In the early days of the Internet, the only option if you wanted to have a website was to use your own dedicated server to host it. Quickly, a more affordable and widely accessible option emerged: shared hosting, which simply allowed the sharing of a single server by a number of different companies. Dedicated and shared hosting met the needs of many organizations, but a middle option was desirable so that costs could be reduced (similar to shared) while customization and control could be maintained (similar to dedicated). The concept of virtualization, via a virtual private server (VPS), gradually became a popular way to structure a server.
Initially, the VPS was associated with a single machine – one piece of hardware. That changed when cloud computing developed. The cloud took that same basic virtualization model for a server and turned it into a structure that optimized performance and cost-effectiveness by utilizing the resources of many physical machines. Since a Cloud Server was amorphous – variable moment-by-moment – and constructed of many different pieces, it was capable of determining in real time the hardware with the highest availability to most effectively handle a given request.
Major backend technology hardware companies are reorganizing their businesses so that the cloud is the central component. Below, we will briefly explore the changing landscapes at IBM and Cisco for a better sense of how information technology is rushing toward the cloud. Why is this transition occurring, though, and what’s in it for us as VPS users? Lindsay LaManna of SAP, a German company that is one of the world’s largest software providers, recently published an article on six primary strengths of cloud computing. After looking at the transition from hardware to cloud, we will explore the benefits of the cloud outlined by LaManna. Overall, we will develop a better understanding why cloud VPS is preferable to the traditional variety.
IBM & Cisco – major tech companies buying into the cloud
IBM estimated that US businesses would spend $13 billion on the cloud in 2014. In fact, IBM and Cisco – both of which have made significant profits producing server components for data centers – have now shifted their focus toward the cloud. That was partially out of necessity: both companies experienced a significant dive in revenue for their hardware components in 2013. Although it’s a bit oversimplistic, the basic reason is obvious: cloud computing is more efficient, so less hardware is needed. In other words, the cloud streamlines IT.
The ways in which those two heavy-hitters are adapting to the age of the cloud provides a broader sense of the technology’s potential. Since the cloud distributes the workload of a server across a number of physical machines, it’s possible to deploy a cloud VPS that operates through a global network of data centers. In recognition of that potential to improve performance by localizing content and reducing latency, IBM is building 15 new cloud-focused data centers this year. Cisco, meanwhile, announced in January that it would be investing heavily in the Internet of Things, which CEO John Chambers predicted will grow into a $19 trillion industry by the end of the decade.
Strengths of cloud VPS hosting
Here are the basic advantages associated with the cloud, as highlighted by SAP:
- Agility & lower response time – The actual storage of the equipment for a cloud infrastructure is the realm of the cloud hosting provider (CHP) rather than the customer. Offloading that responsibility to an expert makes it easy to adjust when needed, immediately and accurately. Plus, cloud systems aren’t hardware, so they can be ramped up or down instantly (unlike a traditional VPS).
- Updating & maintenance – All software updates are performed by the CHP too, as are any hardware tests and fixes. Not needing to worry about updates guarantees you strong security and less time spent managing your systems (a factor that is shared with an externally hosted traditional VPS).
- Immediate adoption – You can have a cloud server up and running in 30 seconds. Your cloud platform is available to anyone you want, in any location. A traditional VPS could be tied to a cloud hosted UI to benefit from high performance worldwide, but it is not as easy to create and destroy the VPS.
- More secure – Many IT professionals have warned against security threats presented by the cloud. However, SuccessFactors notes that it increases security (over the traditional model), based on rigid ISO security standards followed by reputable providers.
- Speedier development – LaManna estimates that a cloud system takes 25% as long to be realized – developmentally – as does an on-site solution (such as one utilizing traditional VPSs): 6-9 months versus 2-3 years.
- Minimized risk – You can try out new projects without making your company financially vulnerable. Since cloud providers allow you to pay for resources on-demand, with no specified “space” that you are reserving (as is true of a traditional VPS), your costs are drastically reduced.
Cloud: a no-risk option
Despite all the other great aspects of the cloud, that last point made above is fundamental. Since the risk of trying out the cloud is so low, it’s easy to dabble and figure out what solution works best for you. Atlantic.Net offers “no contract, no commitment” Cloud VPS Hosting server plans, representing the freedom offered when choosing a flexible SSD VPS hosting plan over a traditional one.
By Kent Roberts