Cloud Service and hosted service graphic When it comes to a hosted service and a cloud service. people (often incorrectly) use the terms interchangeably. First of all, let's take a quick look at what they are, and what the names mean.

What is a hosted service?

A hosted service is a service that is hosted on the internet, that is it! The service could be a website, e-mail (including Exchange and Hosted Exchange), online backup, and so on. Any service that is hosted on the internet (that's available from anywhere) is a hosted service. If a name starts with the word "online", it is a hosted service, period. Usually, most hosted services are only hosted on a single server or a handful of servers. If the service is hosted on a single server and the server stops working (for whatever reason) the service is unavailable.

Types of hosted services:

There are many types of hosted services, whether it is self-hosted, cloud hosted or hosted by a web hosting company on shared hosting or dedicated hosting. Most people use some type of hosted service every day. Some examples of common hosted services are:
  • Websites
  • e-mail
  • Online banking
  • Online backup
  • Social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, etc.)

What is a cloud service?

A cloud service is a hosted service that is specifically hosted in a cloud. Natural clouds in the sky consist of many individual drops of water that form the cloud as a whole. If a few drops go missing, it doesn't affect the cloud. It is still a cloud - as a whole. In much the same way, many different servers work together to form a server cloud. If a single server stops working, it doesn't affect the cloud as a whole. This greatly helps with managing the servers. Any server can be removed without affecting the cloud as a whole. You can update, repair and maintain servers without downtime. There are many types of cloud services (we also know them as cloud apps or cloud applications) available today. Due to the built-in security features of cloud apps, a lot of people only use cloud apps for small business to run their home office, small business or retail store. Cloud apps bring freedom and mobility to contractors, entrepreneurs and freelancers, who use them on mobile devices to manage their business. This is only possible as a result of the high availability that the cloud inherently provides.

Types of cloud services

Of all the types of hosted services, most of them are already available as cloud services. Social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, etc.) are all good examples of cloud services (or cloud apps). Most cloud apps are intended for business use as much as for personal use. Many businesses around the world rely on these services as their sole means of marketing, business management and communication. Accounting systems, project management software and helpdesks are also available as cloud apps. This helps companies, especially small ones, to use cloud apps on mobile devices in one way or another to serve their customers or communicate with them.

Conclusion

Finally, to answer the question. What's the difference between a hosted service and a cloud service? Well, a cloud service is a type of a hosted service. While a cloud app is a cloud service (being hosted in a cloud), due to its nature (being hosted online) it is also a hosted service.

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