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Cloud computing: Vague and yet useful?

Think about the possibilities and opportunities cloud computing might have to offer for your business these days.

You might be looking at possibilities for your business internet infrastructure. Cloud computing crossed your mind but you want to be as far as possible from it. In your world cloud computing is inherent to complexity, insecurity and most of all it’s just a buzz-word for ‘nothing new’. Think again.

Or not. Because actually, cloud computing isnʼt new. The underlying concept is quite old, but has expanded over the years to what it currently represents. However, you shouldnʼt be thinking about what cloud computing represents or what the word ʻcloudʼ does or does not mean. Instead, you should be thinking about the possibilities and opportunities cloud computing might have to offer for your business these days. Hereʼs a comparison of a possible traditional internet infrastructure with a possible cloud infrastructure.

Your traditional internet infrastructure

Your traditional infrastructure is build from several pieces of hardware, each with their specific roles; web servers, proxy servers, database servers, load balancers and more. Next to that you probably have some networking equipment. You might actually already be virtualizing on your private Xen or VMWare infrastructure. Every couple of years youʼll have to replace your hardware, renew your support contracts, expand your infrastructure and renew licenses. In the end, youʼll have to invest a lot of money to keep your infrastructure going.

When your infrastructure is frequented by lots of users, it is getting slower. And when things are really getting out of hand it will go down, leaving it unavailable for your visitors. Every business with a serious internet infrastructure will have to deal with these facts.

Your cloud based internet infrastructure

Your cloud based internet infrastructure is build from several virtual servers, for which you donʼt have to invest in hardware. Next to that thereʼs your network equipment for which you donʼt have to invest anything either. Software licensing is equally expensive or probably cheaper. You donʼt have to replace your hardware and the investment you would have to make for expanding your infrastructure is close to nothing. Next to that, your infrastructure expands on demand, paying only for what you need.

When your cloud based infrastructure is frequented by lots of visitors, your infrastructure will scale up automatically, serving your users at the speed theyʼre used too. In case of a disaster, your infrastructure just moves to another cloud.

In the end

When switching to cloud computing, your capital expenditure is converted to operational expenditure, effectively meaning that your initial costs are low, while your operational costs are equal to your traditional infrastructure. Next to that, chances are that you are switching to an environment that is more scalable, reliable, secure, maintainable and sustainable than your traditional IT infrastructure.

Now thatʼs just neat and itʼs interesting to see how something so vague, can be so useful.

More Stories By Arjan de Jong

Arjan de Jong is Sales & Marketing Manager of Basefarm and has been working in the Internet industry since 1997.

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