” is the one responsible for the upkeep.
In a typical hosted environment, the company providing the IaaS will make sure there’s hardware redundancy, scheduled testing done outside of business hours, software patching, ongoing maintenance, etc. all handled by them rather than the end-user company. It takes a lot of weight off a company’s shoulders that that may not have the staff to maintain server administration to run a website.
Depending on the scale/size of a website, and the needed time, this could easily span 5+ servers just to run one website. That initial upfront cost to purchase hardware, software licensing, and staff to set everything up and maintain ongoing management of a website can be avoided with IaaS, as well.
In most cases it’s presented as a turn key solution where you pick out what all you want and, within minutes to days, everything you need is up and running.
Another perk to the use of IaaS is the security aspect. Having a dedicated team with the sole job of watching and maintaining these servers means there’s constant attention on protecting your data. This also isn’t just a staffing piece but also a resource component. Having a company that’s focused on providing IaaS to multiple clients means they can make the investment on higher-end security hardware and software that enterprise companies would purchase and makes use of that across multiple clients providing them with a level of assurance they may not have been able to obtain on their own.
This also offloads some of the risk with hosting a website. Most IaaS providers will provide you with a service level agreement outlining the in-depth details of what security precautions they’re taking to protect your data and maintain up time to keep your website up and active. They’ll outline the response times and support they’re providing to give you that piece of mind knowing that should anything happen, someone will reach out to you in a timely manner and assist with whatever the problem may be.
Outsourcing services like web hosting to a company like (spark) allows you and your team to focus on the many other aspects of your own business while knowing that your website is in good hands.