Using Cloud Hosting, and Planning for Growth

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One of the driving factors to move towards a cloud environment is the true, almost limitless, flexibility that it can provide. This means that customers are able to select the right type of platform based on their needs today and in the future. Still, some businesses forget the all-important process of researching a cloud hosting provider and their capabilities to scale. One of the most difficult tasks to accomplish is the migration of an entire cloud-based infrastructure from a provider which is no longer able to support the platform. When growth plans are taken into consideration, this migration process becomes much easier.

There are many types of cloud hosting provides for all sorts of businesses. In some cases, a small company will be perfectly happy with a given set of resources. However, in most cases managers attempt to build out their environments based on scale and business needs. Under-sizing a cloud platform can have very negative repercussions on both the organization and the end-user. In planning for growth and in selecting the right type of cloud hosting partner, remember the following:

Resource Allocation

A part of having a robust environment is the ability to dynamically allocate resources to workloads which require them most. Some providers just can offer this type service. Others are able to do this on the fly. If your organization will see spikes in user load or website activity, it’s imperative that the cloud hosting provider can dynamically scale to the needs of that workload. Businesses which see spikes based on specific seasons or events must look a partner who can provide support for their elastic workload needs.

Workload Migrations

All businesses evolve and change as a market or customer may dictate. In these cases, an organization must work with a cloud hosting provider which can scale with the needs of the organization. Some organizations can start with an entry-level package and quickly realize that they’ll need more resources to support a growing business. A good partner can work with your company to provide the next level of support without experiencing any service interruptions. The ability to move websites or other live workloads around without taking them down may be a vital component for your organization. If that’s the case, look for a partner who can provide that level of service.

International Support

As organizations grow, there may become the need to take a product or service internationally. A good business plan will likely see some type of business growth and therefore must plan for this type of expansion. If a regional or local partner is selected there may be some serious limitations to how well international business units or customers may be supported. Cloud hosting providers which are able to support international domains, provide overseas data centers or even have multi-lingual support will be able handle the needs of an organization which is ready to go global.

Business Continuity

Evolving organizations which are supporting more and more users will require higher uptime from their infrastructure. This is where working with the right type of partner becomes very important. Having redundant servers, websites and workloads will allow users to continually access vital systems. Although this may cost just a bit more – the rewards are quickly seen if one site has an emergency and has to go down. An agile cloud provider will be able to migrate resources (or have them already running) at a remote site. This level of business continuity falls within a business impact analysis (BIA) for a given organization. In conducting a BIA, organizations are able to efficiently see which systems require higher levels of redundancy and how to best utilize a cloud provider to deliver these types of services.

There are many variables which may fall into the cloud expansion category. Each organization will have its own set of needs based on user and environment requirements. Although some companies may be content with their current set of resources – most will plan around growth. This will extend from the internal infrastructure out to the cloud. Websites, applications and other workloads must be able to scale. Businesses evolve; a cloud hosting partner must be able to do the same.

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  1. Sean Carter

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