Author Archives: Jonathon

Cloud Hosting – Infrastructure as a Service

Cloud Hosting – Infrastructure as a Service

As the fiercely competitive modern business environment continues to evolve, companies of every size are becoming increasingly aware of the many benefits presented by cloud computing. Just as mainframes eventually evolved into the current sever environment, the image of a roomful of computers in a large building will soon begin to fade. The speed, flexibility and reduced cost of cloud hosting have begun to trigger the next evolution in the IT industry.

Defining IaaS

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) is one of the three primary applications of cloud hosting. Along with Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS), IaaS functionality is delivered through the web in an on-demand format. Services are usually available through a fixed-price monthly subscription or billed as pay per use. In either scenario, usage and pricing can be scaled up or down to accommodate current and future needs.

From a foundational standpoint, IaaS allows virtually any application to run seamlessly across a wide variety of infrastructure elements. This includes servers, networks or storage components. IaaS provides exceptional flexibility as it conforms to the needs of the client in the private cloud, public cloud and hybrid cloud environments.

Providers of IaaS hosting are available to accommodate the requirements of every business regardless of size. Issues relating to cost and privacy usually dictate how a company chooses to access IaaS through the cloud. Cost and accessibility tend to have an inverse relationship as security is enhanced and service levels increase. For example, a private cloud has substantially fewer users than a public cloud, so service costs are typically higher.

The emerging landscape for cloud hosting and IaaS continues to rapidly evolve. While many providers offer IaaS as an extension of existing hosting services, many new providers are focused solely on IaaS. This difference often revolves around underlying hardware issues, virtualization capacities and security protocols.

Benefits of Dedicated Cloud Hosting for IaaS

The benefits of IaaS within a cloud environment are so significant they are almost self-evident. The elimination of infrastructure investment is a primary driver that can result in substantial capital expense savings. On-going upgrades and asset related outlays are virtually eliminated since these services are included in package pricing. Staffing costs can be significantly reduced, and in some cases, entire departments can be eliminated. For companies with sizable investments in existing data centres, build-outs can be delayed or avoided altogether.

The size and scale of the IaaS provider presents customers with an essentially unlimited number of ways to augment business processes. Massive platforms are segmented on a per client basis which provides extraordinary economies of scale opportunities and improvements in comprehensive efficiency.

The Future of IaaS

As emerging virtualization solutions such as VMware and Microsoft Hyper- V servers continue to evolve from enterprise level implementation, IaaS through cloud hosting offers superior speed, reliability and state-of-the-art security protection.

By Jonathon Linnell/UKfast Hosting

Practical Applications of Cloud Hosting

When compared to the traditional shared or dedicated server environment, the emergence of cloud hosting has presented a viable alternative for growing businesses looking for cost effective IT solutions.

Understanding the Cloud

By its nature, cloud computing is largely unencumbered by the deficiencies that are often associated with traditional servers. The cloud revolves around a group of virtual machines whose functionality and accessibility is embodied through server clusters. This provides a foundational basis for exceptional flexibility in terms of systems scaling, ease of access, applications development and lowered costs. Cloud services are compatible with most managed servers and can be positioned seamlessly behind existing load balancers and firewalls.

Cloud computing has emerged as a natural evolution from virtualization. At a basic level, a cloud environment is an extension of the virtual infrastructure as hard assets are transformed into online IT services. The cloud allows workloads to be rapidly shifted and positioned among a theoretically limitless number of virtual machines.

Advantages of Cloud Hosting

As cloud hosting becomes increasingly accessible and mainstream, businesses of every size are exploring the potential benefits. Incorporating aspects of the cloud into data management as well as application and web related development can result in substantial improvements in overall operational efficiency in several critical areas.

