It’s getting cloudy — the pros and cons of cloud hosting

Over the last several weeks we have outlined the many benefits of cloud hosting including flexibility via the pay-as-you-go model and the elastic capability to scale on enterprise platforms such as the Xen Sandbox Cloud, VMware ESX servers and Microsoft Hyper-V solutions.

However, some concerns remain including the lack of standardization on various cloud platforms, which can raise costs and add complexity when moving from one hosting vendor to another.

As a recent InfoWorld article stated each cloud vendor offers a different application model. Proprietary vertical integrated stacks limit choice, at least according to VMware one of the recognized leaders in the field.

This is one reason why the industry titan is proposing Open Virtualization Format (OVF) as a packaging and distribution vehicle for virtual formats.

One of the primary goals of this format is enabling enterprise I.T. people the option to move applications to the cloud without modifications.

Even while VMware continues to offer new heavyweight tools to solve portability issues via OVF and other means, further concerns exist for decision-makers, especially around security.

Bloomberg Business Week began one of their articles with a quote from a customer:

I’m getting sales pitches for “cloud” computing, but I’m not sure what exactly it is or how it would benefit my service company. Also, is it safe to keep our client and employee data on the Internet? What about hackers?

According to the article at least 23% of I.T. decision-makers interviewed in surveys cite security as a reason for not migrating their data to the cloud.

But while there is a ring of truth to their concerns, the reality is that virtualized dedicated servers running on VMware hypervisors and Xen virtual machines are getting more and more secure. Further, web-hosting platforms are going to greater lengths to protect your data.

Leading hosting providers like Virtual Internet have spent the last four years dedicating themselves to making data and applications secure on the cloud.

These include, but not limited to:

  • Firewall – Managed Firewall options from CISCO deployed and maintained to suit your security requirements by our qualified security systems engineers.
  • Security Audits – Ensuring that your hosting services are free of potential security risks, these are performed at pre-defined intervals and can be applied to Hosted servers, applications and Firewalls.
  • VI-Tal customer support – All engineers working on VMware enterprise servers are VMC qualified and dedicated to keeping your Virtual Machines running smoothly. They also utilize early-bird server monitoring tools to quickly rectify any issue with your dedicated virtual server.

If you elect to go with a VMware enterprise server you also benefit from hardware-independence, isolation and encapsulation, which help ensure your virtual dedicated server operates in a stable, secure environment.

In fact, one happy VMware customer happily reported uptimes for his Virtual Machine exceeding 1000 days.

Within the next decade it is expected that nearly 80% of all computing will take place from the cloud.

This means there will be a laser-like focus to improve security, portability and scalability for any all virtualized server technology in the private and public cloud space. Your data and applications are in safe hands!

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