Given the massive demand for cloud storage and computing, hosting providers are clamoring to offer the best services for the best prices. Competition is fierce, which bodes well for those shopping around for the best solution. The top providers, including our four most recommended options below, shine at offering seven key attributes: reliability, availability, scalability, security, quality, strong service-level agreements, and responsive support.
The rapidly expanding cloud hosting industry is expected to grow nearly 20% this year to almost $250 billion in worldwide revenue, fueled largely by the proliferation of data in Internet-of-Things devices, artificial intelligence, and Software-as-a-Service business applications. Nearly 40% of small and medium businesses utilize some form of cloud hosting, which provides operational agility in the forms of improved collaboration, the ability to work remotely, better control of documents, and a reduced carbon footprint.
Enterprise-level, infrastructure-as-a-service cloud hosting from the likes of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Rackspace are also available. Though these are technically cloud hosting services, they are not what's highlighted here. For more on that flavor of expansive (and potentially more expensive!) cloud hosting, please visit our story about the best infrastructure-as-a-service solutions.
Cloud hosting is the hot darling in the web hosting space right now. This hosting category has been around for a while, but recently has really started to gain traction, even among smaller businesses. Cloud hosting—which spreads your site across multiple servers—is the most unique of all hosting types, as it lets you do many things that you could not do with the standard shared, virtual private server (VPS), dedicated, or WordPress hosting options. Let's explore those features.
Cloud hosting refers primarily to the use of virtual hardware, network, storage and composite solutions from a cloud vendor. It is enabled through virtualization, whereby the entire computing capacity of an infrastructure or data center is distributed and delivered to multiple users simultaneously. The user uses underlying infrastructure to host its own applications, services and data. For example, a physical server can be virtualized and consolidated to host several cloud servers, all sharing the processor, memory, storage, network and other resources.
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