  • Scalability: When utilizing cloud hosting services, the client pays only for the resources they actually use rather than anticipatory usage. Scalability is inherently embedded as systemic alterations are implemented almost instantaneously. The lead times that are generally associated with hardware configurations are essentially eliminated as cloud hosting removes the infrastructure element and the related costs from the process
  • Redundancy: A server that malfunctions or requires maintenance can result in downtime and a loss of functionality for multiple clients over extended periods. Redundancy within the cloud allows for the complete duplication of data resources that are immediately accessible should an issue with a server arise. Continuity is maintained, and the client’s business is not adversely affected by server issues
  • High Availability: In a traditional server based system, high availability essentially meant providing duplicate hardware for every process. This added substantially to capital investment expenditures and maintenance expenses. The cloud provides high availability at a fraction of the cost through implementation of virtualization layers that provide immediate access to redundant systems

Private and Public Cloud Environments

Companies of all sizes are achieving superior resource utilization returns by implementing managed cloud services. The choice of private cloud hosting or public cloud hosting largely depends on a company’s size, growth metrics and specific industry.

Many businesses are more familiar with the public cloud, where workloads are allocated dynamically on a shared basis over the internet. This scenario is extremely cost effective and requires a minimal upfront investment. Private clouds tend to be implemented by larger companies that are more sensitive to corporate governance issues, security breaches and reliability concerns. While a private cloud can help a business achieve substantial gains in productivity through enhanced network management, they also carry much high capital and maintenance costs.

By Jonathon Linnell/UKfast Hosting

Changing Business with Cloud Computing

Changing Business with Cloud Computing

In today’s business climate, instant adaptation and scalability is critical. Planning and preparing for increased web traffic, spikes in the use of computer resources, disaster recovery, and day-to-day business operations is key. Loss of business due to system overload or breakdown leads not only to loss of revenue and customer confidence, it can, in some cases, lead to a total business failure.

In order to survive and thrive, established, start-up, and growing businesses must be built on a solid foundation that leaves little chance for vulnerability. Company infrastructure, computer resources, and software that are always available, secure, and scalable are fundamental. The purchase of hardware, cabling, software, and security tools, along with the cost of maintaining an entire IT department is astronomical. Fortunately, cloud computing provides everything a business needs as a service, giving businesses the freedom to grow and succeed.

Cloud Hosting Explained

Business computer resources are comprised of a basic structure. The major components include:

  • Infrastructure: The infrastructure is the nuts and bolts of the computer system, including hardware and cabling
  • Platform: The platform is the operating system used, such as Windows or Linux
  • Software: Software includes the essential computer programs required, such as word processing, data base, inventory, and e-commerce programs

Cloud hosting provides all of these services through internet access. Typically controlled through a web portal, users have access wherever there is an internet connection.

Cloud Hosting Advantages

Private cloud hosting offers many advantages over traditional in-house infrastructure systems. Benefits include:

  • Unparalleled Customization: Cloud computing offers advanced customization, giving users the power to choose only the services they require
  • Advanced Availability: The cloud is comprised of layers of redundant resources. If one part of a layer fails, another steps in to take its place. Layers also provide instant scalability. Sudden, heavy pulls on resources are handled with ease
  • Adaptability: The ability to adapt to a rapidly changing business environment is imperative. Cloud computing quickly accommodates itself to meet the inevitable changes in business procedures and practices
  • Sophisticated Control: Administrators easily control services and user access within the cloud
  • Cost-effective: Cloud hosting is a pay-as-you-go service. Users pay only for the resources actually used

There are three primary types of cloud hosting:

  1. Private Hosting: Because of the need for elevated security, most professionals choose private cloud hosting. With a private hosting service, all resources are dedicated to a single business
  2. Public Hosting: Similar to shared web site hosting plans, public hosting is shared among many users
  3. Hybrid Hosting: Users have the capability to run entirely on the cloud with a combination of public and private solutions as well part cloud part dedicated server hardware

Businesses are no longer required to pour vast amounts of money into building and managing a technological foundation. Cloud computing is more affordable, offers greater options, and unprecedented reliability.

By Jonathon Linnell / ukfast.co.uk

CloudTweaks Comics
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