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With the introduction of cloud technology, everyone is moving their business to the cloud. Cloud technology has benefited many businesses, in both the long term and short term.
It has offered various features that any company cannot ignore and has influenced them for implementing cloud services for their work. Cloud offers various types of benefits and plans that allow you to host your business as per your requirement.
Well, you cannot host every application on the Linux platform as there is a possibility that all people are not comfortable working with Linux. Many companies still prefer Windows over Linux to host their applications.
You can find many Windows cloud hosting providers within the market, but only some of them can handle every type of application, from a simple website to complex machine learning applications.
In the following sections, we will learn what cloud hosting is, what are its different types, the 10 best Windows cloud hosting platforms, and the pros and cons of cloud hosting.
What is Cloud Hosting
Cloud hosting is a combination of many servers and network infrastructure that comes with various software to partition a single server into multiple virtual servers. You can also refer to these virtual servers as virtual machines. You can use these servers for:
- Web-based hosting,
- Application development, or
- Creating a remotely accessible desktop working environment.
Cloud hosting is very different from traditional shared hosting. It ensures that each client gets the dedicated resources instead of giving these resources to a particular website or application.
Each cloud server has a partitioned drive with space that can be used from its OS instance. A cloud server is scalable and can scale the used resources as per the changing business demands.
Different Approaches to Hosting
Cloud hosting (modern or distributed approach) is different from another web hosting (shared approach) that we use for deploying applications on various web platforms.
- One way is to use shared hosting using the centralized approach, where you can host multiple websites or applications on a single server. All websites and applications will share the server’s resources. If the server fails due to any reason, every application working on it will crash.
- Another way is to use the distributed approach, which solves the challenges of shared hosting. In this case, every website is distributed across various servers, creating copies on the network. If any server fails, the load will be directed to another server without any downtime.
Large websites commonly use the distributed approach, as a single server will not be sufficient to handle large workloads. You can either create personal cloud infrastructure or host applications using the cloud hosting provider.
Types of Cloud Hosting
Below are the most common types of cloud hosting available in the market.
1. Public cloud
It offers a huge amount of available space that helps your business to scale efficiently. Such cloud services are recommended for software development and large-scale collaboration projects. They provide you with both services as well as infrastructure that can be easily shared by all customers simultaneously – for example, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, etc.
2. Private Cloud
This cloud offers benefits similar to the public cloud but is dedicated to a single organization. The services are not being shared by other clients on the network and are generally remotely located. It helps in enhancing redundancy, offers private hardware, and many other benefits.
3. Hybrid cloud
Such a cloud offers you the combined benefits of private and public clouds depending on your business requirements. With the facility of a public cloud, you can easily interact with the customers, and with a private cloud facility, you can keep your data safe.
4. Managed cloud
With the managed cloud, you will get services in private, public, and hybrid cloud environments. By implementing this service, you do not have to worry about getting into the pain of being an expert in everything.
10 Best Windows Cloud Hosting Platforms
1. Amazon Web Services
AWS is the most popular cloud-based web hosting platform available in the market, offering more than 200 fully-featured services. It was founded in 2006 with its headquarters in Seattle, Washington.
Over time, AWS has become a major component of the eCommerce giant’s business portfolio. By 2020, AWS collected $10 billion, almost 13% of Amazon’s total revenue.
AWS comes with a fast, flexible, and cost-effective cloud hosting solution. It offers the service in building block form that helps in creating and deploying cloud-based applications. This platform is the first to enter the cloud computing space and has changed a lot over time.
The AWS cloud spans 77 availability zones and 245 countries, covering 24 geographic regions globally. It is going to announce 18 more availability zones with 6 more AWS regions. AWS has millions of customers that include fast-growing startups, and large and small enterprises.
- Ensures fast application deployments.
- Comes with an easy sign-in process.
- You can easily add or remove the capacity from the cloud.
- Ensures you leverage its centralized billing and management of resources.
- Also offers hybrid cloud facilities with per-hour billing.
- Lets you leverage advanced technology to come up with new experiments and innovate at a much faster rate.
- You can bank on the unmatched experience, maturity, and security of AWS for your crucial applications.
- Has the largest and most dynamic community with millions of active customers globally.
Kamatera has developed a cloud server tool that is very much similar to the physical server. It mostly works in virtual cloud infrastructure, offering a cost-effective solution. This service provider charges you on a pay-per-use basis.
