Disadvantages of cloud hosting

There are some disadvantages of Cloud hosting. Those are as follows :

* Lack of root access means less control.
* Sites utilizing cloud hosting can still have downtime if the connections between servers are not working.
* As a relatively new service, it does not have a long track record.
* It is not widely offered or utilized.


Not wanting to be a pain, but I’d like to counter some of those points:

  1. Root - that depends on whose service you’re purchasing, if you’re purchasing IaaS then you’re going to get root.

  2. Long track record - it’s not actually really anything new, it’s a lot of existing tech put together with a new name

  3. Not widely used - you’d be surprised, goes with #2 really in that it is widely used as it’s not really something new, just something that’s time has come.


You get as much or as little control as the host you have gone with gives you, some will give you full root control… some won’t. There is no simple answer to this one.

Correct, but the same can apply to ANY hosting - there is ALWAYS the chance your site or server could go down, this is why you have to chose a host based on a load of factors, then still accept “downtime does happen”.

Amazon, Google… both are cloud based hosts, the idea isn’t that new, its just becoming more available and used now because its easier for everyone to do things “in the cloud” rather than needing a lot more technical knowledge to roll your own.

It is widely offered, and I know of a LOT of sites that have moved to cloud based solutions to save money - its not hte answer for everyone, by any stretch, but for some it definitely is.

There is so much confusion over cloud hosting services that it drives me mad. The problem is that it’s such a generic term and it’s being used as marketing hype by some providers who simply aren’t offering cloud hosting at all. In reality cloud hosting means a large cluster of high quality hardware nodes tied up with high performance SAN storage and a decent hypervisor. In these situations cloud can offer the resilience and performance that is being touted. However, what you will find is providers have rebranded their VPS offerings as cloud which usually consist of low quality hardware with local disk storage which offer none of the performance benefits of true cloud. Hence you end up with common myths such as the one about not getting root access - this is simply shared hosting.

Take a look at one of the VMware hosting providers for a real cloud offering and compare that against one of the cheap £9.99 per month offerings. Although a VMware host will cost you probably 10x as much, you are actually getting the benefits of cloud. In reality, a cheap cloud operation is probably going to be less reliable than a dedicated server.

I think what we really need is a code of conduct for hosting companies. In the same way that ISP’s claimed the earth for their ADSL speeds, we need some regulation to stop the hosting companies making claims about their hosting products. Most won’t disclose what their actual infrastructure is so for the consumer it’s really hard to make a informed decision.

Cloud hosting is the latest in the industry. But i would like to say that it has many advantages over the disadvantages. It depend upon the services one opts for and also the service provider.

No two companies offer the same exact features. You may have to shop around, compare, and call up sales reps to find out what’s included–just like regular web hosting.

And each of them is running by people. Some of them can have more experience on that and some less. So you can chose your web host according to that. I recommend base your choice on the reviews.

Well no doubt there are some disadvantages as well, but we will look at the advantages of cloud hosting, definitely disadvantages will be overlooked.


Unless you run your own data centre then your data is always going to be at the mercy of a 3rd party provider - so that’s not really anything unique with cloud computing.



Again, non or all of those may apply to existing system as well. I’d say banking on #3 and #6 is asking for trouble - unless you’re buying SaaS (Software as a Service) from someone then you’re still going to need to keep your software and systems up to date.

#1 - not always applicable, if you’ve got a fairly constant load then it’s likely to cost you more in the long run.

#2 - again, not always, if you need bulk storage space for archives for example you can do this much cheaper with traditional methods.

#5 - not really specific to cloud at all, just how you have your applications hosted and configured.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Cloud Computing is the future, but it’s not the answer to every problem right now and there’s a lot said about it that doesn’t just apply to cloud.


Thus far, we are only using cloud services for scalability. We currently do not put any core operations on cloud platforms. The platform we have used the most is Citrix XenServer’s based system. We have it available as a cloud service through a couple of vendors.

