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Teach A Man To Fish

There are paradigm shifts that occur with the release of any new technology. This holds true for hosting in the cloud as opposed to more traditional dedicated hosting. Before we get into those differences, I want to talk about something else: fishing.

Growing up, I used the standard bait fishing pole when I went to the lake. You’ve seen the kind I’m talking about, the one with the rod and reel with a bright red and white bobber and hook on the end. Using this kind of reel involves casting it out to the middle of the lake and waiting for a fish to hit the bait.

The first time that I saw a fly fishing pole, I thought that you would kind of use it the same way. The fly fishing pole looks a lot alike; you have a similar rod, but the reel is in a different place, and at the end you have one of those fuzzy flies. When I first saw a fly fishing pole I thought, “How do I put my bobber on that? How do I cast it out far while I’m sitting on a dock?”

Understanding the differences between the classic rod and reel pole and the fly-fishing pole is similar to understanding the differences to dedicated and cloud hosting. Even though the two types of hosting look the same, dedicated hosting is about managing stability where cloud hosting is about managing fluidity. You need to make this mental shift to be successful in cloud hosting.

With dedicated configurations, you are putting gear online to build for stability. You are trying to forecast the demand to your site and purchase an amount of gear to handle that traffic. Similar to the classic rod and reel, dedicated hosting is about having your resources in one location.

Cloud hosting is more fluid, like the fly-fishing pole. It is not about putting together a big, beefy configuration in one spot as much as it is about spreading your resources out to handle the unique traffic patterns as they come in. You want to move those resources in a natural way, as the environment changes to handle the traffic as it comes.

Understanding these differences up front can help you create a better configuration for your application. In fact, when you understand that best practices in the cloud involve scaling your configuration as the traffic changes, you can code your app to scale as you build your app from the start. If you have any further questions about the differences between cloud and dedicated hosting, be sure to give us a call at Rackspace.

Check out Joseph’s previous video where he discussed some of the cloud features that you need to configure. Learn more about how the Managed Cloud offering can support your business.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Joseph Palumbo.

As a founding member of Rackspace's Managed Cloud Support Team, Joseph spends half of his time teaching customers about the Cloud and the other half learning about the Cloud from them. When he's not in meetings, he can be found presiding over cultural happenings around the Rackspace office, discussing support innovation with other 'Fanatics' and wishing paper documents had a built-in search function.


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