What’s the secret to cloud success? If you’ve been paying attention to the world of business, you know that businesses large and small are moving from traditional servers to cloud based infrastructure. Keep reading to learn how the latest advances in server technology can ease your move to the cloud.
- Searching for Cloud Success
- Features of Cloud Infrastructure
- Some Issues with Public Cloud Servers
- The Solution: Own Your Own Infrastructure
Searching for Cloud Success
If you’re new to the topic of Cloud Computing, don’t worry — it’s easier than it may seem! Think of the way a traditional web server works — individual machines, real or virtual, are manually set up and configured by systems administrators. If a business needs more or fewer resources, administrators must manually create or deactivate systems.
Cloud computing just helps automate some, or all, of this process. At a lower level, cloud server software simply helps automate many basic system administration tasks, giving the end-user more control. Cloud computing automates the creation and termination of servers in response to visitors and needed memory, letting sites and apps automatically respond to traffic and demand.
Features of Cloud Infrastructure
Here are some features of cloud infrastructure that make it a popular choice:
Initial Cost Savings — Since the business is not responsible for the initial server setup costs, a business requires reduced technical expenditure and can do more with fewer technicians.
Infrastructure as a Service — Many cloud platforms have built-in tools to make common app and site design tasks easier and more efficient. This reduces server load for the cloud provider and saves money for customers that pay based on resource usage.
Flexibility and Scalability — Because cloud servers can be configured to automatically scale up and down based on traffic and processing requirements, businesses only pay for what they use. This keeps costs low in the beginning, while letting you seamlessly add to your capabilities as needed — even with seasonal demand.
Some Issues with Public Cloud Servers
In the rush to upgrade to the cloud, many businesses ran into some unexpected problems. Many cloud providers offer public cloud services. Much like shared servers, public cloud services mean that you are sharing servers with other users. This leads to a series of issues:
Painful Pricing Models — Many pricing plans that seemed fairly priced for infrequent usage become incredibly costly at higher levels of usage. By the time you’re using enough resources to find yourself in this situation, though, it would be even more costly to relocate or reconfigure.
Standardized and Unconfigurable — Public cloud servers are optimized for the cloud provider’s benefit. If a configuration is not already available in the presets, you’re going to find it difficult-to-impossible to get the settings you need. This is true of the hardware as well.
Security and Privacy Risks — Sharing servers with other customers can be a security issue depending on your business and data.
Outages are Significant — If you keep an eye on technology news, you’ll notice that every couple of months a hiccup at a major cloud provider leads to hundreds of high-traffic websites completely shutting down. You can find your service down at the worst possible time, with nothing to do but wait for the provider’s team to resolve everyone’s issues.
The Solution: Own Your Own Infrastructure
As these problems have become known, various hosting companies and cloud providers have worked to create solutions. The key to getting the benefits of a cloud server while maintaining the security and control of a classic dedicated server is a private cloud.
Private clouds let you own your own infrastructure: you pay for the servers you need, when you need them. With private clouds, you have total control and sole use of the entire server. You won’t find your security or bandwidth compromised by other users on the same server node: it’s all yours.
This setup may cost slightly more than public cloud options in the early stages, but pays for itself later on by preventing problems and optimizing your setup. Here’s how:
Cost Efficient, Transparent Pricing — the cost you pay per period will adjust to your usage, but since this usage is consistently priced you won’t find yourself locked in to a plan that turned out more expensive than you expected.
High Performance, Optimized Hardware — A Private Cloud means more control over server configurations. If you need custom hardware, unusual configurations, or something else nonstandard, it’s much easier to set this up on a private cloud.
Personal Control Without Security Risky Neighbors — If you run into a problem, your technicians can solve it directly rather than waiting for the cloud provider to bring half the internet back online. You don’t have to worry about ‘neighbors’ on the same server causing disaster for your business, either!
Transparent and Open Source — Server configurations at major public cloud providers are often proprietary and/or confidential. Conversely, many private cloud providers use OpenStack, the leading open source cloud computing solution. Working with OpenStack lets you benefit from a thriving, security minded community and the latest innovations of the development team.
If you’re just starting your business, consider starting with a private cloud from the beginning and saving yourself the hassle and uncertainty of the public cloud providers. If you’re an established business sick of the predatory fees and lack of transparency, look into building your own private cloud solution — you may be surprised by how simple and affordable cloud success can be.