In my experience the problems thus far are (public cloud services):

  • Reduced control over hardware environment, e.g. system density
  • Fencing between virtual units is not 100% complete.
  • Poor disk IO in most public, shared cloud services we have worked with
  • Increased downtime due to network conditions*

*At one of our providers, there were outages frequently due to maintenance on the private network used for the SAN. Once again this is a company specific deployment problem. If they were using multipathing, then this would not be a problem, but then the costs would increase

Cloud Benefits:

  • Typically lower cost than dedicated hardware
  • Rapid deployment
  • Image based deployments
  • Rapid backup/recovery/migrations

One of the solutions we deploy uses a mix of dedicated + cloud to provide high performance LAMP hosting. All of the application servers (Apache), static content (Nginx), and load balancers are hosted in the cloud. The core assets (file/database) are on dedicated servers. This hybrid approach is proving very cost-effective and scalable.

We also use cloud for task specific things, like building RPM packages, temporary backups, development servers, etc.

When it comes to private cloud offerings (where you control the full hardware stack), I think there are fewer drawbacks. Cloud/virtualization tends to blur in this area.

I didn’t see this mentioned but it is EXPENSIVE. That is why I haven’t been able to afford the technology. I am still using VPS and am very curious to try out the new technology but it just costs too much right now. It is emerging and will go down in price eventually.

Users do find these servers/plans expensive. However, they are worth the cost you pay for them. People are generally willing to pay when they get the performance and uptime they need for their website. And coming on to the root access with the cloud server, it depends on what type of cloud server you go with. There are shared and dedicated cloud servers. In a dedicated cloud environement you get complete root access.

If you compare it to hosting your own servers or setting up your own cloud infrastructure, it isn’t very expensive. I saw a post on this from the GoGrid blog recently and it was showing how cloud shifts all the expense from CAPEX to OPEX and can save you a lot of money.

At least in my experience, cloud resources are much cheaper than getting my own hardware.

Disadvantages of cloud hosting:-

  1. Stored data can be lost
  2. Stored data might not be secure
  3. Features might be limited
  4. Can be slow
  5. Doesn’t work well with low-speed connections
  6. Requires a constant Internet connection.
  7. Additional cost of data transfer fees


Those aren’t really arguments against cloud hosting, as they all apply to traditional hosting as well. They are arguments against Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) i.e. hosted applications.


It is not true that the user does not get a root access on a Cloud computing hosting account. If they get Cloud VPS, they get SSH access. This is possible with name-based and IP-based virtual hosting accounts as well.

I just want to relate our own experience with cloud hosting. We use Rackspace Cloud. They run Xen, if I recall correctly. Internally, we have a smaller-scale virtual farm where we run ESXi.

First up, the price. Many people complain it’s more expensive then other hosting, but we have actually been paying MUCH less for cloud hosting then dedicated hosts. Rackspace charges x-amount per hour per RAM being used (which then corresponds to hard drive size, etc). I think we pay something like .12/hr for a Gig of RAM (which is plenty for most of our things). That works out to a little under $90/month. For a comparable system, we were paying $300-500/month. There is also a cost of bandwidth transfer, but it still comes out WAY cheaper than our dedicated hosts did.

For stability, we’ve had zero problem with hosting (we’ve made a few goofs on our end… like someone uploading a bunch of ISOs and taking all our hard drive space, killing our database). We’ve also never had any noticeable hardware issues either.

We have full root access and set everything else up ourselves. We have just as much control as we do with the physical machines sitting in our office.

The scaling speed (how fast it can be re-sized) is directly related to how much space you are taking up on the hard drive. On our server which is kept very lean, it takes less than 15 seconds to do a re-size (with less than 5 seconds of actual downtime).

All in all, we are very happy and have been slowly transitioning various servers to them. It’s great being able to role out an entire stand-alone server in minutes, instead of hours or days like with other (non-shared) sources.


One thing worth checking with Rackspace is if they are still selling VPS by te hour and calling it cloud - as to the best of my knowledge they are using local to the server disk and there’s no provision for failover if the host node fails (check webhostingtalk.com for a recent-ish outage where they lost data due to this). Just make sure you’re prepared for the potential of it occurring and have adequate backups and contingency plans.



One thing worth checking with Rackspace is if they are still selling VPS by te hour and calling it cloud - as to the best of my knowledge they are using local to the server disk and there’s no provision for failover if the host node fails (check webhostingtalk.com for a recent-ish outage where they lost data due to this). Just make sure you’re prepared for the potential of it occurring and have adequate backups and contingency plans.