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The Four Biggest Benefits of Migrating to the Cloud

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It was once common for small and medium businesses to host mission-critical software on on-premises servers rather than in the cloud. They may have operated one or more servers in a server room or small data center. Or they may have leased dedicated servers or colocated owned servers in a managed data center. However, by 2020, many SMBs have migrated from physical servers in their office to the cloud, recognizing that cloud servers excel in a wide range of SMB hosting scenarios. 

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Physical servers offer unmatched compute performance. They’re an excellent hosting option for high-performance computing and scenarios where pure processing performance is the priority.

But, for most SMB IT scenarios, the elasticity, on-demand pricing, and automation potential of cloud platforms makes them the ideal infrastructure hosting platform—not to mention the opportunity to move the burden of managing physical infrastructure to the cloud vendor.

The Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) market will grow to $50 billion this year and is expected to reach $75 billion by 2022, dwarfing all other cloud hosting modalities except Software as a Service. In this article, we look at some of the reasons the cloud has seen such wide adoption by SMBs.

What is Cloud Migration?

Cloud migration is the transfer of applications and services to a cloud platform, either from legacy infrastructure or from another cloud platform. Businesses migrate to the cloud seeking: 

  • greater flexibility

  • reduced infrastructure costs, and 

  • to outsource aspects of infrastructure management.

Cloud migration can be as simple as redeploying software unchanged to a cloud platform. These “lift and shift” migrations duplicate the app’s on-premises infrastructure in the cloud, transferring the code wholesale onto cloud servers. Lift and shift is the simplest and least expensive way to get your apps onto the cloud, and it’s the route taken by many businesses when they first move to the cloud.

But the cloud’s contrast to on-prem goes further than the virtualization of servers. The elasticity, flexibility, and pricing structures enabled by the cloud can be best exploited if apps and development processes are rearchitected for the cloud. Cloud-native apps are architected to take full advantage of the cloud’s automation and on-demand provisioning capabilities.

Rearchitecting apps as cloud-native apps is more expensive and time-consuming, but it allows businesses to exploit the full benefits of the cloud and DevOps workflows.

Four Factors Driving Cloud Migration

Businesses migrate to the cloud for many reasons, simplicity, and a reduced management burden being near the top of the list. When we ask our clients why they chose the cloud, their responses focus on reduced cost, improved security, elasticity, and our cloud platform’s availability and disaster recovery advantage.

Cost Optimization

IT departments are tasked with spending infrastructure budgets as efficiently as possible. Cloud platforms help businesses to optimize infrastructure spending in two main ways:

  • On-demand pricing — Cloud users only pay for the resources they consume, with shorter minimum pricing periods than physical infrastructure. A cloud platform may charge users by the hour, whereas a dedicated server host expects commitments of at least a month and often more.

  • Flexible provisioning — Because provisioning is automated and cloud infrastructure is virtualized, servers can be deployed as needed and torn down when they are no longer required.

Flexible provisioning helps businesses to deploy the servers they need, when they need them. On-demand pricing means they only pay for those servers while they are active. Combined, flexible provisioning and on-demand pricing help businesses to match infrastructure spending with real-world requirements with greater granularity than is possible with leased or owned physical servers.

Managed Security

When a business owns its servers, it is responsible for the security of the server, the operating system, any virtualization or container software, and the applications hosted on the server. In the cloud, the vendor takes over responsibility for physical security, the host operating system, and the hypervisor.

Most cloud vendors operate a shared security model. They take care of the lower layers of the stack, including the physical layer. The user is responsible for the upper layers: the guest operating system and the user’s software.

The ServerMania Cloud goes a step further. Our server management packages, including Essential Server Management and Empowered Server Management can be combined with our cloud servers. Empowered Server Management includes security auditing, proactive security patching, and bi-weekly security scans.

Elasticity

All server hosting is scalable to some degree. It can grow to support growing businesses. More powerful servers replace less powerful predecessors in vertical scaling. Horizontal scaling adds more servers and shares the load between them. But the horizontal and vertical scaling of physical servers are slow and expensive compared to a cloud platform, which is truly elastic.

A key strength of IaaS platforms is their ability to scale up and down on short timescales. Servers spin up in minutes and can be discarded just as quickly. Elasticity reduces the risk and the cost of scaling. A business doesn’t have to worry about scaling up to ride out traffic spikes only to be left with idle resources that consume space, power, and employee time while adding nothing to the bottom line.

Disaster Recovery

What happens when servers running mission-critical software experience a fault or succumb to a natural disaster. Without business continuity and disaster recovery planning, business operations grind to a halt. The solution is redundant infrastructure waiting in the wings, ready to take over when the worst happens.

With physical servers, that means investing in hardware you hope will never be needed. A disaster recovery plan may increase infrastructure spending by double or more.

The ServerMania Cloud improves on this in a couple of ways. First, we handle redundancy of the physical layer, with redundant compute and storage nodes that take over if our hardware develops a fault.

Second, in the cloud, redundant doesn’t mean infrastructure that sits idle waiting for the call to action. Cloud servers can be deployed when they are needed, and disaster-struck servers replicated from backups in seconds. Our cloud backup service achieves recovery time objectives of 15 seconds or less.

Bring Your Servers to the Cloud

The ServerMania Cloud is secure, flexible, and easy-to-manage, with full server, storage, and backup redundancy. Deploy your servers on our zero downtime cloud platform and pay less than with traditional cloud vendors.

To get started on your cloud migration, book a free consultation or chat to a cloud expert in the chat window on this page.

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