This blog post can be summarized very simply: If your brand new website or application is not built with infinite scale in mind, you're putting yourself at an immediate disadvantage.
Every single day, a brand new web app takes off and becomes immensely popular. Sometimes it's as a result of your marketing plan going super well, other times it's a niche you may have never considered finding a new home. No matter what your growth projections are, it doesn't matter if your technical foundation isn't there to support it.
What is Cloud Hosting?
"Cloud" is a fancy term for letting someone manage your infrastructure for you, usually Amazon, Google, or Microsoft. It's commonly referred to as IaaS, or "Infrastructure as a Service", because you're letting these giant companies handle all the configuration of your systems and infrastructure for you, leaving you with just your app and architecture to worry about. This brand new idea was never really something relevant to the general public until 2006 when Amazon launched AWS and took the internet by storm.
Why is Cloud Hosting such a big deal?
In a traditional environment, there'd be a lot of factors that you'd need to handle yourself to ensure your website or app stayed online as much as your customers would expect it to:
- Static Assets (Like images, video, audio, etc.)
- Databases (For users, blogs, forums)
- Load Balancers (To ensure your site handled the traffic it needed to)
While it doesn't sound like a lot, when it came to scaling you would need to figure out how to balance these assets over multiple machines or pay for expensive hardware that might be far more expensive then you needed - just because you might have a traffic influx eventually. You also probably don't know how to do this yourself, so you'd then have to add the cost of paying a System Administrator to handle this all for you.
Let's assume you have a Lawn Care app. Instead of spending your time ensuring you can provide your customers with a fantastic experience with their lawn services, you now need to worry about hiring a team to maintain or build this infrastructure for you. No wonder why many businesses never wanted to pursue this!
Enter: Cloud Hosting
With AWS came the end of the need to manage all the above. Instead of handling all of this yourself, Amazon would do it for you through their managed control panel: and you'd only pay for exactly what you used at any given time. Since the launch, all the big players take advantage of this managed infrastructure, including both Netflix and Reddit.
By taking advantage of this new type of hosting, your business saves significant costs in regards to monthly maintenance, and you have the peace of mind of knowing that when you DO get that traffic influx... well, it just works.
We're always looking to the future.
At Melon Development, you can trust that all of your web applications are built with the future in mind. We partner with DigitalOcean to provide simple cloud-based VMs for our smaller client sites and use the Google Cloud Platform extensively for our complex, high-traffic applications. If you need help porting your application or starting something new, we'd love to chat with you.