Architecture Firm Websites

Amanda Eldreth Posted by Amanda Eldreth on February 14, 2011

Leveraging the power of cloud hosting.

As we are moving into 2011, one of the big changes here at efellemedia is that we have started our move to a cloud hosted environment.

So what is cloud hosting?

I realize cloud hosting is a popular buzz-word right now, and many people are looking for it as a 'must have' feature of their hosting, but what is cloud hosting really? The benefits and differences of cloud hosting over traditional hosting become more apparent when we compare them side by side, as shown in the following graphic:

Traditional hosting presents a single point of failure - if something goes wrong with the server, the issue needs to be resolved before anything on that server is available again. Also if you get a lot of traffic unexpectedly, you can be sure the server will choke and slow down (if you are lucky) or crash (if you're not so lucky). In a cloud hosted environment, there is not a single point of failure because the resources are spread out over a group of servers and resources. This makes resource issues far less catastrophic. Server in the cloud stops working? Not a problem - there are numerous other servers there to pick up the slack. Also, in case of a spike in traffic, the cloud hosted setup is configured in such a way that additional resources are allocated as needed, so there is no noticeable slowdown. What's more, the cloud hosted network actually has locations all around the globe. If you find the majority of your visitors comes from the east coast, or from Europe, your site can easily be transferred and hosted from a location that's more central to your primary source of traffic!

Tell me more - are there any more benefits?

As a matter of fact, there are! Here are some of the highlights:

  • High availability: the machines that are used in this cloud hosted setup are fully redundant - the storage is built on a RAID10 for both data integrity and speed. This will increase the performance and make sure that any problematic hardware can easily be replaced without the need to take any servers down.
  • Full backups: we have a backup system in place, and the cloud hosted setup is no different. Automatic daily, weekly and monthly backups to make sure no data loss occurs in the unlikely instance you need to restore data on your site from a previous point in time. Backup data is automatically transferred off-site to a secondary storage so there are always multiple copies of the backups available at all times.
  • Load balanced: all traffic coming into your site is load balanced and automatically assigned to the machine which has the most resources available. This eliminates any bottlenecks along the way and makes sure your visitors have the best experience possible.
  • More redundant DNS: As part of the cloud hosted setup we are implementing a 3rd party DNS service as well. In the unlikely case of an outage on the cloud hosting, the DNS is still hosted externally which will ensure email delivery continues without interruption.

How does this affect me? Do I need to do anything?

New sites that are set up on our hosting will automatically start off cloud hosted. For existing hosting clients we are currently working on a rollout plan that will see everybody moved from the current traditional hosting to the much more updated cloud hosting. As part of this rollout we will coordinate with you to make sure the transfer goes as smooth as possible and no data loss occurs as a result of the transfer.

Looking ahead

As part of the infrastructure overhaul we are also planning on implementing a CDN portion to our network - a CDN, or content delivery network, is closely related to cloud hosting and allows for static portions of your website (such as imaged, documents, etc.) to be hosted and served from a network of servers worldwide, which will serve up these files to your visitors from the location closest to them. This speeds up delivery of some of the more bandwidth intensive elements of your Website, and makes overall performance better. Expect to read in more detail about the CDN portion of our network once it materializes further.

Take the next step!

Take your business to the next level with the help from Seattle web design firm efelle today; with a decade of experience and hundreds of thrilled clients’ wordwide we’re here to help! Call 206.384.4909 or fill out our contact form.