There was a time when people used to run applications and software downloaded to their own devices or servers. This meant increased threats of data loss and less flexible systems – you actually needed data to be in the system to be able to complete the work.
With cloud hosting, people can now access all the application through the internet, no matter what the location is. The solution has become popular over the years, especially among small and medium enterprises, that run on a modest budget.
Companies can look at increased collaboration with cloud, enabling employees to share and work on data seamlessly, and individuals to pick up their work from any machine that has access to the cloud. Cloud services have also opened a world for businesses and users to interact. You can save your word files in cloud or just use a cloud invoicing system. There are different cloud host providers offering you space to store data online and collaborate easily but the development of SaaS has been the most significant.
According to the latest statistics issued by Cloud Industry Forum (CIF), 84 percent of all the companies in the United Kingdom have adopted at least one cloud service. The research also shows that about 78 percent companies in the country adopt two or more cloud services. In fact, this technology has evolved in phases, starting from utility and grid computing, application service provision (ASP) and the latest Software as a Service (SaaS).
Why Cloud Hosting?
There are different reasons that have owed to the remarkable success of cloud hosting:
- Flexibility: Need more bandwidth or storage space instantly? The cloud has you covered. The ability to meet ever-changing business demands is what cloud services are known for.
- Disaster recovery: You no longer need a sophisticated disaster recovery plan as cloud computing would take care of it. As a matter of fact, using a cloud service reduced the time to resolve issues by as much as 50 percent.
- Software updates: According to statistics released in 2010, UK-based companies spent over 400 hours each month to manage website security. On the other hand, cloud computing suppliers such as Microsoft and Amazon would take care of this.
- Work from anywhere: According to a recent survey, 42 percent of employees in the UK would give up some of their salary if they were given the option to telecommute. This would have a positive effect on the person’s work – life balance.
- Eco-friendly: Businesses that require cloud services only use the space they need. This reduces carbon footprint by a considerable margin as switching onto a cloud is known to decrease the energy consumption by as much as 30 percent.
Comparing Arch Rivals – Amazon Web Services versus Microsoft Azure
Both Microsoft and Amazon are head over heels in grabbing the market share with their cloud-based services. While Amazon did have an amazing head start, Microsoft Azure is soon catching up. Both these companies have the resources to lure individual as well as enterprise customers.
Amazon Web Services Vs. Microsoft Azure: Computing
Amazon employs an Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), which allows users to configure virtual machines in a pre-configured fashion or customize it according to their needs. Users get to choose the size, power, memory capacity and the number of VM. In addition, they can also choose the location and availability zone. Load balancing and auto scaling, are a couple of additional features supported by EC2.
Microsoft Azure was made available to consumers in May 2013. Users of this service can choose a virtual hard disk to create a virtual machine. This can either be pre-defined or user-defined. You would have to specify the number of cores and memory capacity.
Amazon Web Services Vs. Microsoft Azure: Storage and Databases
Amazon Web Services use temporary storage, which is allocated once an instance begins and gets destroyer once it has been terminated. Storage is provided that can either be attached to an instance or kept separate. Amazon also has full support for relational and NoSQL databases as well as Big Data.
Similar to AWS, Azure too user temporary storage as well as Page Blobs (Microsoft’s block storage) for virtual machine – based volumes. Azure too provides complete support for relational and NoSQL databases and Big Data, made available through HDInsight and Microsoft Azure Table.
Amazon Web Services Vs. Microsoft Azure: Networking
Amazon’s virtual private clouds and Azure’s Virtual Network give users the flexibility of grouping virtual machines into isolated networks on the cloud. Therefore, users would be able to precisely define a network topology, create route tables, subnets and private IP address ranges.
Amazon Web Services Vs. Microsoft Azure: Pricing
While customers using Amazon Web Services are charged, by rounding up the number of hours used, Microsoft charges customer based on the number of minutes used on demand.
You need to choose a service that suits to your needs. Talk to an expert or evaluate the pros and cons of each. Your choice of cloud hosting can directly affect the organizational productivity and performance so it’s a great idea to do your research on which cloud hosting provider can work to your advantage.