How Cloud Hosting Protects Torrent Sites

downloading torrentingFor some it is good – others see it as a crime: Cloud hosting on the torrent site protects against shutdown

Popular torrent sites have managed to elude the access of the authorities for years. Cloud-hosting and ignorance of the providers make sure of it.

The Pirate Bay is the world’s most famous torrent site and has been under close observation by the authorities for a long time. Despite all efforts the file sharing service succeeded so far however problem-free to evade a criminal prosecution and to bypass a shutdown.

Powerless Authorities And Unsuspecting Hosting Providers

The measures taken by the operators of torrenting sites are as simple as they are ingenious. The site does not have its own hardware, nor do its numerous providers have the slightest idea that they are offering a pirate site a home for their illegal activities. But how exactly is that possible?

Cloud Hosting Makes Own Hardware Superfluous

Although big torrenting platforms are constantly using about 182 GB and 94 CPUs, the sites usually never need more than 620 GB of memory, for instance, in the case of thepiratebay.org. This manageable value can be attributed to the relatively small size of torrent files as well as to the simple homepage of the file sharing service.

The small amount of storage space makes it possible to place the virtual server of the site completely in the cloud of different providers from all over the world. While eight of the total 21 storage centers are responsible for delivering the data, another provider is responsible for storing all torrents.

A new trend right now is to use cloud torrent services, offering an even more easy and secure way to their users to anonymously download files. On CloudTorrent.net you can learn more about those kind of services.

Big torrenting platforms are obscured by a load balancer that distributes user requests to the individual virtual machines. Thanks to this trick, none of the vendors notices that they are responsible for delivering third-party data that can be downloaded by anyone worldwide via torrent.

So how exactly does Cloud Hosting work?

Cloud Hosting provides hosting services based on a cloud infrastructure. It stands in contrast to hosting on dedicated hardware or dedicated servers. The performance of cloud hosting can be flexibly scaled according to current requirements.

In cloud hosting, hosting and server services are provided from the network on the basis of a virtualized cloud infrastructure. The required performance is provided by a large number of different computers that are connected via the network and can be located at different locations.

It is possible to scale the provided service individually and flexibly according to the current demand. Cloud hosting therefore represents the opposite of hosting on individual dedicated or shared servers. Compared to hosting on virtualized servers, it offers much more flexibility.

In cloud hosting, a theoretically unlimited number of computers work together in such a way that they appear to the outside world like a single system. Security and availability are guaranteed by many different servers. The cloud hosting provider is responsible for operating the solution.

The user has the option of configuring and adapting his services himself via self-management interfaces. Services are billed on the basis of the services actually purchased. As a rule, there are no costs for unused capacities. Websites, web applications or online shops are often implemented via cloud hosting.

Definition of the Terms Cloud Hosting and Cloud Computing

The two terms cloud hosting and cloud computing are often used in the same context. However, there are significant differences in the scope of services provided. Cloud hosting can be understood as a kind of subset of cloud computing. Compared to cloud hosting, the service portfolio of cloud computing goes far beyond the provision of hosting and server services.

Cloud computing comprises the three basic services Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). Cloud hosting, on the other hand, focuses mainly on Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) services. On the basis of virtualized and networked hardware resources, users are given the opportunity to run web applications or web services in the cloud environment.

Differentiation of the terms Cloud Hosting and Dedicated Hosting

Unlike cloud hosting, dedicated hosting only uses dedicated hardware assigned to individual customers. This hardware is usually operated in professional data centers and its performance is physically limited. Customers get full control over their server and can configure it completely according to their own requirements.

In order to scale the performance of the server, its hardware must be expanded or a more powerful server rented. The costs for Dedicated Hosting depend on the resources and performance of the respective server. Since dedicated servers must be dimensioned in such a way that even peak loads can be absorbed, a large part of the resources remains unused during normal operation, but must still be paid for.
The advantages of cloud hosting

Compared to conventional hosting models such as dedicated or shared hosting, cloud hosting offers a number of advantages. The most important ones can be summarized as follows:

  • high reliability and security due to distributed structures
  • high performance due to the multitude of underlying hardware resources
  • good and fast scalability of performance
  • Price models in which only services actually used have to be paid for
  • Avoidance of a Single Point of Failures
  • redundant data storage

Since the services provided in cloud hosting are not tied to specific hardware resources, cloud hosting is very fail-safe and offers high availability. If a single server in the entire network fails, this has no effect on basic availability and performance. The remaining resources continue to provide the required performance from the network as needed. At the same time, the customer has the option of adapting resources individually without his availability being impaired, for example, by the exchange of a server.

CPU performance, memory space or RAM can be scaled very quickly and almost at will. Due to flexible billing models, only the actually used performance is to be paid for. There are no costs for unused resources. With cloud hosting, the services provided can be accessed from any location via the Internet. The only prerequisite for use is Internet access. Since the hardware for cloud hosting is operated in professional data centers, the hosting providers ensure the physical security of the systems. They prevent unauthorized physical access to the cloud environment.

Cloud Hosting Billing Models

A major advantage of cloud hosting is its special billing models. In contrast to conventional server and hosting services, no fixed monthly amounts have to be paid. Instead, the customer’s services are charged according to actual use. It is only payable for the services that have been used. It is based on the so-called “pay-as-you-use” principle. As a rule, hourly, per-minute or per-second billing is possible. There are no costs for unused services, which means that the average usage price can often be significantly lower than with conventional billing models.

Instead of paying a consistently high price for the provision of a shared or dedicated server, the fees adapt to demand. There are no higher costs for peak periods, and costs are lower for periods of low usage. The customer does not incur any costs for overcapacities to be kept available. Small and medium-sized companies that do not have their own high-performance IT infrastructure can benefit from cloud hosting as a very cost-effective and flexible form of hosting.

Security Aspects of Cloud Hosting

Two aspects are significantly responsible for the security of data in cloud hosting. On the one hand, the location of the service provider’s servers plays a decisive role and on the other hand, the company headquarters of the provider itself can have an influence. If the cloud data is stored on servers abroad, the strict German laws do not apply, but the legal requirements of the respective country.

Even if the data is stored on servers within Europe or Germany, but the provider is based in another country, the data may still be subject to foreign law. For the greatest possible security, it must be clarified which laws apply in which country before using cloud hosting. Many providers offer their customers the option of choosing between different locations in their data centers.