Questions About Cloud Computing? Hosted Services 101

With cloud computing taking off the way it has in the information technology field, hosted services are becoming widely implemented, more and more each and every day. So what are hosted services?

Hosted services are a wide variety of IT functions including: email hosting, web hosting, storage, security, monitoring, applications, (SaaS) and infrastructure over the Internet or other wide area networks (WAN).

Email Hosting
This type of service offers premium email at a cost rather than using advertising supported free email, or webmail (IE: Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, AOL, etc.).

Email hosting allows for custom configurations, as well as supporting a large number of accounts. Another great benefit that people love is the fact that you can have your email with your own custom domain name.

For example, instead of, you can have JSmith@(yourcompanyname).com.

Security can be enhanced with this service, from spam filtering, to custom platforms and policies.

Hosted email is far more customizable then a traditional free email solutions. Most companies that provide email hosting also provide web hosting.

Web Hosting
This service lets users publish personal or professional websites, and make them available via the World Wide Web.

The hosted service provider is basically providing the customer with server space to store the various information, videos, audio, and image files, as well as management and backup services for their websites.

Remote Backup
This service provides users with an online system for backing up computer files and storing them. We covered remote backup service in our September newsletter (

Typically, remote backup software would run on a schedule, and backup files daily, compress, encrypt, and sends the files to our servers via the Internet.

The beauty of a remote backup service is the fact that the client does not have to worry about switching and labeling tapes, or any manual steps what so ever.

Disaster recovery takes it a step further, and is able to take a backup image, and virtualizes your entire server. In the event of a server crash or other disaster, the service provider can have your server back online and fully functional within hours.

Hosted services are here to stay, due to their ability to minimize IT and training costs, control and predict your costs, remotely monitor/manage the infrastructure, and maximize the changing business needs and requirements, allowing the business to focus on its operations, and core growth rather than their computer networks.