Cloud computing is a term that gets thrown around quite a bit these days, so I thought I’d clarify the term just a little bit in regards to what most people mean by it. Cloud computing, as it is commonly used, means that instead of using one server and upgrading and adding them manually you have a system that automatically scales to demand as the traffic dictates (The term is thrown around a whole bunch elsewhere, but for hosting solutions this one works for now- here is a more detailed description if you’re curious). This is typically done via the use of load balancers that automatically keep the amount of processing power level across each computer, and often it makes the system more redundant (though this is not always the case!) by having multiple servers automatically take the load off one that fails unexpectedly.
Cloud computing is kind of a mixed bag, as far as I can tell- though I have no direct experience in the clouds, I have a pretty good idea of the concepts behind them and how they work based on what I’ve read coming out of the field (incidentally, my workplace is considering migrating to a cloud-based system at the application level, so I should be more confident with it soon!). From what I understand, the processing power and scalability of cloud computing is not in doubt; this has been well-verified over the years, and I can think of quite a few already-in-use examples of this. What bothers me about the whole idea, however, is data storage and redundancy; it seems to me that this is where the cloud starts to dissolve. Many of the articles I see are concerned about data reliability and recovery; understandably so, considering this is fairly new technology.
In short- is cloud computing for you? I’m going to cop out on this one for now; I simply haven’t done the research, especially cost-benefit and who hosts what. Come tomorrow I’ll (hopefully) give a recommendation and price check!