Buying servers for your business is an absolute no brainer,right? Well not really.
As soon as you want to host something such as website or online service, you need a server. The server hosts the website which hosts the databases or whatever else you are storing or distributing. The amount of access, the amount of data the speed required and the resilience needed all add into the mix to determine how many servers you will need to buy or rent. The server’s then need to be “housed” somewhere, in a specially designed secure and air-conditioned area. The point being, it’s not a back of the envelope job to estimate the amounts of all these aspects of the server resource that’s required and an overestimate means that you are spending money unnecessarily, an underestimate could make the services unstable, subject to crashes and eventual re build costs.
So far so bad. So how does Cloud computing help?
When the Cloud computing approach arrived on the scene, the job of estimating, managing your business computing and server resources changed for the better. In the world of cloud you can add resources and remove resources quickly so that you only pay for what you need and you may never need to worry about not having enough capacity. A surge in business can be met in a matter of minutes by an expansion of server space. This is made possible because all those individual servers, ring-fenced for specific traffic and businesses are pooled as single resource, in other words connected to each other to get them working together so that the free space in each becomes a large free space across the whole pool of servers. Most of the time, servers don’t run at full capacity. Servers rarely run at maximum capacity which means that unused processing power is being wasted. In cloud computing, the servers are monitored and controlled by a central server. It’s possible to fool a physical server into thinking it’s actually multiple servers, each running with its own independent operating system. This technique is called server virtualization and it allows the maximisation of the output of individual servers thereby reducing the need for more actual physical servers.
The big advantage for those using cloud hosting services is that it’s very scalable, reliable and you can be sure that you are only going to pay for what you actually need. But beyond this your business will benefit from freeing up your IT team from the chores of server management, troubleshooting so that they can start putting their skills to use on strategic and other value adding types of activity. It may even put a smile on their faces!