Server Maintenance is a Pain – Cloud Hosting is the Medicine

The cloud has changed the way business gets done. Virtualization has changed almost every aspect of IT. The days of maintaining a dedicated server and dealing with back-ups, set-ups and maintenance are slowly disappearing as the cloud has enabled small business website hosting and performance that exceeds the most complicated in-house dedicated systems for a fraction of the cost.
Because of virtualization and networking, the cloud has made backups a seamless process. Redundancy across host provider networks along with instant scalability means that with simply a few clicks your entire server can be backed up to a server farm across town or halfway around the world in mere minutes.

Much of this depends upon your provider’s infrastructure. Working with a provider that can offer a service package that includes extremely fast data transfer speed, vast data storage space and fast CPUs means that scaling up is almost immediate. In the event of a critical event, your virtual server can be booted up on spare hardware, with no real noticeable loss of functionality or performance.

Virtualization and Data Backup

Cloud computing is based on virtualization which means that your company’s entire server, including the OS, applications, patches, and data is stored as a single software bundle known as a virtual server. This virtual server can be copied and reinstalled on a different virtual host in minutes. Compare this to the old method of offsite tape backup and the hours and cost to rebuild a hardware server and you begin to understand the many advantages of the cloud,

Virtualization has created a sea of change in small business website hosting, especially with regards to disaster recovery. Most host providers use “warm site”, or “hot site” disaster recovery. With SAN-to-SAN replication, recovery time is exponentially shortened which means downtimes are almost imperceptible and extremely cost effective.The cloud’s network infrastructure enables multi-site availability. SAN replication provides a rapid failover to a disaster recovery site, but can also quickly return the server to its original site when the test or event is concluded.

Providers are incorporating network replication as the critical path for any backup or disaster recovery operations. This means that not only are the server OS, data and applications replicated but all network configurations are as well, including IP address mapping, firewall rules, and VLAN configuration. This allows for almost no interruption in IT services for clients and it is how cloud host providers can guarantee 98 – 99.9% uptime to their clients.

Small business website hosting has entered a new age with the maturation of the cloud. Virtualization and fast replication have eliminated the need for long downtime spent rebuilding dedicated servers in the event of a crisis. Networking within host provider systems and their use of warm or hot site recovery technology means that your business continuity is assured with little to no perceptible downtime. Migrating your company’s IT to the cloud is a smart, cost effective solution for any business!