Kamatera is a global cloud services provider that offers enterprise-grade cloud-based infrastructure services and products to every enterprise irrespective of their types and sizes.
The Windows cloud hosting provider is a part of an international IT-based service provider that was launched in 1995. That company has been at the cutting edge of cloud computing technology with over 20 years of expertise. It offers you access to the most advanced technologies and high-level customer service.
Kamatera is now operating in more than 13 global data centers along with thousands of servers set up worldwide. It serves tens of thousands of customers that include start-ups, application developers, small or large international enterprises, and many SaaS providers.
- Allows you to distribute your applications across 13 data centers in 4 different continents, ensuring high performance.
- You can customize its VPS hosting services as per your business requirements.
- You can efficiently add more load balancers, firewalls, and private networks accordingly.
- Offers SSD storage for handling unlimited traffic with 99.95% of uptime.
- Allows your infrastructure to scale with hundreds of servers quickly.
- Offers consistent customer support for your issues.
- Ensures faster connection to the web.
- You can create fast environments for new dedicated customers.
- Kamatera servers are always updated with reliable hardware and software components.
- It is not easily affected by local infrastructure failures, like ISP failures.
- Developers will get plenty of resources, saving you from dealing with infrastructure management.
It is the largest open cloud hosting provider that has been available in the market since 2003. Developed by Christopher Aker, Linode has its headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 2009, the cloud hosting provider launched its backup service and introduced a node-balancer service in 2011. In 2013, Linode launched the Linode managed service for business people.
Linode offers services at a great price and allows the deployment of more applications with Linux VMs. It does not include any surprise bills, no vendor lock-in, and offers you the same price across every data center.
Today, Linode has 11 data centers worldwide, extended peer relations, and a next-generation network. Linode delivers scalable modern infrastructure and is high performing.
Linode offers flat pricing across all data centers. It is an intuitive cloud manager with a fully-featured API, providing world-class documentation. You can easily manage your applications on the Linode cloud.
- You can leverage its affordable shared hosting plans for general workloads with free bundled transfers.
- Offers you dedicated and high memory instances within their CPU core.
- Ensures consistent customer support.
- You can avail of on-demand GPUs for machine learning and video processing.
- Offers 99.9% of uptime.
- Comes with a well-designed and easy-to-navigate layout.
Server space works on a hyper-converged vStack platform, which is based on superior open-source technologies. It is a cloud provider with its infrastructure located at various reliable data centers in the Netherlands, the USA, and Belarus.
At first, the company offered its virtual hosting services only in Russia, but after 2019 it has been actively developing within multiple foreign markets.
Commonly offered services from Server space include VPS server rental services, remote desktops (RDP) service, virtual infrastructure based on VMware (IaaS), object storage facility, DNS hosting, and many more. In short, Server space has expanded its presence around the world as well as launched its new cloud services.
- You can easily sign in with your email.
- Can work efficiently for Windows and Linux operating systems.
- This platform is based on the latest 2nd Gen CPUs.
- Provides fast SSDs with an incredible IOPS rate.
- Ensures consistent customer support.
- Charges only for the VM services you use.
It provides you with customized cloud application development services. ScienceSoft is a Microsoft member offering a cloud solution provider program. It offers scalable, reliable, and secure cloud-only applications for serverless hosting.
Founded in 1989 as a provider of IT consulting and software development services, ScienceSpace was a small AI-based product company that later switched to IT services in 2002. Since then, the company has helped various non-IT organizations and software product companies to improve their business performance and get new customers.
It has the expertise of over 30+ years in information technology. Also, they have built up expertise in multiple fields, like CRM, ERP, eCommerce, Data Analytics, Information Security, DMS, and other related areas along with many innovative fields, such as AI, Machine Learning, Big Data, Internet of Things, Computer Vision, and Augmented and Virtual Reality.
ScienceSoft has its headquarters in McKinney, TX, US, has a European office in Vantaa, Finland, and a delivery center in Minsk, Belarus. Over the years, it has gained trust among various companies that are operating in the Gulf region and opened its Middle East office in the UAE in 2020. More than 700 professionals work for ScienceSoft.
- You can integrate web-based applications with advanced features like AI.
- Ensures the complete availability of the application.
- Comes with consistent professional support.
- Allows integrating customized applications.
Cloudways offers managed cloud hosting to other companies. It has combined partnerships with top cloud providers, like AWS and Google Cloud. It allows you to create, deploy, and manage applications. This platform will enable you to focus on business growth without relying on the system’s technical details.
