August 22, 2013

The Importance of Scalability when Choosing a Cloud Solution


Hostway Team

scalesavingsBusiness decision-makers always have one eye on the bottom line. Are the company’s technological expenditures well spent? Not if they’re paying for more server capacity than they need only to see that excess capacity remain unused.

That’s why the flexibility offered by a cloud hosting provider is essential: Businesses can easily scale their server capacities in order to accommodate fluctuations in web traffic. Growth, whether organic, seasonal, or temporary, is supported seamlessly without breaking the bank for expensive upgrades to existing IT infrastructure. For example, if Oprah Winfrey mentioned a specific product on her show, due to “the Oprah effect,” the company that manufactures that product would likely see a substantial influx of web traffic immediately. Scalability allows that company to handle the traffic.
In today’s business world, web downtime could mean the loss of substantial revenue. A recent survey of 200 companies across North America and Europe revealed that $26.5 billion in revenue was lost because of IT downtime, which works out to an average of $132,500 per company. Breaking those numbers down further, small businesses on average lost $55,000, medium businesses lost $91,000 and large enterprises lost more than $1,000,000 in revenue. The survey defines small businesses as employing between 50 and 499 people, medium businesses as employing 500-999 people and large enterprises as having 1,000 or more employees.

By teaming up with a reliable cloud hosting provider, businesses can protect themselves from the costs associated with downtime. If a website gets overloaded with traffic, scalability allows providers to quickly increase capacity, reducing downtime to a minimum and avoiding the tremendous costs associated with it.

The utility billing model tied directly into scalability is becoming a more integral part of the cloud hosting model. Businesses only pay for what they consume, and add resources when they need them. This allows companies to easily adapt to a changing business climate. It’s the most cost-effective web-hosting solution model available for certain workloads. Not every application is a good fit for a cloud model, but there are many applications that will benefit from scalability.

When looking for a potential cloud hosting provider, it is important to keep in mind that each one offers different features. For example, Hostway customers can provision new virtual machines (VMs) within a matter of minutes, and those using our application program interface (API) can set up auto provisioning rules that enable them to scale up when certain capacity thresholds are met.

Scalability is just one of the reasons that 91 percent of IT decision-makers hold a positive view of the cloud. To learn about other reasons, click here. Tell us about your cloud experiences in the comments below. Has your business benefited from the scalability of the cloud?

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