Websites serve two kinds of resources: dynamic and static. Static resources require no processing. So the goal is to store and serve them as efficiently as possible. Many websites, small and enterprise-level alike, have begun using cloud hosting as a solution for serving static files. Cloud hosting is relatively inexpensive, which is an advantage, but file serving from a cloud has some inherent disadvantages too.
Reduced Bandwidth and Storage Cost
The biggest advantage of cloud hosting to store and serve static files is that it’s generally cheaper and often considerably so. This is especially important concerning bandwidth, because a dedicated cloud service can significantly beat the bandwidth costs for downloads offered by most traditional webhosts.
Greater data accessibility
The other great benefit of remote hosting of these files is the wide accessibility. This is especially important as the modern worker becomes more and more mobile. With a cloud solution, you have instant mobility, and you have secure accessibility since the static files are contained separate from the primary network.
Files are not parked locally
This item is somewhat of a double-edged sword, so you’ll notice that it’s listed as both a pro and a con. By parking files on an Internet service, you pass on a great deal of the responsibility. For instance, the cloud service is responsible for the data redundancy, and that makes storage a cheaper proposition because it removes many of the secondary costs.
Files are not parked locally.
While most cloud services do offer some guarantees, none guarantee 100 percent data availability and protection. For many sites, that means having their own redundancy layer. It may still be worth it due to the cost of serving bandwidth, but it is an importing aspect of storage cost that needs to be considered.
When using a third-party cloud, you have to conform to the rules and structure of that service. Because of this, you inherently have less control. The business won’t have root access, and it won’t have all of the hands-on management options that it would have if the resources were stored on a private server.
Storing files on a third-party server that provides wide access will be inherently less secure than if you store them on a private server or even a hosted webserver. If solely serving public resources, this lesser security may be a non-issue, but some businesses will use the cloud hosting to serve private data.
In practice, static does not mean unchanging
Despite the label “static”, such resources often do change. How often is an important consideration. If a resource is updated and re-uploaded on a regular basis, that re-upload may be an unnecessary cost. In that case, it may be better to store the resource locally, which would not incur that expense.
Cloud hosting for serving static files is generally an excellent option for small websites that are serving non-sensitive data. For larger businesses that are serving static files not meant for public consumption, a third-party solution might sacrifice too much control and security to be worthwhile.