7 reasons why cloud hosting is a logical step for your company
In the 2020s, on-premise servers have become obsolete: organisations have migrated all or part of their hardware and software to the cloud to ensure optimal security and availability.
Even business-critical solutions are increasingly being hosted in the cloud. But why are more and more companies making this choice? And what are the main advantages of cloud hosting?
1. Cloud hosting is flexible
Cloud hosting means that you rent your hardware from an external provider. The most obvious advantage of this solution is that you no longer have to purchase or install the hardware yourself. You no longer need to make a substantial investment in one go: you pay a monthly fee based on what you use or need.
You can thus be sure that you will not have to incur any unnecessary costs, as you determine in advance what you need, so you know exactly how much it will cost you. And if you need more, you can simply adjust your package. It is simple as ABC!
From a technical point of view, the cloud is also much more flexible than a single server running on your premises. A standard cloud server can be created virtually in minutes. This makes a big difference compared to the option of having your own servers, which have to be ordered, delivered, installed and configured.
The flexibility with which you can switch cloud servers during maintenance should not be underestimated either: if a certain physical server needs maintenance, your cloud service provider will first transfer all the cloud servers running on that server to another physical server without you noticing. This way, there is no downtime, and your data remain available at all times!
A good cloud is also capable of self-healing. Hardware is and will always be hardware, which means that there is always a chance that it will fail. This is why your cloud service provider will monitor all components, and as soon as a component is suspected to be faulty, the cloud will automatically put it into maintenance mode.
The system administrators will then be informed of the situation, allowing them to check the component and repair or replace it if necessary, without you noticing anything.
Along with scalability (which is incidentally the next point we are going to discuss below!), flexibility is one of the main advantages of the cloud. IT is no longer an investment that needs to be planned and budgeted for, as it simply becomes a cost that is in line with your daily needs.
2. Cloud hosting is scalable over time
The cloud is fully scalable. Adding new users, extra memory, more storage capacity or more powerful processors will not result in any downtime. And, of course, it is also possible to scale down.
At Combell, you can choose the autoscaling option. In that case, Combell will provide you with leeway to scale your cloud up or down. This way, you will not need to inform your provider about possible peaks and you will only pay more for your usage when you actually need more cloud hosting.
This will also help you avoid the eternal questions that arise when starting an IT project: "How much capacity should my infrastructure have?", "Should I buy with future growth in mind?" or "Is this not a little too much after all?"
With the cloud, you can start small and grow quickly if necessary. Adding an extra server to your cloud is child's play. And if you need more capacity to cope with a certain time of year, you can use it during that period and then scale down again without any problems.
Suppose you run an advertising campaign for a few weeks and anticipate that more visitors will be visiting your website. During these months, we will therefore boost the performance of your web server so that it will be able to cope with the increased number of visitors, after which we will return it to its original state.
For customers who are organising a music festival, we also temporarily increase the capacity of their cloud server during ticket sales. This way, every music fan can order tickets for their favourite festival without any problems!
The main advantage is that you can effortlessly handle the traffic peak, plus you only pay for what you actually use. Do you provide cloud solutions such as Software as a Service (SaaS) to your customers? In that case, you can easily provide an isolated virtual server for each of your customers. This will allow them to work in a secure and closed environment without having to pay through the nose for it.
At the same time, you can be sure that the growing needs of your customers will never be a problem for your infrastructure, because it always grows along with them whenever they need it.
In this context, however, do not forget that your budget also varies. You grow when you need to, which means that you only pay more when your income increases. So your expenses are directly proportional to the success of your business.
3. Cloud hosting delivers high availability
A failing infrastructure is a real disaster for your company. Because every moment that a server is down costs you money.
Thanks to our Downtime Cost Calculator, you can very easily calculate how much money you lose when your servers are unavailable.
In the cloud, this is not an issue because you are hardware independent. As soon as the cloud detects that a component is about to fail, it puts it into maintenance mode.
