Difference Between Conventional Web Hosting & Azure Cloud Hosting

Conventional Web Hosting

The last few months has been an interesting journey in which I have been having conversations with developers in particular. There is still this notion among developers till this very moment on the differences of traditional web hosting and cloud hosting. Especially with the emergence of conventional web hosting companies offerings cloud services.

Organizations and businesses ranging from small, medium and large enterprises are on the constant lookout to trim down expenses in relation to Information Technology amid tight budgets. Most organizations has been adopting the traditional hosting environment. Typically, the traditional hosting environment comes in two variants, which is referred as shared and dedicated hosting. For the dedicated hosting, the client gets a set of pre-configured resources of Memory, CPU and disk space and the usage of these resources are managed through a control panel.

On the other hand, shared hosting is common among small business organizations and the resources of a single server are typically shared across web application of multiple clients. The shared hosting variant of the traditional hosting model faces a number of drawbacks due to its resources which has been pre-determined.  Due to its architectural limitation, traditional web hosting will not be able to cater to rapid changes when required. The scalability aspect of the traditional web hosting lies on the availability of resources on physical server where your web applications resides. Clients hosting applications on shared hosting pays a fixed amount for the set of resources subscribed and this is ideal if the flow of web traffic is predicable. However if the web traffic increases gradually, the application is constrained to the fixed resources of the shared hosting service. To adapt the increase in web traffic for traditional shared hosting, clients will need to purchase additional resources. If the web traffic reduces overtime, cost will be incurred for resources not consumed. In a nutshell, traditional hosting lacks dynamic metering services to provision and de-provision resources on demand.

It is important to take note that the architecture of traditional web hosting consist of individual physical servers and was not designed to cater for high availability due to its high cost. High availability on traditional web hosting services, were achieved by means of  synchronization and clustering.

Traditional web hosting services will not be able to handle websites designed using the Adaptive Web Design (AWD) approach due to its intense architectural limitation. Modern websites using  Adaptive Web Design (AWD) and Responsive Server Side (RESS) utilizes server side components to improve its overall operating efficiency, loading time and enhanced browsing experience. However this comes with having to have a highly elastic and scalable hosting service. This is referred to as cloud hosting. The next section will present the details on cloud hosting.

Azure Cloud Hosting

Azure is Microsoft’s Public Cloud offering. The services offered in Azure are made available over the Internet through the network of global Microsoft datacenters. Customers will be able to subscribe to the variety of services at a much lower cost as compared to having it hosted on local datacenters within the customer premise.

With Azure, subscribers will be able to perform the following:

  • Design, develop & manage cloud application with a wide variety of open frameworks and tools.
  • Azure PaaS & IaaS infrastructure allows the hosting of workloads of all types.
  • Organizations will be able to extend their on premise infrastructure with secure Azure cloud services.

You may visit Azure to sign-up for a subscription.

Azure offers up-to five categories of services with each having sub-services:

  • App Services
  • Compute Services
  • Data Services
  • Network Services
  • Internet-of-things

Azure AppService offers the creation of web, mobile, logic and API apps regardless of platform and devices. It is a offered as Platform-as-a-Service(Pass). With Web Apps, as part of the AppService offerings, subscribers will benefit from on-demand scalability and high availability of computing resources. In addition, AppService allows developers to build solutions that can be integrated with both applications hosted on premise and SaaS solutions. Application developed with the AppService are executed on virtual machines (VMs) that a fully managed by Azure fabric controller. You have full control to decide if you require shared or dedicated resources.

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