Cloud computing is one of the most talked about technologies in the web hosting industry. More businesses are finding that it can be a practical, affordable option for their storage and server needs. So, how hot is this technology? Well, Gartner is predicting that by 2012, nearly 80% of Fortune 1000 companies will pay for some type of cloud computing service while 30% will pay to build a cloud computing infrastructure. If you’re not familiar with the concept, the cloud is far from what you get in the typically hosting arrangement. The technology offers a multitude of benefits and this article will introduce you to a few of them.
Cost Effective Implementation – With a cloud hosting solution, there is no need to invest in any costly hardware, software or licenses. Instead of making costly upfront investments, you simply add or subtract from the cloud as your needs change. In most of these setups, you simply pay for the only the services you use.
Scalability – When IT departments anticipate enormous spikes in user load, they usually have to purchase additional hardware and software components to make it happen. This isn’t the case with cloud hosting. The hosting provider’s IT infrastructure typically offers all the resources you need. Once again, you only pay for what you need and use.
Technical Expertise – When an emerging technology hits the market, it is common for a plethora of companies to jump on the proverbial bandwagon. Unfortunately, some of them don’t have the expertise to leverage it effectively. However, many vendors have been able to master cloud computing technology to the point where they can offer customers a highly reliable service. This is made possible by state of the art data centers, high performance hardware and tremendous computing capacity. The companies relying on this technology range from industry leading names like Microsoft and IBM to Google and IBM.
Optimized Resource Usage – Clouding hosting services allow businesses to shift the burdens of in-house IT tasks to third-party professionals. This in turn, gives IT departments the opportunity to concentrate on mission-critical tasks without incurring additional costs on manpower and training.
Higher Availability – Outages and service interruptions can have a serious impact on normal business operations. With the right cloud hosting solution, you have immediate access to 24/7 customer service and technical support to address emergency situations. Even though cloud computing is susceptible to outages and other problems, a knowledgeable staff of technicians can dramatically reduce the threat of downtime.
While there are many advantages to cloud computing, this technology does have some drawbacks, mainly security risks. On the other hand, several providers offering these hosting solutions employ strict privacy policies along with advanced security measures to protect their customers. This includes various cryptographic schemes to authenticate users and strong encryption algorithms to protect data while its in transit to third-party cloud servers. This gives cloud hosting providers the ability to provide a much greater level of security than many businesses can achieve in-house.