Cloud hosting is still considered a relatively new method of serving websites for small and medium sized businesses. Large businesses, both local and international have reaped the benefits of cost effective, manageable, and scalable services along with the convenience, security, and 100 percent uptime. In the meantime, the small to medium sized businesses have been sitting on the sidelines making sure of the reliability of this newest hosting mode technology.
Small to medium businesses now also gain the benefits of a changing computer world with the emergence of the cloud. To better demonstrate the profound changes of the cloud; let us go back in time when technology tried to make the internal components of the computer run faster. When an army of computers were placed side by side to speed up the process, technology then progressed to connecting all of the computers together to share the work load, using a grid system remotely over many central processing units or “brains” of the computers.(CPUs) Thus cloud computing is really a metaphor for the Internet using the “cloud” as an abstract or virtual infrastructure which delivers business applications online accessed from software while data and software are stored on servers.
The cloud has become much more appealing for the small to medium sized business owners who now understand the opportunities for better IT solutions and cost effective opportunities. SMBs cannot always justify or afford the large capital expenses, and have smaller budgets, but their technology is no longer limited by the size of their bank accounts.
Save money, have scalability, and elasticity.
SMBs can save money and have much more flexibility. With traditional hosting plans, the SMBs are restricted by limitations on their bandwidth and file space. Suppose a company has an unexpected success that garners favorable public opinion from coast to coast, and the publicity results in a significant increase in visitors to an organization’s website? With a Dedicated Server, limits prohibit explosive growth; if the load to the server increases beyond its tolerance point, the website can become overloaded and crash. The company loses money, loses new customers, and can even lose existing customers. Companies that have taken to cloud hosting have as many servers as required for even unexpected circumstances. There are no restrictions by any single physical server because the host does not assign one server to meet the needs of a specific website. Instead several servers support each website. The load is spread evenly across the entire network giving a particular website the surge needed to accommodate the added traffic. The failure of one server has no effect on a hosted website either since the cloud technique works as a whole. At any time, an organization is able to scale up when traffic peaks or conversely scale down when traffic slows. Companies even have the freedom to start with a small solution and scale up gradually as their traffic and needs change without wasting money on servers that no longer can do the job.
With the increasing availability of the cloud, there are more opportunities for SMBs to have the use of virtual data centers and avoid the huge expenditures needed to purchase servers, software licensing, and hardware. Remote access through cloud hosting services can save valuable office space enabling a company to use the additional room for the development of their core business. A Dedicated Server hosting company typically bills their clients based on the client’s use of bandwidth and file space, and the client pays a set amount each month. Cloud computing works on a “pay as you go” system or better known as utility billing where resources are pooled together and everyone has “metered” access to the pool.
Reliability, self-service, and convenience.
The fundamental core of cloud computing is its uptime continuity which means if any virtual machine or physical server fails, it will not affect the total uptime of the entire cloud. Self-servicing provisions can accommodate the amount of computing, and storage automatically. Support is offered 24/7/365 with a minimum of maintenance and no need to have an IT professional every time there is a problem with a server.
Dominant cloud services.
Private clouds are built, used and maintained by individual organizations for internal use or private resale. Hybrid clouds combine the power of both public and private. It is the public cloud that sells services to anyone on the Internet. They are further differentiated at the service type level.
- Software-as-a-Service cloud (SaaS) – The vendor supplies the entire necessary hardware infrastructure, software products, and interacts with the user through a front-end portal so the user does not have to install anything, manage anything, or buy any hardware. All the user has to do is connect and use. This envelopes a large market from web-based email, inventory control, database processing, or customer relationship management as a service.
- Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud (IaaS) – This provides virtual server instances with unique IP addresses, and also supplies storage and computer resources that developers and IT organizations can use for business solutions. Customers use their provider’s application program interface (API) and start, stop, access, and configure their virtual servers and storage.
- Platform-as-a-Service cloud (PaaS) – This provides software and product development tools which developers can build applications on top of the computer infrastructure. Developers can create applications over the Internet and not have to build or maintain expensive environments and includes tools that are offered as a service for data access, database services, or billing services.
The bottom line – cloud computing can help small to medium businesses to virtually use computer infrastructure, services and platforms at reduced costs and take advantage of all of the latest computer technology needed to help successfully run a business organization.