Cloud computing can mean many things. In the world of business, it can represent a unique opportunity to reduce the costs associated with infrastructure and can help to accomplish achieve ever greater levels of important efficiencies. These efficiencies can include not only cost reduction, but also improved access to resources and essential data. The determination as to whether cloud computing services are a good match for your particular business will of course depend the size of your enterprise, its general needs and your overall sales goals. So prior to investing in a cloud-based service, it’s vital to understand what is involved and assess how the service stacks up against your specific business model.
Hosting in the Cloud
When the concept of cloud computing is applied to web hosting, the result can be a technology that lets users scale resources on the fly, and make changes according to usage and the particular needs of the enterprise in real time. Thus, as your traffic fluctuates, the hosting package can be adjusted to ensure maximum efficiency and minimum waste. This flexibility allows businesses to reduce overhead by only investing in the hosting power they actually need, without incurring downtime or overage charges by driving servers beyond capacity.
Accordingly, a cloud-based hosting package is tailor-made for a technology-based company which (1) uses mission-critical web-based technology, and (2) is wary of over-investing in expensive hosting solutions in case of a burst of bandwidth need, but (3) expects the possibility of seasonal or business cycle spikes resulting in increased usage of server space or power. Such businesses are generally web-based, so downtime is unacceptable and unaffordable. Cloud hosting allows such businesses to utilize a virtual server on a lease agreement, and this server can then be scaled as needed whenever business needs grow or fluctuate.
Many providers of cloud services also provide businesses with a choice of hosting platforms (Linux or Windows), and offers the kind of self-managed flexibility which is generally found in dedicated hosting packages or other enterprise-level services. When investigating business cloud hosting services, it is important to have such user-managed options as flexible billing and user-accessible server configuration controls through either an API or a web-based control panel interface, so that your IT personnel can access and manage the options of your cloud-based hosting.
Storage in the Cloud
When the cloud computing concept is applied to data back-up, cloud storage is the result. Cloud storage solutions can offer businesses a high level of data storage performance, which is scalable to a very high degree. This type of cloud storage can be utilized in three essential ways: (1) to back-up essential enterprise data, (2) to give employees easy data access from anywhere that is connected to the internet, without the use of slow VPN technology, and (3) to easily and conveniently host all types of media.
If your business stores a great deal of data on your own servers as back-up, migrating that data to cloud storage may be beneficial. This strategy gives your employees easy access to essential files from outside of your company network, as well as reducing costs of local network administration, and the cost of maintaining your own servers. And if your business powers its web presence with rich media, cloud storage is likely to greatly ameliorate the bandwidth costs required to serve that media to the end user.
As you might guess, cloud storage generally is not the technology of choice for sensitive data. As a rule, anything secure and confidential is best kept out of the cloud. But for all publicly-available files and media, cloud storage offers about as much security as a standard hosting solution.
Business in the Cloud
If your company is highly technology based, and relies on a strong web presence, cloud computing could be a great choice for you, especially if you experience unpredictable bandwidth usage. As long as you plan for the security challenges that are implicit in cloud computing, it can help your business safely reduce overhead while meeting mission critical goals. Judge wisely which needs are best met with in-house servers, and which can be outsourced to the cloud, and your enterprise can benefit from the cost reduction and increased efficiencies of cloud computing.
Article by Charles Homes who is a consultant at Hosting.com, for more info check out their Dedicated Web Server