Cloud Computing is one of the most intriguing offerings in enterprise web hosting. Unlike traditional hosting where one or more dedicated servers are used to operate a website, cloud computing is essentially piggybacking off large-scale infrastructures such as Amazon EC2 and The Rackspace Cloud. The advantages of cloud computing are compelling; no longer is it necessary to ramp up servers for anticipated traffic spikes, manage the plethora of server security challenges or hassle with backup solutions. The downside is that cloud computing by and large has proprietary languages and databases which is not adaptable from platform to platform. While companies are scrambling to establish standards and some are creating adapters that make traditional sites compatible with cloud computing, there is still no good way to push an existing website to cloud based without extensive architecture changes.
In truth, the cloud concept is far superior than traditional server hosting and simply porting websites over doesn’t utilize its true strength. One example is Amazon’s SQS, a clever system that queues server requests so that if a server is running slow, the request waits until the resources are available. This eliminates many simultaneous processes from bringing down the servers and also solves the problem of interrupted connections, where a query is sent for processing and the connection is dropped before the query is returned. Traditional database queries drop the request if the connection is lost, where is SQS queues the request until the connection returns.
Here at Keylex we’re taking a wait and see approach. With all the advances of cloud computing, the stability is not up to par with our standards. Besides the intermittent downtime that is proving a lot less reliable than dedicated servers, the cloud environment is very restricting. We like to RDS into a server, tweak settings and have the flexibilty to pinpoint issues when they arise. Until such time as cloud computing fully matures, we prefer to keep our perfect record of uptime perfect.