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The competition for offering inclusive cloud hosting service witnesses a steep rise in the current ecommerce field. The industry’s leading Cloud Providers are now focused to deliver an unparalleled user-experience with uninterrupted hosting services. In such instances, on what basis you should give a shot on the cloud providers? Most significantly, which of the provider on the list is best for your Magento website and meets your business’ demands?

To find a solution for these questions, we need to take a quick ride on unfolding the top-listed cloud providers. Nonetheless, before talking about the cloud providers, it is critical to know the difference between the physical server and cloud server. Need to know about the web server that best suits your business needs? Visit our blog on Know the Differences: Which Stands Out, Apache or Nginx for Magento?

What is a Cloud Server?

It is a virtual server (also known as server on-demand hosting) which is built, hosted and operated in a cloud computing setup over the internet. It works as similar to the traditional physical server in terms of functionality, performance, control and security but differs in the fact that it can be accessed from anywhere at any time. One of the perks of using cloud hosting service is that the facility to scale up and down as per the customer’s demand and thereby, you only pay for the server space you used and not for any idle spaces.

Physical Server  vs. Cloud Server

S.No.                  Physical Server                                   Cloud Server
1. Own a life-long personalized server optimized for your needs. Cannot own a life-long personalized server but can continuously use the service.
2.  The benefit of hosting your website rather sharing with multiple users.  Based on the type of server you choose, the cloud server can be Shared or Dedicated Hosting. 
3. Security concerns are completely owned by you.  Impeccable security (especially for data-sensitive sites).
5. Managing and monitoring all the required functionalities is not easy and often tedious.   Offers simplified and clarity-rich UI for ease of managing functionalities. 
7. The physical server will fall backwards when an advanced server enters the market. Level of control (to the extent of activating and deactivating the service whenever needed).
8. Uptime depends solely on your maintenance process.  Guaranteed uptimes.
9. Involves manual tasks such as backup, maintenance and continuous monitoring. No such manual tasks are needed to be carried out (as it can be automated).

Factors to Consider While Choosing a Cloud Provider

1. Cost

Generally, hosting a website involves a huge amount of money. But you must make sure that the service provided is cost-effective and worthy enough in offering a seamless-quality service.

Either way, the optimal way of choosing the best-suited hosting services for your business needs forms crucial.

2. Performance

For the e-commerce sites (like Magento) speed plays a vital part as the consumer abandons the page that is slow. Thus, a powerful server overcoming the Time to First Byte (TTFB), bandwidth and latency concerns is critical.

Not only for performance but the page loading time is a key metric in SEO rankings as well.

3. Flexibility and Scalability

The data-rich e-commerce websites demand more than a single server and therefore, the cloud-provider too must be more flexible to overcome the load-balancing and high-memory consumption aspects. Further, choosing a cloud provider which allows the required scalability to scale up and scale down the existing resources according to the businesses’ on-going variations is necessary.

4. Monitoring

Not everyone is computer geeks and at times a quick way of operating things is essential in monitoring tasks. A simple, user-friendly and clarity-rich UI makes a way to ease of tracking the nature of the networks, systems, applications and other instances such as server status, CPU status, performance, etc.

5.Website and Domain Migration

The chosen cloud-provider must be capable of establishing a secure and stable way of migrating data, application and other elements to the desired environment at the time of sudden system failure.The provider must be ready in both the cases of backing up data and transfer of domain ownership.

The Most Widely Opted Cloud Providers:

1. Amazon Web Services (AWS) amazon-web-services-logo

AWS, founded in 2006 is the current leader of cloud computing with almost one third of the market share. It stands apart by its extensive and mature offerings.

Pros:

  • Customisable EC2 compute engine
  • Reliable and agile
  • Extremely flexible
  • Enterprise-ready

Cons:

  • Limitations of EC2 and VPC Console
  • Paid technical support
  • Complex cost structure

2. Microsoft Azure

microsoft-azure-logo
Azure is an open-source cloud computing platform started by its parent company, Microsoft in 2010 and catching up with AWS in terms of market share.

Pros:

  • Seamless integration with Microsoft’s Suite
  • Microsoft Enterprise Agreement saves cost

Cons:

  • Continuous management
  • Less enterprise-ready
  • The need for hosting expertise

3. Google Cloud Providers (GCP)

google-cloud-logo

GCP which is not even a decade old specialized in providing high intense compute services for Big data and Machine learning.

Pros:

  • Flexible technology
  • Cheaper than AWS and Azure
  • The comfort of AI and data analytics

Cons:

  • Outdated versions (Postgresql and MySQL)
  • Broken SDK & no SLA guarantee
  • Not so many services

4. DigitalOcean

digital-ocean-logo

As a scalable computing service, DigitalOcean’s droplet offers add-on capabilities such as storage, security, managed services, load balancer, clusters, cloud firewalls and domain name system.

Pros:

  • Flexible plans (starts at $5 per month)
  • Simple API interface

Cons:

  • No managed servers
  • Unavailable to Windows server

5. Linode

linode-logo

It provides virtual private servers and allows the customers to backup on a daily/weekly/monthly basis at different price points. The Linode Manager allows the users to maintain multiple server instances in a single system.

Pros:

  • Effective in-house monitoring
  • Better grouping of servers

Cons:

  • Unavailability of dedicated servers
  • Tough UI navigation

Why we go with DigitalOcean?

DigitalOcean, a premier cloud provider since titled as the world’s third-largest cloud web hosting platform offers seamless hosting services to its customers worldwide. When most of the computing services focus on corporate clients, DigitalOcean starts from individual software developers and small scale organisations so as to blur the indifference between customers and potential customers. Moreover, when you go with other expensive providers, you have to make separate payment for each of the services. Whereas DigitalOcean is cheap and the equal scalability can be achieved as similar to other providers at extremely low cost.

  • One of the simplest and user-friendly UI
  • Forerunners of SSD based virtual machines
  • Flag-bearer of utilizing IPv6
  • Fastest boot time (in 55 seconds)
  • Dedicated ECC RAM and RAID storage
  • Comprehensive documentation (how-to manuals and walkthroughs)
  • Cheapest and most affordable pricing (as the plan starts from $5)
  • Flexible droplets for a specific need

In this article, we have seen a basic intro about a cloud server, the fine-lines that differentiates the cloud server from a physical server, factors to look upon before choosing a cloud server and most importantly, the in-trend cloud providers across the world. Finally, we have culled out the reasons behind our inclination towards the DigitalOcean. At the same time, at ADOL, we are ready to provide e-commerce solutions with the support of any cloud providers as per the client’s requirements.