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by Dave Fuller

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes


The Cloud, heard a lot about it, but don’t really know what it is? Hopefully below will help you out and explain why it’s important to understand the benefits.

‘The Cloud’ is a term which has been devised to help end users understand Hosted Services. Hosted Services are really easy to define and to be fair you’re probably using them every day without knowing it. Do you own your email server? If you don’t own your own Email Server, then you are using a Cloud based Email Server.  Do you backup off site? Then you are more than likely using a Cloud based Backup Server and it continues.

Cloud hosting services provide hosting for systems on virtual servers which pull their computing resource from underlying networks of physical machines. It follows the utility model of computing in that it is available as a service rather than a product and is comparable with traditional utilities such as electricity and gas. Broadly speaking you can tap into a service as much as you need, depending on the demands of your website, and will only pay for what you use.

A typical cloud hosting offering can deliver the following features and benefits:

Reliability

Rather than being hosted on a physical server the website is hosted on virtual platform which draws its resources, such as disk and CPU from an extensive network of underlying physical servers. If one server goes offline, it will have no effect on the availability of the website whose virtual server will continue to pull resource from the remaining network of servers. With a carefully architected solution your website could even survive an entire data centre going offline as the cloud resource is drawn from multiple data centres in different geographic locations to spread the risk.

Scalability and Flexibility

Resource is available in real time on demand and not limited to the physical constraints of one server. If your site demands extra resource from the hosting platform due to a spike in visitor traffic or the implementation of new functionality, the resource is accessed seamlessly. The hosting service can be configured to ‘burst’ access resources from the hosting platform if there are surges in activity on the site.

Pay As You Go

You only pay for what you actually use. The resource is available for spikes in demand but there is no wasted capacity remaining unused when demand is lower.

At Accent we are moving many of our client websites and web applications to a cloud hosted platform, each is unique but with careful planning the transition is smooth whilst giving the benefits outlined above. I hope this makes it a little clearer for you and if you require any more information regarding Cloud Based Services, please contact me and I’ll be happy to explain in more detail.

Dave Fuller

Armed with a BA Hons Arts Degrees and decades of experience as a Web Developer, Dave manages all aspects of Web Design and Software Development at Accent and is also our technical guru.

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