Elastic Computing AKA Cloud Computing as provided by Applied Innovations

I broke this post up into a series of posts. The first post (just published) gives an overview of ARR in IIS7 and why it’s cool. This post is going to talk about the first stage of cloud computing we’ve deployed at Applied Innovations and the benefit’s of it such that you could use it today to control your own hosted IT Infrastructure costs.

About the Applied Innovations Cloud Platform.

Applied Innovations is a charter member of Microsoft’s Dynamic Datacenter Alliance. The alliance is composed of a handful of hosters, ISVs and system integrators that have deployed a solution on Microsoft’s Dynamic Datacenter toolkit.  Our implementation of the toolkit is a highly available cluster of VPS servers. These VPS servers or a series of physical servers that use a high speed, redundant SAN cluster for storage and in the event of a hardware failure or need for maintenance the virtual machines running on one of those servers will automatically fail over to one of the other nodes to keep the services and applications running 100% of the time.

In addition, our own solution also affords the user the ability to achieve a level of cloud computing called: elastic computing (a hot topic these days as Cloud computing is all the rage).   Elastic computing is the ability to dynamically scale up and down your computing resources as your needs change. For instance, let’s consider the case of dedicated hosting.

When the Dedicated Server Meets the Cloud.

In the past when a hosting customer outgrew shared hosting they needed to move to a dedicated server. Moving an advanced web application (such as a live ecommerce website) from one server to another is time consuming and often costly so it’s something most store owners don’t want to do frequently. With that in mind they would often look at dedicated servers and have to predict their need for hardware not only today but often 6, 12 or even 24 months into the future or they could find themselves moving again in the near future.  The problem with this is that often they found themselves purchasing more hardware and taking on a larger cost today in preparation for tomorrow than they needed and sometimes could afford.

Further, today we all know just how quickly the economy can turn and how fast you can find that your expected growth can disappear and all of a sudden find yourself needing to scale down instead of up. Or perhaps your business is seasonal and you find that you really only need a full dedicated server a few months out of the year and don’t need to pay for the full solution the other 9 months of the year.

At Applied Innovations, Our Dynamic Datacenter Solution is the answer to these very issues.  With one of our highly available clustered Windows virtual dedicated servers (VDS servers) you’re able to scale up your diskspace, your memory, your processing power and likewise scale down your diskspace, your memory and even your processing power with just a click of a few buttons. This puts you in control of your hosted IT infrastructure and allows you to adjust your costs in line with your business.

What about Elastic Scalability? I thought that was Cloud?

The other hot topic in Cloud is Elastic Scalability. This is where your web infrastructure is hosted on multiple virtual machines (which may be elastic computing VMs) and is load balanced across these nodes. you then have the ability to expand and contract the number of nodes your site runs on as your traffic and business demands change.

We believe this too is a vital component to cloud computing but for 80% of the hosting business on the market today, it’s just not a necessity.. today. For that upper echelon of hosting customers (the Amazon, the Twitter, the Facebook type company) this is a necessity but for most companies this level of cloud computing is just an extra expense and in today’s economy extra expenses are not needed.

What’s next in the Cloud?

This is only the first phase of our own Cloud Initiative and there are of course other notions of cloud besides elastic computing and elastic scalablity that I didn’t hit on. What I can guarantee is our team is working as diligently as ever to continue to work on our Cloud Initiative and will continue to evolve our service offerings. In the meantime if you want to cut your dedicated hosting costs and have the ability to adjust your hosted IT infrastructure costs as your business adjusts, contact our team about our Managed Windows VPS Hosting solutions built on top of the first stage of our Cloud infrastructure.

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