Have You Tried the Cloud Yet? If Not, Why?

23 Jun 2011 | written by Michael Sheehan for the internet marketing section(s)

Have You Tried the Cloud Yet? If Not, Why?

Let’s face it: technology has evolved and with that, so has hosting. It’s all gotten better, faster and yes, cheaper. And it’s now even easier to predict and control. Gone are the days of racking and stacking servers, figuring out how much hardware you need, whether your power supplies are redundant and working, and if your “trained staff” is paying attention to their job and not off playing Call of Duty.

After many years working in the IT industry involved in many hardware, software, and IT deployments, I know from personal experience that it’s not something to be taken lightly nor alone. You definitely need a plan of action and an adept partner. It’s a lengthy process of a lot of blood, sweat, and tears—especially if your rollout is late or over-budget or both. It’s not a pretty picture when you say that your capacity is there and a sudden burst of demand brings the infrastructure that you just toiled over down to its knees—unhappy bosses and even unhappier customers. My words: just don’t do hardware installations anymore!

Over 3 years ago when I was brought on to help GoGrid.com (link: http://www.gogrid.com) launch our Cloud Infrastructure service, I realized how inefficient infrastructure build-outs could be. As GoGrid’s Executive Chairman, John Keagy, says time and time again (link: http://blog.gogrid.com/2011/05/26/the-actual-truth-about-the-economics-of-cloud-computing/ ), people were (and still are) underutilizing the CPU, RAM, and storage on the physical hardware that they had purchased. There is nothing worse than being under-extended and having to justify that. So you cut back on infrastructure, and suddenly your IT is over-extended. To build on technology efficiencies of automation, virtualization, and economies of scale, GoGrid pushed into cloud computing, and we haven’t looked back since. Not only is it more cost effective for us as infrastructure providers, these cost savings are passed on to our customers at GoGrid.

Take a look at the image below.

cost of cloud computing

It represents a few different things:

  • The reduction in CapEx
  • The labor and man-power required to maintain your infrastructure
  • The reduction of underutilized infrastructure in your environment
  • The amount of hair you tear out of your head during implementation

Just by reading this article, you are doing yourself and your company a service. Do you want to grow as your business demands it? Look to the cloud. Want to have flexibility in infrastructure? The cloud can give you that. Need utilization efficiencies? The cloud is designed to expand and contract to meet those needs. Still want more? Read on…

Let’s quickly look at some of the hosting options available:

Your Own Data Center

  • The Good – it’s yours, you own it, you can do what you want with it
  • The Bad – it’s yours, you own it, and you pay for the power, cooling, security, network connectivity and all of the infrastructure you want to put in it…plus the people to run it

Colocation

  • The Good – you don’t have to worry about security, cooling, and a few other things. You can put your own hardware into it
  • The Bad – you still have to pay for power, network connectivity, and the staff to keep it running and updated

Dedicated Servers

  • The Good – you aren’t buying hardware, someone else is keeping it up and running, and you have machines dedicated for your use
  • The Bad – you are probably locked into long term contracts, and your servers are probably underutilized as you leased too much in anticipation of demand

Virtual Private Servers

  • The Good – you aren’t paying as much as compared to Dedicated Servers, and your deployment time is probably faster than getting a new Dedicated Server
  • The Bad – your performance is throttled or tied directly to others’ on the same machine, which means you are impacted by other users on that box

The Cloud

  • The Good – take a look at all of the bad points above and convert them to Good:
    • You don’t have to pay for cooling, power, security, network, people to manage, long term contracts, upgrades, etc.
    • You optimize your usage
    • You get better performance from your infrastructure
    • You can cost effectively scale horizontally with your business demands
    • You can scale vertically to give your servers more oomph!
  • The Bad – well…possibly that you haven’t been using it yet!

    Still not convinced? Or are you confused on your next steps to embracing the cloud? Here are a few things you can do to get going:

    • Read this blog post “What The Heck Is The Cloud Anyway” (link: http://blog.gogrid.com/2011/02/10/what-the-heck-is-the-cloud-anyway/ )which has a link to a whitepaper I wrote titled “Skydiving Through the Clouds.
    • Talk to one of our Cloud Experts. These guys are smart—cloud smart; they can help you figure out what you should do with your infrastructure, how to optimize it, and how to get the best cloud-bang for your buck.
    • Try it yourself —know what you are doing? Since I live and breathe “cloud” daily I want to be sure that you share my passion.

    The best thing to do is to deploy a cloud environment in a few minutes and see if it meets your needs. Compare that against other physical infrastructure out there. Can you deploy multiple, load-balanced, easy to use, networked environments in minutes with the “old way” of provisioning infrastructure? I doubt it. With a credit card and a web browser, you can spin up a few cloud servers, load balance them, link them via a private network, store some data on cloud storage, and be enjoying the cloud in merely minutes. Can your dedicated servers do that? How about your colo? And you might as well get out your jackhammer for any modifications to your data center.

    Try the cloud…it’s here, it’s real, it’s technology for the now!

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