Just 7-8 years ago, only large companies could afford server equipment. Therefore, the purchase of a new server was treated with great care and caution. Before you buy expensive server hardware, there appear a lot of questions:
- What to do if the business grows rapidly and computing doubles once a month?
- How to scale server hardware?
- What to do if the servers become obsolete?
- How to protect data from unforeseen situations (power outage, HDD/SSD failure?
Because of the high cost and complexity of technical support, not all companies can afford purchasing server equipment. An alternative to equipping your own servers is to rent devices in data centers.
Data Center is an independent center with a large amount of server equipment, which can be rented. Today, data centers provide colocation services for all businesses: from small companies to large corporations. Depending on the characteristics and needs of the organization, the client can order the colocation service, ranging from renting a single unit, and ending with the rental of a shielded module.
That means that not all companies need to buy servers. They can lease them. If necessary, they can increase or decrease the capacity without spending money on maintenance and equipment of the room. All this is included in the rental price.
But not all entrepreneurs can work with data centers. To do this, you need to look for the optimal company, study their working conditions and select the optimal set of equipment. The problem is that in data centers, the amount of processed information is limited by the equipment rented. Because of this, some services have problems. For example, online movie theaters experience powerful spikes in traffic on days when new episodes of popular serials are released. And before the advent of cloud servers, such services would have had to keep huge fleets of virtually unused hardware for one or two nights a month. The rest of the time, the servers would work for nothing, wasting electricity and company money.
Today, all major services rely on the power of cloud infrastructure. A few hours before an important premiere, the administrators of film services slowly start putting additional cloud servers into operation. And after the peak of attendance, they similarly shut down capacity and hand it back to the provider. Cloud infrastructure saves enormous amounts of money and resources.
Cloud technology is used in many areas of activity. For example, they are used by online stores, IT companies, advertising and outsource link building services (for example, https://adsy.com/outsource-link-building), online translators, and other online services.
The cloud is a relatively new SaaS technology, which implies that all information is stored on a remote server and access files you get with a browser or through a special program. The main advantage of cloud solutions is saving money and time. Using this technology, you do not need to buy equipment, service or replace it. You also won’t need to hire a system administrator. That is, your costs consist only of paying for the resources you use in the cloud.
Cloud storage and processing technologies include dozens of different services. Today, it is not only virtual cloud servers – but it is also highly reliable data storage, backup systems, convenient networking between different components of the infrastructure, and many other things that previously would have to be configured manually. In today’s cloud infrastructure, all of these systems are already designed and configured by experts with years of experience operating complex systems in data centers.
Other advantages of such a solution include:
- Data accessibility. With cloud technology, you have access to data anywhere where an Internet connection is. This is very convenient if you are on frequent business trips or have to deal with urgent matters on the road.
- Data Security. The cloud backs up all your data in auto mode. In case of failure, you can restore the lost information, and therefore, there is no risk of its complete loss.
- No additional settings. You get a system that is ready to use. You do not need to make any complicated settings, perform updates or reinstall the platform.
- Independence from hardware failures. A cloud server has a multi-level redundancy system, so the problem of a hardware failure is not relevant for it, while the use of the company’s own server is associated with greater risks.
- Flexibility. Hardware and software can be reconfigured into new information systems in just a few days.
Because of these advantages, organizations use cloud services in their business processes in one way or another. It’s really easy and cheap and doesn’t require any special skills or knowledge from workers. But does such a solution have any negative sides?
The cloud means working with files via an Internet connection, which means you need network access to view your data. This can be a disadvantage if you are experiencing connection interruptions. Consequently, you lose access to information and cannot work. Problems with working with files can also occur if the connection speed is insufficient. Especially if a huge amount of data is being transferred, speed is of the essence.
When you rent a physical server from a data center, no one can guarantee that your server will run stably. The device can fail at any time – and you may very well get an outdated hard drive that will break after a week, along with all your data. Do you want more reliability with data centers? Set up backup drives, create copies, write data in parallel on multiple drives. It’s your responsibility.
The principal advantage of owning your own server is maximum freedom in choosing how to integrate your infrastructure with other systems. However, this implies that you incur additional costs for the following:
- Buying/renting equipment and maintaining it.
- Maintaining the security of the server node.
- Backing up additional servers.
- Keeping the machines running smoothly (Internet, power supply, etc.).
- Updating the software.
Using your own server is not recommended for companies that do not have qualified IT staff or do not have a reliable contractor to rent a server. But in the case that you do have the right employee, you can provide more system reliability than with third-party cloud storage.
In the case of a cloud server, the reliability problem is already solved for you. Even if a disk fails on the physical server that supports your virtual cloud server, you probably won’t even know about it. Your server will work without interruption. Cloud servers have enough redundancy to keep data transfer running smoothly all the time.
Author Bio: Nancy P. Howard has been working as a journalist at an online magazine in London for two years. She is also a professional writer in such topics as blogging, IT and marketing.
Nancy is a guest blogger. All opinions are her own.