What is the Cloud? The simplest answer is the Cloud is a set of servers that grow when you need them to. Before the Cloud your website would be hosted on one big server. Now instead of having one big server we run 3+ small servers that handle different parts of the website. Here at wwwDotweb we use 3 servers at the moment.
Our Cloud as of the time of this article consists of the main server which runs all the email and html part of the website. This server has a fixed limit on the amount of space we have at a given time however we do not have a fixed amount of RAM and CPU. We do pay for a certain amount but our server will expand if we have a huge spike in traffic and then return to normal after the spike. The term given to a server that does that is an Elastic server and all servers that are considered Cloud servers are elastic.
The second type of server we use is a Cloud based Database server. The Database server is the most important part of the website. The Database is where all the information in the website is stored and presented to you, the user. Our Database server is triple redundant which allows it to be guaranteed for 100% uptime.
The third and final server we use as of right now is for all of the images on the site. This server is another Cloud server that is elastic and grows to our needs. All the files on this server are also in what is call a Content Delivery Network or CDN for short. What a CDN does is it stages all the files on servers all over the world. Then in return that makes our website load even faster because now for someone in Dallas, TX, you don't have to connect to our server in Virginia to download all the images. Instead you will connect to a server located in Dallas.
The Future for the Cloud
As you can see the largest benefit of the Cloud is site speed. Since we are now running 3 servers our main server isn't having to work as hard to process all the information. The load is now spread across all these servers. We do plan to implement a few more servers in the near future which will help spread the rest of the load on our main server.