Your website is one of your most important business assets. Because doing business online increases revenues by 40 to 75 percent, it is essential for your website to be accessible at all times. When a website crashes, income is lost and losses continue as long as the site is down. Crashed websites also irritate customers and cause businesses to lose credibility.
One of the main reasons websites crash is the inability of the hosting server to handle the increased demand caused by a sudden spike in traffic. For example: Coke, Calvin Klein, Axe and 10 other corporate websites crashed because of the sudden increase in traffic sparked by 2013 Super Bowl advertisements. Denial of service attacks (DDoS) launched by hackers, primary server failure caused by theft, natural disasters or mechanical failures, can also cause sites to crash.
Traditionally, websites are hosted on a single server, either on-site or remotely. Single-server hosting makes websites vulnerable, because any significant server malfunction can cause the site to go down. Spreading website hosting functions among a cluster of remotely located servers helps to make them less vulnerable. If one server goes down, then other servers can immediately kick-in to supply the needed hosting power. Multi-tenancy architecture that uses a cluster of remotely located servers to cost-effectively deliver secure IT functions is the basis of cloud-hosting services. This paper discusses the cloud and cloud – hosting as a time and money saving strategy that allows businesses to have cost-effective, scalable, and crash-resistant web hosting.
What Is the Cloud?
Contrary to popular sentiment, “the cloud” is not an amorphous, mysterious entity. The technology behind the cloud is actually quite knowable. That knowledge begins with a definition of what the cloud is. Basically, “the cloud” is a description applied to Internet services that are delivered from a network of servers that are located outside of your business. E-mail, which can be accessed from any Internet capable device, is an example of a cloud service that millions of people use everyday. The cloud can be used to store data, applications, or an entire IT infrastructure.
Where Is the Cloud?
By definition, the activities of the cloud take place on servers that are remotely located from your business. This has multiple advantages, such as being accessible from any Internet capable device. Workers can tap into cloud based software and other cloud-based services from home, or from public computers. This gives workers more flexibility. The flexibility of telecommuting can save time and money – a benefit that is favored by many workers who desire work/life balance. Using cloud based services also offers increased information security. If a business suffers physical damage due to natural disasters or acts of war, remotely-stored cloud-based information would be safe.
Cloud Services Save Money
Cloud services cost less than purchasing proprietary software or paying to have your own software developed. Here are several ways cloud services save money:
- Eliminates cost of outright purchase.
- Eliminates need for extra onsite computer storage space.
- Reduces cost of upgrades.
- Provides ease of scalability and reduced adjustment costs for increased or decreased demand by your business.
- Eliminates need and cost for onsite support staff.
- Reduced demand for dedicated staff (saving human and capital resources).
Cloud hosting is a service that allows you to host your website on more than one cloud based server. Each server has a particular function. If something goes wrong with one server, another server immediately kicks in so that your site does not experience any down-time. Cloud hosting services can be cheap or enterprise-class. Cheap cloud hosting services have servers that are suboptimal, which makes them vulnerable to hacking and equipment failures. Support services can also be weak. Enterprise-level cloud hosting services have top-of-the-line servers that are secure and durable, and support is more comprehensive.
What to Look for in a Cloud Hosting Service
Because cloud hosting services can vary in quality, it is important to be familiar with the most desirable qualities, which are:
- Scalability: Scalability is the ability of the cloud hosting servers to provide more or less power or bandwidth in response to the demands of a website’s traffic. Web traffic varies by time of day, seasons, and market demand. One of the major advantages of cloud hosting services is the ability to scale dynamically with your business as it grows. When traffic is heavy, the cloud hosting service should be able to automatically detect the demand and provide additional bandwidth so that the site doesn’t crash. If a company is targeted by hackers who have deployed a denial-of-service attack (DDoS), other servers will kick in so that the website can continue to function without difficulty. Companies like Google and Amazon.com depend upon scalability in their cloud hosting servers to deliver safe, reliable service.
- Reliability: A cloud hosting service should be reliable. Their servers should be high quality and well maintained. The company should have a reputation for having no down time for their sites.
- Support: A reliable cloud hosting service should offer support 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Support parameters should be clearly stated in writing and actively practiced. You should feel comfortable with response times, the method of contact, and the quality of written and verbal communications.
- Cost: Costs should be affordable for your company’s budget.
Perceptions of Cloud vs Reality
Cloud hosting is a relatively new business service. This means that people may not be familiar with the concept. People tend to fear what they do not know. Many business people feel that the cloud is amorphous, inaccessible, unsafe and overly expensive. The reality is that reliable cloud hosting and other cloud based services are very well defined, highly accessible, secure and less expensive than purchasing software outright or developing software and housing an IT infrastructure in-house.
The Cloudsafe365 Solution
Cloudsafe365 has partnered with Amazon.com to provide safe, reliable and affordable cloud hosting services. Our proprietary cloudsafe365 software works with a secure dropbox cloud hosting panel provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS). As specialists in Internet security, our web hosting service provides:
- A very secure environment: Constant security tools protect your site, and guard against DDOS attacks. All applications are security hardened (protected against computer viruses and malware).
- Privacy: Your company gets its own cloud server that is “fenced off.” We even offer encryption, so that no one can read your company’s files.
- Choice of location around the world (based on political and technical factors).
- Improved performance: All applications (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc.) ar optimized.
- Managed services will be available in the future.
The degree to which your company leverages technology will determine the extent of your success. Computers and software services make it possible for companies to use their capital and human resources more efficiently. Doing business on the Internet can increase revenue by 40 to 75 percent, so it is important for businesses to have websites that are always available and safe for customers to use. Cloud hosting services allow companies of all sizes to have websites that are secure, easy to manage, and protected from disruptions caused by natural disasters, acts of war, or hackers. Our affordable cloud hosting solution enables businesses of all sized to decrease costs and enhance the security of their businesses’ websites.
Microsoft Office 365; What Is Cloud Services?; http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/what-is-the-cloud.aspx
Om Thoke; Understanding What Cloud Hosting Really Is!; http://webhosting.about.com/od/Clouding-Hosting/a/What-Is-Cloud-Hosting-And-Should-You-Consider-It.htm