Cloud Computing and Its Advantages
Cloud computing is an emerging technology being used by businesses in many different ways in order to help them save money but also so that they can update their IT systems to reflect the changes in attitude and technology. As well as cloud web hosting services being available for businesses that require added reliability, cloud computing services are also available. The main idea of cloud computing is to allow users to store all of their data in one location on the internet that can then be accessed by the many different devices that they may be using to view their data such as desktop computers and mobile devices.
A cloud computing service will allow you to keep all of your data in synchronization constantly meaning that if you upload a new file to your cloud space from one computer, it will be instantly viewable on another computer that is also part of your cloud – granted that the second computer is connected to the internet. Another good example of this will be with emails since if you have your email accounts setup on two devices, say a computer and your mobile device, then any changes that you make to the emails in your account will automatically be reflected on the other device; for example if you receive a new email and read it then this change of state will be reflected on all devices other than the one that you are using. This type of synchronization is useful for those that are using different devices since for example it will mean that you won’t need to have constantly dock your mobile device with your desktop computer to reflect any changes.
If you choose a cloud web hosting service then you will realize that cloud computing can also offer increased reliability over traditional single-server configurations. Reliability is an issue that is increasingly threatening to the web hosting industry these days as customers are expecting web hosting companies to be able to provide them with at least 99.9% guaranteed uptime. A cloud web hosting environment is one that will be making use of a large number of servers and each server will be designed for a specific role, with each role having its own dedicated server cluster; this type of configuration allows web hosting companies to guarantee high levels of reliability as it means that if the primary server fails, there will be at least one ‘fallback’ server available to take up the role of the affected server.
Data security is something else that cloud computing can offer as the data that you upload to your cloud space is likely to be replicated to more than one location meaning that even if a primary storage cluster does fail, the company providing you with your cloud computing services should be able to recover your data for you. If a business is going to rely solely on cloud computing in order for its IT requirements to be met then it is going to want the guarantee that any data, including emails and calendar events, are going to be kept safe and secure and that there will be no data loss in any situation.
If a company wishes to offer cloud computing services then it is going to have taken extra security precautions to help safeguard the data of its users as if anyone gets in trouble for lost or stolen data, it is going to be the company that is hosting it. There will be multiple security measures in place on both servers and the wider network in a cloud hosting environment as this will help to secure all data stored on servers as well as any information that may be passing around the cloud internally. Encryption is also a popular method available as it will mean that the data stored will not be readable unless a key is provided to decrypt it; although this is something that web hosting providers may not wish to do themselves, it may be a good idea for you to consider encrypting anything that you choose to upload to the cloud.
By choosing cloud services for your major business requirements including collaborative services such as calendaring and email, you will be able to relieve certain duties from your IT staff since you are going to be outsourcing such services to a third-party. If you are currently using your own servers to deal with services such as calendaring and emails then by outsourcing you will be able to scrap these services, thus saving you money. Furthermore by reducing the amount of work that your IT staff have to do, you may need to lay off some of your staff; although this is going to have a negative impact on them, it will allow you to save more money in the long term.
It is a good idea to only consider larger companies that are offering cloud computing services for the time being as they are the only ones that are going to have the capital and resources that will allow their cloud computing services to be effective. A cloud computing environment requires a large number of servers if it is to be effective and successful in meeting its primary principle, although smaller web hosting companies have the power to higher their own dedicated servers it is going to work better when a company has direct access to its servers. Smaller companies also won’t have the funds to allow them to purchase the numbers of servers that are required.
In conclusion, cloud computing has many advantages that it can provide businesses with both in the short term and long term. Although reliable cloud computing requires significant investment, if you have the money and are able to justify the cost then you will find cloud based services such as cloud hosting well worth the investment. It is a good idea to research the various cloud computing providers there are available if you are going to be spending a good amount of money as this will provide you with the best chance of finding a package that suits your requirements.
Managed Dedicated Server Hosting
A dedicated server is probably going to be the most expensive form of web hosting that you will ever purchase and so as well as making sure that you purchase the right dedicated server for your requirements, you need to be sure that your server will be managed properly. Whilst most users of dedicated servers will have the experience that will allow them to manage their dedicated servers properly, for more inexperienced users there are managed dedicated server hosting services available from certain web hosting providers. A managed dedicated server hosting package will allow you to focus in more important tasks as the management of your server will be taken care of by a professional support team that is likely to have a wide range of experience in more or less every issue that could arise with your dedicated server. It is recommended that you choose a larger web hosting company if you are going to use a managed dedicated server as this will provide you with the benefit of having access to a highly knowledgeable support team that can be contacted 24×7; although smaller web hosting providers may be able to offer you a more personal level of service, in the case of server hosting you want to be sure that any issues can be sorted quickly.
There are many different issues that could affect the reliability of your dedicated server which you may not be able to see to yourself and by using a managed dedicated server you won’t have to worry about these issues being a problem as you can simply contact your web hosting provider’s support team and have them sort out any issues for you. Most dedicated support teams have the benefit of being able to physically access the servers that they are maintaining which bodes well in your favour since it means that if there is a problem with the hardware of your server, this can be swapped out and replaced as necessary.
