This is the latest installment in The Official Merchant Services Blog’s Knowledge Base effort. Well we want to make the payment processing industry’s terms and buzzwords clear. We want to remove any and all confusion merchants might have about how the industry works. Host Merchant Services promises: the company delivers personal service and clarity. So we’re going to take some time to explain how everything works. This ongoing series is where we define industry related terms and slowly build up a knowledge base and as we get more and more of these completed, we’ll collect them in our resource archive for quick and easy access. Today’ we’re going to break from the norm, and provide a definition for a term from the web hosting industry: Cloud Hosting. We’re breaking from the norm for two reasons.
Cloud Hosting is a type of hosting platform that allows customers powerful, scalable and reliable hosting based on clustered load-balanced servers and utility billing. Web hosting services allow individuals and organizations to make their website accessible via the World Wide Web.
Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server owned or leased for use by clients, as well as providing Internet connectivity, typically in adata center. Web hosts can also provide data center space and connectivity to the Internet for other servers located in their data center, called colocation. Host Merchant Services CEO Lou Honick — who is speaking at HostingCon 2012 this year — founded and ran a successful Web Hosting company prior to beginning his credit card processing venture with HMS. This experience gives HMS an edge in terms of understanding the needs of E-Commerce merchants.
Cloud hosting gets its name from the use of a cloud-shaped symbol as an abstraction for the complex infrastructure it contains in system diagrams. Cloud hosting entrusts its data, software and computation over a network — the cloud.
A cloud hosted website can be more reliable than alternatives since other computers in the cloud can compensate when a single piece of hardware goes down. Also, local power disruptions or even natural disasters are less problematic for cloud hosted sites, as cloud hosting is decentralized. Cloud hosting also allows providers to charge users only for resources consumed by the user, rather than a flat fee for the amount the user expects they will use, or a fixed cost upfront hardware investment. Alternatively, the lack of centralization may give users less control on where their data is located which could be a problem for users with data security or privacy concerns.