Cloud technology is tailor made for this economic climate. However, I’d caution us not to think that all clouds are created equal. In these tough economic times that we are in, paying for what you use with as little hands on by you is key. Hence the difference between Cloud Hosting like Rackspace/Mosso does, and Cloud Computing like everyone else does. Cloud Hosting is Cloud Computing, minus the worry of having to figure it out all yourself. Do you want a bag of parts for your Christmas MP3 Player that you have to put together, or do you want a fully assembled solution like an iPod, with an awesome user interface, and full support? The bag of parts is tempting if you are just looking at price, but beware of the total costs of ownership…
The criteria to keep in mind when selecting a cloud solution is not just about the technology, or price – especially in this economy. True scalability is a key factor to consider when selecting a hosted solution. Consider the following situation – if your product or application is mentioned on TV, or on Digg, traffic to your web site will skyrocket without time for you to react. Or, if you are like the Pangea Foundation, where your site sees spikes in times of natural disasters (PDF) without the proper Cloud solution supporting your business, you could very easily find your site unavailable and you will lose valuable business opportunities. The ideal hosting solution will grow with you, seamlessly (without your intervention), and ensure uptime to your site, regardless of traffic levels. Also, you need a Cloud Hosting partner with a team of real experts who will provide assistance whether it is 3:00pm or 3:00am.
Finally, you need to look for a solution that provides guaranteed quality of service agreements, service level agreements (SLA’s), and comprehensive disaster recovery plans and back-up. If the cloud hosting company is not willing provide an SLA and a guarantee of up-time for your environment, that should signal some caution for IT decision makers: Choosing the wrong Cloud solution could lead to serious consequences, especially in this economic climate.
Write me, and tell me what you think of Cloud technologies, and this economy – and from the entire Mosso Family – Happy Holidays to you and your families!