When choosing a managed dedicated server hosting service for your requirements, it is important to evaluate the features of the web hosting company that you may be looking at as well as those of the dedicated server that you are reviewing. It is important for any web hosting provider that is offering managed dedicated servers to be able to provide 24×7 support to all customers as if there are any server issues, it means that they will be dealt with promptly regardless of what day it is and what time of day it is. Furthermore it is important for your chosen web hosting company to employ knowledgeable support staff who will be able to deal with any issues that face them; if a support team contains staff members that aren’t able to answer even the most basic of technical questions then such a support team is going to be useless in providing helpful and reliable web hosting support. Well established web hosting companies are the best to consider in such a situation since they are likely to have a large number of happy, past customers whom you can rely on to provide an honest account of their web hosting provider’s level of service and performance.
A fully managed dedicated server hosting service is likely to provide you with a service that will offer a higher level of uptime rather than if you were to manage your dedicated server yourself. A support team will be able to professionally optimize any applications that you have installed on your server to use less system resources which will free more up to be used by the applications that you are using mainly on your server as these are the ones that are going to be important to you. If your server does happen to crash for whatever reason then the support team will be alerted and will response as they see fit to help minimize the level of downtime that could be incurred and therefore minimizing the overall impact of the situation – if you were to manage your dedicated server yourself then you would need to employ your own monitoring services and would need to notify your web hosting company yourself if your server was unavailable.
The specifications of your dedicated server are also important, as they will dictate the overall performance of your server. A high specification dedicated server is going to be the most expensive option and is only recommended for businesses that have a distinct need for performance. A medium specification dedicated server is probably more than suitable for most users if it is managed properly as a majority of server applications can be optimized to make more conservative use of system resources. For those on a restricted budget there is nothing wrong with using a low specification dedicated server, although depending on what your requirements are you may find that it isn’t powerful enough for your needs.
Making the most of managed dedicated server hosting is an easy task – all you need to do is leave everything related to the management of your dedicated server to the support team that your web hosting provider offers. If you are making the most of your web hosting service then you can be sure that you are getting good value for money and because of this it isn’t worth considering managed dedicated server hosting if you feel that you have the skills that will allow you to do a good job of managing your server on your own.
In conclusion, a managed dedicated server is the best route to go if you don’t have any previous experience of using either VPS server hosting or dedicated server hosting. Any major web hosting company should be able to provide managed dedicated servers, although you need to realize that you are going to be paying an added premium for the right to have access to a support team when you require it. There should be no difference in the level of support available for Linux servers and Windows servers, although if a web hosting provider specializes in one over the other then there may be slight differences.
Server Co-location Centre
Co-locations centres are a type of data centre where many customers host their servers on powerful and fast networks. Co-location centres are often referred to as ‘carrier hotels’ as multiple telecommunication providers tend to offer connection peering points at co-location centres. Co-location centres are often made up of several data floors that are simply large rooms for full of data racks and are normally designed to host thousands of servers, providing larger companies with the space that they require in order to make the most of their IT infrastructure. By using co-location server hosting you are able to make the most of server hosting whilst owning the equipment without having the expense of running your own data centre.
Advantages of Outsourcing Server Hosting and Data Centre Functions
By choosing co-location server hosting, you are effectively outsourcing your server hosting operations to a third-party as another company will be providing you with the bandwidth, power and server space that you require in order for a server to be of any use to use. If you have chosen a co-location provider that will provide you with full server support then you will effectively have no power over your server yourself as anything that you require of it will have to go through the support team that you have been assigned to. The main benefits of outsourcing in this way include:
Physical Features of a Co-location Centre
Co-location centres generally share certain features to help ensure a high standard across all data centres that are constructed.
Almost every data centre will have many different levels of security in place to help ensure that only authorized personnel are granted access to confidential and sensitive areas of the building, namely the data floors. Popular security features include:
Data Floor Features
Data floors are the large rooms, often spanning entire floors that servers are hosted in. Most data centres have a large number of data floors to help keep things separate and in some situations clients may require their own server rooms. Most data floors feature:
A co-location centre will normally provide you with a connection to a network that peers with several different providers to help bring external traffic into the data centre and to deliver it to the correct servers. Using multiple peering providers will allow you to ensure that your website will load fast from anywhere in the world – by just using a single connection you can never be sure that all of your visitors will be provided with a satisfactory browsing experience when using your website.
Multiple connection providers will also provide you with the guarantee of not having to worry about your server’s availability if one of the connections fails. Traffic can simply be routed via another connection of one of the main connections fails, although this will be rather slow. However, having the guarantee of traffic always being able to reach your server is an important must for most companies.
In conclusion, it is important for you to do your research when choosing a co-location centre as there are many factors that need to be considered. If you are going to be hosting a large number of servers then you may find it to be of benefit to you to visit data centres that are local to you so that you can get a real idea of the level of service that you are going to receive as well as what you are paying for.