If you’re talking about innovation and competition in the modern economy, you will inevitably wind up talking about the subject of data. It’s no secret that we rely on data for everything whether it be strategy or tactics. This, of course, leads us to the topic of “big data” which for the past decade has been touted as the difference maker in a business’ ability to gain a better understanding of the complex factors, including customer behaviors, that are contributing to a business’ success or even failure.
Of course, simply collecting the data isn’t the whole story. There are infrastructure concerns that need to be met when implementing large databases. You need somewhere to keep your database. Not only that, but the hardware needs to be up to the task of handling the processing power required to run the database and allow it to be accessible. Many small businesses are turning to VPS Hosting as the solution that fits their needs best.
Much like big data, the Cloud is another technological trend that gets a lot of press, but many business owners may still not exactly know what the real advantage is. Many of the world’s biggest companies are migrating more of their operations to the Cloud, but what does that mean for small to mid-size businesses? How does one choose the right database hosting solution?
Factoring in cost, ease of use, and reliability, here are some of the major reasons why you should consider the Cloud for your database hosting needs.
Database Hosting Costs
Every business owner is concerned with keeping costs under control. The challenge, however, is doing so while being able to ensure capabilities aren’t hindered. Depending on the size of your organization, maybe you’ve considered maintaining your own hardware. We’ll get to the logistics of running your own local server for a database compared to opting for the Cloud in a bit. But, let’s look at dollar amounts explicitly first. Often, when looking at hosting plans, the information that jumps out is the monthly hosting fee. Yes, depending on your needs, Cloud Hosting can seem expensive. If you’re looking to host a database, you’ll need a plan with a fair amount of processing power and storage.
While the monthly cost may give one pause, a local solution brings even more costs than one usually realizes.
In BetaNews, IT consultant Derrick Wlodarz tackles this issue. While the final verdict for his Cloud services vs on-premise argument is essentially “it depends on your individual needs,” we can certainly see many of the disadvantages that maintaining on-premise hardware has when it comes to cost. Electrical consumption should not be forgotten when factoring in operational costs. There is also the issue of needing to replace on-premise hardware with some regularity. Many organizations find that after about five years, it’s time to upgrade.
Reliability and how it pertains to costs
The issue of downtime needs to be addressed as well. Reliability and cost are often intertwined. There may be a perception that the Cloud experiences more downtime, but this actually isn’t the case at all. While it’s a high profile story when it does actually happen, this speaks to the rarity of such an event. On-premise solutions inevitably go offline far more often.
CA Technologies conducted a study in 2011 in order to determine how much downtime was costing companies. What they discovered is that downtime costs businesses about 26.5 billion dollars per year. For small businesses, that averages to about $55,000 per year. Because databases are often mission critical, experiencing significant downtime can cost so much money that it becomes exceedingly difficult for your business to recover from such an event.
There is also safety in redundancy. As Michael Mombrea, something of a Cloud skeptic, puts it in a piece for IT World, one of the biggest pros of deploying in the Cloud is that there is no single point of hardware failure. The risks of data loss are significantly lower in a Cloud environment compared to a single dedicated server because your database exists among many machines.
Scalability and deployment
As your business grows, there will be more demands placed upon your database, to say nothing of the growth of the database itself. You’re going to need a dynamic solution that can suit your needs now and grow to match your needs in the future. A dedicated server is rigid in what it offers. The capabilities of the machine are what they are and you’re paying for that configuration.
Here is where the Cloud and dedicated machines differ.
While it’s true that both types of servers can be upgraded in terms of RAM or disk space, Cloud solutions are faster across the board when it comes to making changes. With a few clicks, your Cloud environment can be upgraded to the desired specifications. On a dedicated server, you’re looking at a manual process that necessitates downtime. As for deploying your database and getting resources online, the Cloud offers far faster deployment speeds allowing you to be online within minutes compared to variable speeds of a dedicated server.
The ability to meet a growing need for rapid deployment is what’s causing even major companies with the capability of maintaining their own servers and networks to move their databases to the Cloud. That’s because more executives are coming to the realization that would rather focus on their core competencies as a business rather than concerning themselves with maintaining infrastructure which is a drain of resources both monetarily and in regards to employees. The ability to regain focus on performing the day to day operations of the business without worrying about what’s going on with the server is highly valuable.
Cloud Hosting is also dynamic. You use the resources you pay for and can scale up as needed seamlessly. This ability to shift your hosting capabilities as needed means it’s a more cost effective solution because you don’t need to start out with a maxed out hosting plan. Your Cloud Hosting grows with your business.
Finally, there is the question of security. This is no doubt a top priority for business owners and CIOs everywhere. For small businesses, the security advantage of the Cloud is the redundancy of the system At Atlantic.Net, we offer a 100% uptime guarantee so you can have peace of mind. Compare this to a local database solution where all of the security measures fall solely on you and your team. A Cloud hosting provider will have numerous certifications that demonstrate adherence to various industry standards when it comes to security. Building a local solution to match would be cost prohibitive.