It was founded by Uzair Gadit, Pere Hospital, and Aaqib Gadit in 2009. It has its headquarters in Malta island, Europe. It has many offices in Spain and Dubai with more than 30 employees handling 8k customers from different countries. Cloudways has launched more than 12k servers and more than 25k web applications to date.
Cloudways ensures a great balance between affordability and rich functionalities with cloud-based managed WordPress hosting.
- Offers you to install the application with one click.
- Comes with pre-configured PHP-FPM and Redis.
- Offers free SSL certificates and automatic backups.
- Ensures 99% uptime, if you are hosting your websites on WordPress cloud servers.
- Comes with a user-friendly console to manage your server.
- Follows pay-as-you-go pricing. Hence, you will be billed only for the resources you used.
- You can migrate one site without paying any charge.
- Offers you automatic backups which can be scheduled as per your requirement.
7. Liquid Web
This platform provides you with various cloud sites that act as managed hosting platform that allows you to create and launch websites. There is no need to focus on getting technical knowledge of different panels and server management with Liquid Web.
Liquid Web is a privately managed web hosting company. It was founded in 1997 by Jim Geiger. This company has three data centers in Lansing and Michigan. It is supporting more than 30k clients across 150 countries.
The company has bagged the INC. 500 fastest-growing company award. However, this company didn’t roll out WordPress hosting till 2015. If you are looking for more than a shared hosting plan, you can use Liquid Web.
- You can quickly and efficiently manage your sites with this platform.
- Using a single account, you can host multiple websites efficiently.
- You do not have to get into getting management skills.
- You can integrate this tool with popular CMS tools like Joomla and Drupal.
SiteGround is a managed cloud hosting solution that offers reliability and high performance. This host uses SSDs and helps in deploying fast networks. It was founded in 2004 in Bulgaria. It has hosted over 2 million domains worldwide with shared, cloud, and enterprise hosting services.
In 2019, SiteGround employed more than 500 professionals. In 2015, it partnered with Joomla to offer free website hosting on Joomla.com.
- You can easily add CPU and RAM as per your requirements with a single click.
- It helps in scaling resources automatically.
- Allows you to manage the sub-accounts efficiently.
- Comes with SSL, CDN, and daily automatic backups.
- Offers the latest multiple collaboration tools.
- Supports common CMS tools like WordPress and WooCommerce.
- Provides fast servers with consistent customer support.
- Has an uptime of 99.9% with an average server response time of 431ms.
9. WP Engine
This platform is used for WordPress hosting. You can use this platform for creating a professional website. It is integrated with the latest PHP and HTTP2.
WP Engine is the WordPress-based digital experience platform that offers enterprises and agencies desirable features, like agility, high performance, advanced intelligence, and integrations that are required to drive their business in a forward direction.
WP Engine is a combination of tech innovation handled by an award-winning team of WP experts. This company is trusted by more than 70k companies across 140 countries, for its expert counsel and support that helps brands to create a world-class digital experience.
The Windows cloud hosting provider was founded in 2010 with its headquarters in Austin, Texas, and has various offices in different areas, like San Francisco, California; San Antonio, Texas; London, England; and Limerick.
- Offers you a wide range of WordPress theme plugins.
- Helps in loading websites faster with the CDN feature.
- Allows you to use development tools like Git and SFTP.
- You can increase business agility by collaborating with other people.
- It is actively using more than 14 technologies for its website that includes Google Font API and viewport meta.
- Offers you an independent environment for the development and testing of applications.
- Uses more than 294 technology products and services, like HTML5 and Google Analytics.
DigitalOcean provides you with a scalable computer service called Droplets. With this cloud platform, you will get add-on storage, security, and monitoring features.
It was founded in 2011 by Moisey Uretsky, Ben Uretsky, Jeff Carr, Alec Hartman, and Mitch Wainer. DigitalOcean has its headquarters in New York. It is an American cloud infrastructure provider with data centers across the world. By 2013, DigitalOcean had become one of the first cloud-hosting companies, offering SSD-based virtual machines.
By 2018, it has achieved the title of being the third-largest cloud-hosting company in the world, in terms of web-facing computers. DigitalOcean has 12 data centers at multiple locations, allowing them to connect to a significant number of users globally.
- You can quickly deploy customized images, and applications with a single click and ensure standardized distribution.
