7 Sep 2011
When we talk about “the cloud”, it seems like an intangible object, that lives somewhere in the virtual space that is the internet.
The name itself suggests something floating in the air, something you can’t touch or feel.
However, the reality is that clouds are based on physical equipment. They use web or database servers, usually with virtualisation to create multiple virtual machines within one hardware node. They also use a SAN – a large central storage pool.
Any technology based on hardware does fail. The cloud is not immune to this. Therefore it’s important to consider how your business is equipped to handle the impact if something does go wrong – and to build your cloud so that it provides a high level of availability and redundancy to offer protection against risk. Our solutions architects will provide advice on building a cloud to meet your specific requirements.
Many hosting companies are now offering cloud solutions. However not all clouds are created equal; they come in all shapes and sizes.
There’s a huge difference between utilising your very own private cloud, and a public cloud, for example. A public cloud uses shared resources, with the associated security risks, whereas a private cloud is purely for your organisation – built to fit and offering greater reliability.
Some clouds use a PAYG model, so you’re billed for every minute you use. Although this appears attractive, it can often be more beneficial for enterprises to have a static, predictable monthly cost that encompasses any peaks and troughs and avoids spiralling costs.
Wherever hardware is involved, it’s critical to minimise risk by using premium equipment. For example, UKFast Enterprise uses genuine HP servers, a high-quality 3PAR SAN, Hyper-V or VMware virtualisation technology and official Windows licences.
The hardware itself has to be housed and maintained somewhere. Again, not all data centres are the same. UKFast owns and operates its own data centre – which means there are fewer layers in the supply chain and more control over your solution.
Don’t be sold the cloud dream. With 11 years of hosting mission-critical data, why not come and see why we’re different?