Thanks to the High Availability mode, your cloud server is immediately moved to another physical server in the cloud. This means that you benefit from significantly better availability guarantees and better SLAs than you would with your own hardware.
4. The cloud offers backups with a short time to recovery
Backups are like insurance policies: you have them but hope you will never need them. However, when things go wrong, they are a great investment – assuming they work properly! That is why good backups are essential to your Disaster Recovery plan.
Quality backup is simple, cost-effective and fast. And cloud backups meet all these criteria. The risk of losing data is therefore reduced to an absolute minimum.
Unlike standard backups, cloud backups offer a very short time to recovery; your backup is a copy of your entire virtual machine and can therefore be started in the cloud in its entirety. This means that you can get your server back exactly as it was at the time of the backup.
Cloud backups also have the advantage that they can be restarted like a second server in the cloud. By way of example, if something goes wrong on your server, you would of course like to know if yesterday's copy contained the same error. In this case, you can start the backup separately to check everything, or to recover the file you had accidentally overwritten. Clear and structured!
An additional advantage is that you do not have to do anything yourself, so you do not have to purchase, install and manage any backup software. Simplicity is key.
5. Cloud hosting moves costs from CAPEX to OPEX
Your cloud hosting costs are very predictable: you know in advance what you are going to pay. Your costs will only increase when your usage (and ideally also your income) increases.
Incidentally, your business expenses move from CAPEX (Capital Expenditure) to OPEX (Operational Expenditure). With CAPEX, you have one-time costs when starting up your business.
When you use the cloud, you no longer need to purchase your own hardware or to invest in new components in case of failures, thus reducing your CAPEX. Your infrastructure budget now becomes 100% OPEX. And these operating expenses are limited to what you actually need.
When making a financial comparison between the cloud and your own infrastructure, you need to consider the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of your IT infrastructure.
The purchase and tax deduction of a server may seem more attractive than the cloud at first glance, but this is usually because you forget about certain expenses or do not take them into account.
6. Cloud hosting is very secure
When business owners think about their data, they think first and foremost about security and privacy. And rightly so! Which is exactly why we recommend that you move your on-premise servers to the cloud. Because it is inherently more secure.
The reason is quite simple: cloud service providers are particularly cautious when it comes to security and privacy, and in this respect, they reach a level that is very difficult for companies to achieve. Moreover, Combell is ISO certified as a very secure data manager.
The security of the cloud
You can compare the security of your cloud to that of a safe-deposit box in a bank. You can secure your local safe with additional locks, an alarm system and a contract with a monitoring centre or security company.
This will cost you a lot of money; much more than the price of renting a safe-deposit box in a bank. Moreover, you know that the bank guarantees optimal security for all the safes in the building.
Have you ever worried that your bank's safe-deposit box is more vulnerable than the safe installed in your company? Let us hope that is not the case! Otherwise, you would be better off finding another bank 😉.
A quality cloud service provider offers the same security as a safe room.
But beware: anyone who has seen the series 'La casa de papel' knows that anything can be broken into, including a bank safe or the cloud. Although this is much more difficult than breaking into an office.
A good cloud service provider offers a multi-layered security model. There are external layers (physical security of your data centre, network security, secure connections, etc.), as well as internal layers in the cloud itself, such as virtualised firewalls for each virtual server.
As with all other things, the key principle is 'Secure cloud solutions start with a reliable provider.'
7. Cloud hosting is eco-friendly
Needless to say, the cloud is the most eco-friendly IT you can find. Centralisation and virtualisation ensure optimum usage per server. This helps reduce energy and environmental costs for each client using these shared cloud servers.
Thanks to centralisation and the use of virtual servers ('server sharing'), less hardware is also needed compared to the individual servers that many companies still use (for the time being). This results in less industrial production, less transport and ultimately less emissions.
Every cloud service provider has a moral duty to be as environmentally friendly as possible. Not only because energy is currently the number one cost item in the IT sector, but also because sustainable IT is essential to combat extreme climate change.