Our latest cloud research reveals that IT teams from mid-sized UK and US businesses polled still spend over half (56%) of their time on server management and troubleshooting and only 28% on strategic, ‘value-add’ activities. Despite the widespread availability of cloud and managed hosting, many organisations are clinging to physical servers, leaving in-house IT teams struggling with troubleshooting and capacity planning amid demands from their bosses to do more for less.
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When a business wants to put a website or application online, the one thing it must have is a server—a place to store the electronic information that powers the site. Large sites with lots of visitors will require many servers, whereas a small site with relatively few visitors may need only one.
Traditionally, businesses would need to estimate how many servers they might need, based on a guess of how much information they’d need to store and how many visitors they might receive. If they overestimate, they’ve spent money on servers they didn’t need or use. If they underestimate, their site crashes because it can’t handle the load.
Cloud computing changes all of that.
In the cloud, you can add servers when you need them, and remove them when you don’t, in minutes. This gives you access to almost unlimited server power. So, when your site has a sudden surge in visitor traffic, you can easily add more servers to meet that demand, and then scale back when traffic isn’t as high. Since you only pay for what you use, you also avoid the upfront costs of the traditional computing model.1
The reason the cloud is so flexible is because it’s a virtual environment, running on a series of physical servers. So, imagine a massive data centre, full of servers—with cloud computing, large groups of these servers are connected, or “pooled,” so that their power and resources work together, rather than being divided up as individual servers. This way, you get to take advantage of this massive pool of resources, and your part of the cloud has the freedom to get bigger or smaller, according to your needs.