Byte Me Article 352 – Cloud Computing Cont’d

10th February 2018

Is Cloud The Host With The Most?

Continued from last weeks’ article about cloud computing we now look more closely at cloud hosting and explain exactly what it is.  Cloud hosting refers to the hire or rent of some computer resources that are remote or external to your point of business.  There is currently lots of hype about the efficiencies and cost savings of cloud hosting but as with many things in this world, you should never believe everything that you read!

Cloud computing is principally about removing a physical server computer that you normally owned outright from within the actual bounds of your business premises and instead hiring the equivalent piece of machinery from a 3rd party who has a server farm located somewhere else in the country or alternatively somewhere else in the world.

So is this a good idea?  It really depends on the logistics of your business.  For instance do you have several branches or just one central location.  Do you have lots of travelling salespersons on the road, how good are your Internet connections and power supply?  There are several important points to be considered here before you jump into cloud hosting, as a transition from an existing on premise server is of no point unless it brings with it some real advantages.

If your business is based in the one physical location and most of your employees are within the bounds of this one location then cloud hosting does not make any sense whatsoever.  In this situation if your local power is out then having your main server in the cloud will not get you up and running any quicker.  In fact in this situation a remote power or Internet outage will also bring your business to a halt when an on premise server would have kept you going.

If your business has multiple branches then cloud hosting may offer some merit as all branches can get an equal bite so to speak of the main server.  Also if you have multiple branches and your main branch is located in an area of unreliable Internet or power then again there is a strong case for cloud hosting – or simply shifting your existing server to the most reliable branch.

Are cloud based severs more reliable and who actually fixes them if something goes wrong?  There is an advantage to be had here from the viewpoint that the actual hardware is rarely skimped on.  Most of these servers use top of the range hardware from companies like Hewlett Packard and they are setup in large air-conditioned secure buildings.  However, they still run and operating system that requires updates, patches and maintenance.  Normally the customer still needs their own IT support company to help maintain a hosted server.

If you are needing to update your existing server and if you are considering cloud hosting then look very carefully at what resources you are hiring – e.g. how much ram, how many CPU cores and how much hard drive space.  Compare this directly with the outright purchase or lease of your own server and get plenty of advice.  Many companies that have gone to cloud hosting without the expected success are now reporting extreme difficulties in getting all of their data back out of the cloud.

This year we have already sold a server for $50k with 5-year warranty which will easily meet the customers’ requirements for the next 5 years.  The equivalent cloud hosting was going to cost them $42k per year so it became an easy choice for them. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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