Colocation, on-prem, cloud — each infrastructure hosting modality has benefits and tradeoffs. Forward-thinking companies don’t choose just one type of infrastructure to host applications. They consider the specific performance, technology, and budgetary constraints of the project and choose the appropriate infrastructure or mix of infrastructure.
But early-stage startups can’t play the entire field of infrastructure options. They have limited budgets and prioritize agility and scalability over long-term stability. That makes public cloud platforms the perfect choice for cash-strapped startups.
Lower Upfront Investment
Everyone knows about this one. If a company uses a public cloud platform, they pay nothing upfront for infrastructure and only pay for the servers they use. In contrast to traditional dedicated server hosting, virtual private server hosting, and colocation, resources are available on-demand, which means businesses only pay for what they need.
Better Utilization of Servers
A consequence of the flexible on-demand nature of cloud infrastructure provisioning is that startups can utilize their infrastructure investment more efficiently. It’s an embarrassing “secret” of the IT industry that most servers aren’t used efficiently. They sit idle for most of their lives and those that are doing something useful aren’t using their full capacity.
It’s possible to manage cloud servers inefficiently, too, but because an idle server can be discarded in seconds and the resources available to each server can be changed, there’s no need to pay for servers that aren’t doing something useful.
Easier Redundancy and Scaling
Fast scaling in the cloud allows businesses to respond quickly to changes in demand for their applications and products. To take an example I’ve seen on many occasions, startups frequently launch a product and underestimate either the initial influx of users or the resources the application consumes.
If a startup’s infrastructure can’t cope, it will make less money on the launch and generate less revenue in the future because of damage to the brand’s reputation and reduced brand awareness. Influencers won’t promote a startup that seems technically inept)
Redundancy is related but distinct. Redundancy is all about fault tolerance, ensuring that a startup’s infrastructure can cope with component failures. If a database server goes down, it would be better if the entire application didn’t go down with it. Redundancy depends on the ability to either have alternative failover machines ready to take the place of failing components, or to quickly deploy new servers to take the place of problem servers.
All things being equal, the more reliable an application is, the more money it will make over the long term.
Reduced Staffing Cost Compared to Colocation
Colocation is a solid option for established businesses with the expertise to manage owned infrastructure deployments. But it’s not ideal for startups because of the associated staffing costs. Servers need to be managed and maintained, and that means hiring server administrators and operations professionals. Public cloud platforms manage the underlying physical hardware, the host operating systems, the virtualization layer, and associated systems. Startups don’t have to hire for or think about it.
For early-stage startups looking to get a product to market as quickly and inexpensively as possible, public cloud is unbeatable.
About the Author
Justin Blanchard has been responsible for leading initiatives that increase brand visibility, sales growth and B2B community engagement. He has been at the core of developing systems, tools and processes that specifically align with ServerMania’s clients’ needs.