You’re always trying to make the best decisions for your business, and purchasing new hardware is no exception. You bought servers because your business needed them and we’re sure you took the time to understand what you were getting yourself into before you made the purchase. That was probably some time ago now, and you might need to make a change.
If you’re used to storing your hardware in your closet, you might be wondering how to evaluate your best option. Having your infrastructure one step away can make you feel more comfortable and responsive. But that’s a bit deceiving. It can also be complicated and stressful. I’ve seen my share of businesses running their own servers, where they host all of their clients’ websites. Some of them weren’t doing the required maintenance, or had numerous issues with automatic backups… not to mention problematic remote connections or outdated hardware.
Depending on the size of your business, you might have an IT guy on hand, and at times like these, he becomes your best-friend. If you don’t, however, you’ll need to find a reliable third party to come to your office and magically fix things for you… which usually comes with a pricey bill and an “I told you so” attitude.
So, what’s next? Sometimes, you chose that closet solution simply because you weren’t completely sure what else was out there. Have you heard of Cloud Servers? I’m pretty sure you have, but do you know why they could be the easiest solution for your business?
Disaster Recovery can be very tricky with on premise servers
An electrical storm, a flood or a theft can happen really quickly. We’ve all heard of backup disasters. It might’ve happened to you, or to one of your networking group pals. No matter who it touches, it’s scary. Most often, businesses try to implement automatic backup software and think that it’s enough. Not only do you need a reliable, efficient and automated backup, you also need a disaster recovery process. Let’s say you’re managing your own infrastructure and an earthquake shakes the very foundations of your business HQ and your servers collapse. Are you ready for that? What if your automated backup didn’t work? What do you do?
Unfortunately, with physical hardware, you can lose your data. It’s not that rare and it’s not unprecedented. You need to make sure that no matter what happens, you can get back to business quickly. Cloud providers make sure backups of your VMs are available for restore. That means there’s always a copy of your virtual machines safely stored and ready to go, no matter what.
Are you sure your data is secured?
Speaking of security and accessibility, are you convinced that your servers, all cozy in your closet corner, are really that safe? Have you thought about the offline and online risks your rack is being exposed to?
Is the storage environment dust-free and is the temperature regulated? Remember the first time you opened a PC? It was probably a fan issue, right? All those dust bunnies weren’t harmless for your computer then. They’re even more harmful to your bigger infrastructure now! And I’m not even going to go into overheating; that one’s a given!
As for online risks, beware of hackers! With numerous ridiculous reasons and How-To guides posted online, hacking has become a hobby. If you’ve ever managed a WordPress website, you know what I’m talking about. Hackers don’t need a reason to break into your servers, they just need to be bored enough to take up the challenge. You have to be sure your data is as secure as possible.
Cloud providers rely on their security to be in business. It’s their job to know the latest security trends and apply them to their IaaS, PaaS and SaaS solutions. Basically, they worry about that stuff so you don’t have to.
You probably don’t have the time to run the required maintenance
Yes, your server needs maintenance. In big companies, maintaining a server is usually the job of a system administrator (sysadmin). It’s his responsibility to make sure that everything is up-to-date to guarantee network performance. If maintenance isn’t conducted in a timely manner on a server or network, application software might not run as smoothly as expected, regardless of its size. Sometimes, if you neglect proper maintenance, a network may even experience total or partial failure, which doesn’t look great for your business.
You know you don’t have that kind of time. Do you really want to pay someone to do it for you? Why not let your Cloud Service Provider handle all infrastructure matters, so you can stay focused on what brings in money? Grow your business without growing your expenses. Cut your time-to-market right down with cloud servers and applications that are provided in minutes, not months! Think best, think cloud!
You might be paying too much for what you have
Servers are expensive. You’ll need a bank account with a least 3 to 5 zeros to purchase one, depending if you’re a small marketing agency or a big IT firm.
The power required to run them is also expensive. I’ve also seen companies pay more than $500/month for recurring backups and maintenance from a third party they never see. These packages are usually billed monthly. Access to your servers is given to some guy who runs performance tests and is supposed to be available to fix things when needed. That doesn’t make much sense to us.
One of the joys of moving to the cloud is scalability. What’s that? It means that you pay for what you need. First, you pay only for what you use and it’s billed monthly. If you feel like your servers are running with too much capacity, just reduce it. Not enough? Increase it. You’ll be charged for what you use, when you use it. No need to keep stuff that’s not useful. You can save money on vCPU, memory and storage compared to an on premises solution. Because “closet” servers are physical, once you have them, you can’t change them and no one wants to change their infrastructure every 6 months!
Is that closet solution the best performer for your business?
Don’t you know your life could be easier? There is absolutely no stress running a cloud server!
Are you entirely happy with your closet solution? If your server is slow, unreliable, not 100% secure, or if you don’t trust it in a disaster situation, it might be time for you to wash your hands of it.
Not convinced? You can try a cloud server before you buy it. Most providers will allow you to create an account for free so you can test it as much as you want.
Afraid that it might take too long to make the leap? If you already need to change your server, you know that installing the whole thing can take some time. With cloud servers or IaaS providers, there is no delay in the delivery: it’s a click-and-start process, and capacity is just as easily managed with a click.
Want the full analysis? If you need more information or wonder what a cost evaluation of on-premises servers vs. cloud solutions might look like, download our free white-paper.