Cloud hosting services provide hosting for websites on virtual servers which pull their computing resource from extensive underlying networks of physical web servers. It follows the utility model of computing in that it is available as a service rather than a product and is therefore comparable with traditional utilities such as electricity and gas. Cloud hosting is also sometimes referred to as server on-demand hosting, cloud server hosting or cluster server hosting.
Broadly speaking the client can tap into their service as much as they need, depending on the demands of their website, and they will only pay for what they use. It exists as an alternative to hosting websites on single servers (either dedicated or shared servers) and can be considered as an extension of the concept of clustered hosting where websites are hosted on multiple servers.
A development of the concept of cloud hosting for enterprise customers is the Virtual Data Centre (VDC). This employs a virtualised network of servers in the cloud which can be used to host all of a business’s IT operations including its websites.
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