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Benefits of Hosting Your Applications In the Cloud

Would you believe that at the turn of the century, businesses generated their own power? It wasn’t until the 1930s that a majority of companies decided to stop cranking their generators and jack into the national grid. Switching to an external provider was a sort of controversial thing to do, but soon it was clear that the having someone else manage the power was the only cost-effective alternative.

Nearly a century later cloud computing has become an unlikely analogue. There are many “external providers” of cloud computing services, but many companies are hesitant to move from an in-house hosting model. Naturally, each company has unique needs that may be met by a variety of solutions and the cloud simply may not be the right choice for some businesses. There are, however, a number of benefits that come with hosting applications in the cloud versus an on-site server.

Scalability

In purely technologic terms, the cloud is a much more dynamic platform than traditional hosting. Say you’re hosting a Facebook application on a cloud server and it suddenly goes viral. A cloud server can flex and expand to handle spikes in activity by allocating computing resources from a virtually unlimited reserve. If traffic dies down then the cloud can shrink its resources back to accommodate.

This is particularly important when you think about the amount of unused space on in-house servers.

Streamlined management

Running a server in house offers total control over the information and protocols contained therein, but it also requires the constant attention of information technicians. By offloading server upkeep to an external cloud provider, in-house IT can focus more on core business capabilities rather than maintenance of the infrastructure. Less time spent on server maintenance often translates into lower operations costs for many businesses. Speaking of which…

Cost-effectiveness

Again, every business is different, but on the whole, cloud computing vendors supply computing power that is much more cost-effective than what an IT department can provide. By provisioning IT resources online and on-demand, companies no longer have to invest in server equipment that needs to be updated or otherwise maintained. That effectively wipes out the upfront costs of buying server equipment as well as the long-term costs of maintaining that equipment.

Green

Cloud servers generally consume energy at a high efficiency rate, which reduces the carbon footprint. Many private data centers that exist today run at about 30% capacity. This is symptomatic of businesses that buy huge amounts of server capacity “just in case” and never quite use it all. The benefit of cloud computing in this scenario is multi-tenancy. That is, since server space is shared between the vendor’s clients, those run at a higher capacity, which results in two things: lower energy consumption (another cost-effective) and less carbon per server emitted.

Hosting applications in the cloud may cause a little handwringing for business owners who are unsure of the cloud’s relatively nascent technology, but there are few cost-effective alternatives. The movement of information is heading this direction as evidenced by the significant investments in the cloud by technology titans like Apple, Amazon and Google. It may take a leap of faith, but just as we couldn’t imagine having to crank a generator before opening up shop, we may soon depend on the cloud just as much as we do on the invisible electronic grids on which we sit.

Author Bio:- Rackspace® Hosting is the service leader in cloud computing providing Fanatical Support® to customers across a portfolio of IT services, including Managed Hosting and Cloud Computing.

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