When your internet business grows up you will need higher hosting solutions. The most popular choice today are cloud hosting server or CDN service for maximum online availability. Both cloud hosting and CDN are good option depends your actual website requirements. But which is better? We have compiled an in-depth comparison to both service and help with your smart choice.
About Cloud Hosting
Cloud hosting or cloud computing is powered by a large number of servers that are connected through a real-time communication network. With cloud hosting service, your website data will be supported by multiple servers so if there's a single server failure, the rest will take over the work and ensure your website is always online. Cloud server hosting is very similar to cluster server service. A typical cloud hosting service is always provided as pay as you use.
About CDN Service
CDN means Content Delivery Network. It's a large system where servers are deployed in multiple data centers across the Internet. A typical CDN service relies on a group of datacenters and serve your target audience via the most nearby nodes. In this way, your website will be displayed to your clients via the most possible fast speed.
Cloud vs CDN – Technologies
Cloud server and CDN service are setup in different ways. Cloud hosting service is cloud computing based where you can add unlimited resource to the system such as space or RAM and thus enable website growth. Cloud servers are typically created/managed by some leading solutions like Vmware and Openstack etc.
CDN service focus more on network while cloud hosting is mainly on hardware configuration. The cdn service can be setup via unlimited datacenter service, the provider just needs to rent server space from datacenters and then connect to it via CDN softwares. The decent CDN service has extremely high requirements for networking since it will delivery lots of data to each network location.
Cloud vs CDN – Performance
Cloud hosting service is the next generation hosting solution and is the development direction for all hosting providers. Cloud hosting is scalable for all computing services because you can add/remove resources on the fly. Because each service is powered by different equipments in the cloud system, the maximum performance is guaranteed. Problem fixing and trouble shooting is pretty straight and easy. The pay by use feature greatly reduced your initial investment and you have full control about usage statistics, this will help with your future internet plans making.
On the other hand, CDN service will only deliver your static web contents to different network locations to serve the nearby visitors. The CDN is not installed for any web services but just for storage only, means when a web request occurs it will still communicate with the source web server and database server. It will just put out the files from nearby networks. The overall website performance will completely depend on the source web server not CDN service.
Cloud vs CDN – Reliability
Cloud hosting reliability is better than CDN either from logic or actual user experience. Cloud hosting providers have full access to both hardware and networking and be able to configure services in real time. The powerful scalability of this platform makes everything possible. For large and heavy traffic web applications, cloud hosting service is the best choice.
For most of the cases, cdn is mainly used by traditional shared hosting websites, means if the shared server is down, your website will not be available either. A shared hosting server resource is very limited and there're hundreds of other websites hosted in the same space. CDN service will deliver your static contents to multiple other networks but still highly relies on the source server performance. Especially when you're hosting video/audio files on server, CDN will not work any more.
Cloud vs CDN – Costs
Cloud hosting is much more expensive than CDN based the leading technologies and investment. However, unlike all other type services that's billed monthly, quarterly or yearly, you just pay for the amount you used with cloud hosting service but don't have to pay any extra. All service usage can be monitored on the fly so you're billed clearly for the service.
CDN service is pretty cheap comparing to cloud hosting. There're also some famous free cdn providers like cloudflare. You don't have to pay a lot in order to use such service comparing to cloud, because the investment and involved technologies are not so high like cloud computing.
With the fast tech development. The cloud computing takes more advantages of CDN and now many cloud hosting services are setup through multiple datacenters via CDN. For example the popular cloud hosting provider Vps.net setup over 20 data centers for their cloud services. CDN is now fully integreated by cloud computing technologies. So when you select a cloud hosting service you're served by a CDN service too. If you have a heavy traffic web application, cloud hosting will be your best choice. A sole cdn service can be used if you have a small website but want to serve your audience better from different locations.