Servers are a necessity for most modern businesses; if you have a website, you need somewhere to host it, and if you have files, you need somewhere to store them.
Many companies choose to buy their own server, as this is seen to offer the greatest control and reliability.
There are, however, disadvantages that come with having in-house servers. Servers require capital investment and maintenance, and the hardware will eventually need to be replaced.
Problems such as power outages, database corruption and viruses can result in downtime that can have adverse effects on your business, whilst scaling up your operation can be both complicated and expensive when relying on traditional servers.
But there are alternatives to buying servers, the most effective of which is utilising the cloud. By using cloud servers, businesses can quickly and easily expand computing resources in order to respond to increased demand.
If you rely on servers to back up confidential data and information assets, cloud computing provides a secure and managed alternative. The data centres that store your information are regularly backed up, and will have tested disaster recovery procedures to ensure that your information is protected, as well as accessible to your business.
Cloud computing has resulted in a range of hosted services that allow users access to a variety of applications remotely, via the Internet. These can include IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), SaaS (Software as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service).
IaaS is the literal alternative to buying software and servers. It is a method of renting hardware such as servers, storage, and datacenter space. IaaS is a cost effective alternative as users are only charged for what they use.
SaaS, also referred to as hosted applications, is a web-based service that provides businesses with access to software. Software can come in many forms, such as packaged software used for customer relationship, supply chain and financial management, and collaborative software used for web conferencing, document collaboration, instant messaging, and email.
PaaS provides computing platforms as a service. PaaS assists developers in the deployment, development, testing and hosting of applications.
If you are looking for an alternative to buying your own servers, it is worth looking into cloud computing. Depending on what you need the servers for, there are a range of cost effective cloud solutions available.