A lot of the current buzz in Cloud Computing is about Infrastructure as a Service. Pioneered by Amazon when they announced their Elastic Cloud in 2006, they have since acquired Rackspace as a major competitor. New vendors with offerings that make it easier to scale, deploy and monitor are appearing almost daily. Infrastructure as a service offers virtual computers on demand.
You can deploy, clone, save and decomission servers at the click of a mouse or with an API call. Instead of hosting servers yourself, or contracting with a hosting service, you open up a web panel, select the size and operating system and click “deploy.” Minutes later you login to a server indistinguishable from one you bought, unpacked and racked up in your server room or hosting center. If your developers need four servers to run some tests, you can have them in minutes. When you’re done, you decommission them. Four heavy-duty cloud servers for a day can cost you less than $100. If your application has seasonal demand, you can scale up by adding servers during the busy months and then scale down, saving large amounts of money.
Last year, one of our Unlimited Priorities Team Members moved a multi-tiered application with tens of thousands of users from a managed hosting facility to a cloud-based system. The result was a higher performing system costing about one-fourth that of the prior service. In addition, the flexibility to meet seasonal demand vastly increased. Prior to the move, the system needed to be configured to meet peak demand with much of its capacity idle for weeks at a time. Once in the cloud virtual servers could be added or removed as needed; staging and test servers could come an go. Development and test servers now sometimes last for only a day or two and cost tens of dollars instead of thousands.
In adopting infrastructure as a service, we’ve found a phased approach to works. To start, a single server or application is moved into the cloud. This provides staff with experience and confidence to transition others and to make cloud based hosting a preferred choice for new servers. Costs often drop to less than half that of self-managed servers and with the use of automated monitoring or managed cloud services are also more reliable. Subsequent phases can then involve single servers or server groups.
Changes in infrastructure as a service are happening at a mind-boggling pace and offer many potential cost savings and efficiency improvements across the entire organization. Unlimited Priorities is actively involved and stays up-to-date on these trends. We can help your organization get the full benefit from all of the major areas of cloud computing.
Contact Unlimited Priorities to learn how we can help your business excel and grow.