- Droplets provide you with reliable connections across 8 different data centers.
- Offers various plans that you can select as per your business needs.
- Comes with a no-fuss user interface.
- Delivers high-quality performance without worrying about server management.
- Its basic plan is available at $5 per month and you can also choose hourly and monthly payment options, making it very affordable for startups and individual software developers to choose their platform.
Pros and Cons of Cloud Hosting
There is no doubt that cloud hosting is the future of web infrastructure, however, it has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of cloud hosting.
- Flexibility: If your business demands changing bandwidth, cloud hosting is best for you as it allows you to easily scale up your usage as your needs increase and cut back again when the demand reduces. With such flexibility, you can have a very big advantage over your competitors.
- Cost efficient: Cloud hosting is cost-effective as you don’t need to own a high-costing infrastructure to host your website. You will have to pay only for the resources you use. Besides, it is easy to set up and manage.
- Access to the latest technology: Almost all cloud hosting providers focus on a particular area of expertise. They always have access to the most recent technology in their respective fields. By subscribing to their services, you can enjoy the latest technologies, managed by a team of experts, without incurring any additional costs. You even don’t have to worry about updating the software and security patches as the cloud hosting service providers take care of that.
- Speed: Cloud hosting depends on the Internet speed of your connection. Slow Internet speed means a slow connection to the server. If your Internet speed is reliable and fast, you need not worry about it.
- Vulnerability to cyber-attacks: Cloud hosting allows you to access almost everything via the Internet. However, being connected to the Internet also makes you vulnerable to cyber-attacks and security breaches.
- Possible downtime: The proper functioning of cloud hosting depends on a network of servers. Therefore, if there is any Internet connectivity-related issue, cloud hosting too is going to affect and may cause downtime.
- Cloud hosting is expensive: Although cloud hosting is cost-effective, sometimes it has some hidden costs that are exposed when the deal has already been closed.
Windows cloud hosting platforms ensure consistent availability and security of your data available to the customers at any time without any outage. You can quickly deploy your applications and websites efficiently using cloud resources using various cloud approaches.
Many windows cloud hosting platforms are available in the market, and many factors can influence your decision. You need to select the best platform that suits your business needs.
This article has discussed various Windows cloud hosting platforms along with their features. You can choose any of them as per your needs.
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Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Is Windows Server good for web hosting?
Ans. Yes, Windows Server is good for web hosting as it is designed specifically for powerful devices that are used to run advanced programs like web hosting. Secondly, the Windows Server OS has a very user-friendly interface that makes it easy to use, when compared with Linux.
2. What is Windows cloud hosting?
Ans. Windows cloud hosting is a type of cloud computing that uses Microsoft Windows Server to store data and run applications. Windows cloud servers are preferred by businesses that want to use Windows-based applications or need to store data in a Windows-based format.
3. How do I choose the best cloud hosting provider?
Ans. While choosing the best cloud hosting provider, consider the following points:
- Reliability & Performance.
- Service Dependencies & Partnerships.
- Certifications & Standards.
- Technologies & Service Roadmap.
- Data Security, Data Governance, and Business policies.
- Contracts, Commercials & SLAs.
4. Is Linux or Windows better for hosting?
Ans. Linux is a free open-source system, which means web hosting service providers do not need to pay licensing fees for using Linux as their hosting servers’ operating system. Secondly, Linux has more features web designers expect. So, Linux is the preferred choice unless your websites don’t need specific Windows applications.
- Also, Linux supports most programming languages and uses custom software, while Windows uses specific Microsoft software to run and manage data. Linux works on MySQL, while Windows servers use MSSQL.
5. Which type of hosting is best?
Ans. Dedicated Hosting is considered the best choice in web hosting as it offers a dedicated server that belongs to the website owner only. Also, dedicated hosting offers more uptime and faster speeds.
6. Why is Linux better than Windows servers?
Ans. Linux is better than Windows servers because there is no additional licensing fee for Linux Servers as the operating system is free. Secondly, Linux servers are more reliable as they are rarely vulnerable to malware attacks, cyber threats, or other security errors. Also, they consume low resources.
7. Why is Linux not as popular as Windows?
Ans. Despite being far better than Windows, Linux is not as popular as Windows because Linux lacks a widely used environment of apps and services as Windows has. Besides, Linux has so many distros and flavors that it is pretty hard to create such a unified ecosystem.