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What to Look for in Your Cloud Storage Solution
Cameron Tyler | August 14, 2012
If you haven’t don’t have a cloud hosting solution already in place, you’re missing out on one of the most useful technologies around. Cloud hosting gives your business a number of benefits, whether you’re looking at hosting because of the excellent uptime or the pricing advantage that it offers.
How Cloud Hosting Works
A typical hosting account with a dedicated server puts you on a single physical server. If something happens to your server, your website could go down. With cloud hosting, your data is spread throughout several physical servers, while your software itself sees only one machine. If something should happen to the server hardware, cloud hosting is designed to seamlessly compensate so you don’t encounter downtime. This kind of reliability is especially important if you use your website for direct sales, since you don’t want your site to go down when your customers are in the middle of making a purchase.
Content Delivery System
Another common use for cloud hosting is a content delivery system. Instead of hosting your media files on your own servers, you can take advantage of the cloud hardware to host your content. You can take advantage of higher speeds and bandwidth, as well as avoid overloading another server with requests for the content. You don’t have to worry about videos or images being unavailable, and you can easily scale the amount of data storage that you need up or down. Plus, your host will generally perform backups for you and, even if you perform your own backups, you’ll have little to fear from an outage.
Scalability is a particularly large advantage for small businesses. Your business budget is tight enough as is, so if you can get exactly the level of hosting that you need with the ability to ramp it up later, it helps you save some upfront costs. Since cloud hosting uses virtual servers spread across many physical machines, you don’t have to wait for an actual server to be available to you. Instead, when you need to upgrade, your account gains access to more of your cloud host’s resources. You have no downtime and no wait, so you can adjust your content needs on the fly.
The security options for cloud hosting depend specifically on the company offering the hosting. In general, the security is as good as, or better than, traditional hosting options. You want to check on the security options when you are purchasing a cloud hosting solution so that you know exactly how safe your customers and traffic will be. Because of the security available in the cloud, you could use cloud storage to replace file transfer protocol use in your business, ridding yourself of the security holes FTP opens up.
One thing that small businesses need is the ability to remain agile. If your business can handle a sudden increase in traffic and then scale back down to normal usage without paying for maximum resources all the time, you’ll be in a good position to focus your efforts on your products and services. Cloud hosting lets you reach maximum efficiency with your servers and takes a load off of your IT resources.
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