All Webfuel websites and web applications are hosted in the Microsoft Azure cloud. Hosting in the cloud brings a lot of advantages over traditional on-site or dedicated server based hosting. This post looks at a few of these advantages in a bit more detail.
The number one advantage of hosting in the cloud is reliability. Cloud hosting services, such as Azure, are built from the ground up with reliability in mind. One example of this is the way cloud storage works. All websites need storage to hold images and files related to the website. In a traditional hosting setup these files would be stored on a hard drive on the web server. If that hard drive failed for any reason the files on it would no longer be available, and may be lost.
In a cloud hosting environment multiple redundancy is built in. Microsoft Azure storage makes 3 separate copies of all files on separate SSD drives. If at any time any one of those drives fails a replacement is immediately spun up and data is copied from one of the 2 functioning drives.
This kind of reliability and multiple redundancy mindset runs throughout cloud hosting and best of all happens entirely transparently to the user.
Another key benefit of cloud website hosting is scalability. This refers to the ease with which a sites capacity can be scaled up and down depending on demand. Some cloud scalability options require a web administrator to specifically allocate extra capacity to a website. The Azure Web Application hosting that Webfuel use comes built in with auto-scaling. In this scenario if a site temporarily experiences a very high demand, for example you may have just launched a new product or marketing campaign, the hosting will automatically spin up additional server resources to add capacity to the website hosting.
Again this scalability all happens in the background with no need for the user to even be aware that it is happening.
One of the worst things that can happen to a web site, or web application, is a loss of data. Because of this cloud hosting comes with a wide range of backup features. All our websites data is backed up to multiple redundant short and long term backup clusters. The advantage of cloud hosting in this scenario is that because cloud data centres operate global networks we can backup data held in the UK to a data centre in Ireland without any additional cost. This ensures data is protected even against the most extreme data loss events.
More information on Webfuel's approach to data backup can be found in our GDPR compliance statement here: https://www.webfuel.com/gdpr-statement
Cutting Edge Features
Cloud hosting also provides access to cutting edge features, in the case of Azure for example, our cloud hosted applications can access the latest Microsoft Artificial Intelligence APIs. Many advanced sites can make use of these features to help understand their data, or to help drive improved customer experiences via AI suggestion engines, or interactive chat bots.
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