Web Hosts Evolve Into Clouds And Content Delivery Networks

Sunday, October 31, 2010, 4:26 AM | Leave Comment

Web hosting service has come along way. Its evolution over the years consists now of two important functions. One is hosting in the cloud (HIC) and the other is Content Delivery Networks (CDN). It used to be a place for storing websites only but lately have been offering features like e-mail, e-commerce, communications, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and a whole lot more. These offerings seem to be just the tip of the iceberg. Who knows what else will be coming down the pipes? These features are two of the biggest developments the hosting industry has seen in years.

Software As A Service (SaaS)

For a website owner, we can narrow down the definition of SaaS. It’s also called Software on Demand just like “Movies on Demand” and we all know what that is. Rather than buying software [movies], you download it through the Internet to your personal computer [TV]. It’s advantages are: Pay Per Use, Instant Scalability, Security, and Reliability among other things.

SaaS in the Cloud

Apply SaaS to cloud computing and the website owner gets not only cheaper software services but a host of new features as well. The upgrading is done by the owner of the cloud and not by individual website owner. The cloud eliminates the need to store large amounts of data on-site. For small businesses, this can be a bonanza in terms of expenses and resources.

How does a website benefit from SaaS in the cloud?

The website owner has access to functions such as shopping carts, SSL certification, business-class e-mail, and Web conferencing. Your Web host now can offer these services which for years were available only to big businesses. The trend of cloud computing will help small businesses with tools to compete in an increaingly competitive marketplace.

Content Delivery Networks (CDN)

As its name suggest, CDN is a system of computers in a network. Direct access to one central server can create bandwidth problem. To minimize the problem and get better access, the data is stored at different points [computers] on the CDN. You access your data from the point that is closest to you. Consequently, in a CDN, all clients (you and others) don’t access the same central server. Therefore, it helps avoid bottleneck near that server.

The need of CDN arose…

The liberal use of videos, and other download-able objects such as media files, software, documents, applications, real time media streams, and other components of internet delivery (DNS, routes, and database queries) created the need for CDN. Without it, the web server would crawl and would eventually tend to crash.

Theoretically the closer the content, the faster the delivery. End users will likely experience less jitter, fewer network peaks and surges, and improved stream quality – especially in remote areas. Ultimately, the website owner gets the benefit in the form of a faster, better experience and can be assured of high availability and increased capacity for transfer.

In a Nutshell
Many of us already know this. Others, who are new to technology and the recently implemented evolutionary features available to website owners, will be able to understand what’s available and how best they can benefit from it.

Whether starting a new website or looking for new ways to enhance your presence online, your web host might have plenty to offer. Check with your web hosting services. They can work with you as a business partner not just a hosting service provider. Make sure you get what you need and what you pay for.

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