There's a lot of compelling reasons to invest in a decent server for Magento, not least being that a faster site will usually result in more sales. Magento is not quite the resource hog that it used to be, but you’re still going to need more than a GoDaddy shared hosting account to have any chance of making sales. If you haven’t been keeping up-to-date with the latest Magento and cloud computing technologies, this post might be a useful source of info for you. If you’re still on a dedicated or in-house server, then this post is also for you.
You probably know that cloud computing is getting bigger every day. Even if you’re not a tech person and just a business owner, at some point, you probably had to listen to one of your IT guys preaching about the benefits of the cloud. Maybe he wasn’t wrong! If he wasn’t compelling enough, here are 5 benefits of cloud computing, which should convince you.
1. Auto Scaling.
Auto scaling allows you to automatically control the computing potential (aka ‘Resources’) of your server(s). From your end - no need to buy new equipment, which might become unnecessary if demand drops (or your caching tech improves). No need to analyze the best server infrastructure to maintain your website’s productivity. Amazon are pioneering this field and they can tell you a lot more about auto scaling. And maybe best - if you get a sudden increase in visitors you can rapidly ramp up your server resources to cope.
Imagine one of the worst nightmares of an eCommerce business owner: a sudden influx of users. Are you sure that your servers will handle a sudden spike of traffic up to a 1000% or even more? You’re risking going down in flames and alienating new customers in the process. If you’re doing viral or social media marketing, it’s a good idea to be prepared for this. This used to be called Slashdot effect, but these days could come from a viral post on Facebook or Twitter, or even Reddit. With a cloud-based setup you can seamlessly (sometimes even automatically) increase what’s available to your site to use - no need to physically resize servers, or do a shutdown to increase what’s available.
Now think about how you can reimagine your online business, given the enormous amount of tools that Magento offers its users and the processing power that is offered by auto scaling. You have to get out of your hardware comfort zone in order to realize this. If you suddenly get slammed with 10,000 orders and need to print those orders, even a well-optimised packing sheet extension for Magento like pickPack will use more memory than printing say 100 orders. You’re in effect risking your business reputation by having got popular!
What you don't really want to happen, is suddenly get that traffic you've been looking for since you started, and find yourself in a spiral of complaining customers who can't order. That small resource set which was fine for your trial run was fine, but when the big dogs jump in, it'll be gone fast!
2. Trial and Error are Less Time Consuming.
Are you an adventurous entrepreneur working on several projects at the same time? You have strict deadlines and you like your projects done and launched in time? Faster time-to-market is the competitive advantage that you need. At the same time it can give you the sad-but-better-now-instead-of-next-year news that your new idea sucks (sorry). Now you can be disappointed about your new venture a lot faster. Which is better than it sounds! All jokes aside, cloud computing is the perfect solution for businesses that are venturing into new territories. If you fail - you saved a ton of time. If you achieve progress - you saved a lot of time and made upscaling a whole lot easier.
3. Getting Old Is Actually Not a Problem.
Have you ever updated your server to the newer hardware? If the answer is ‘yes’, then you know how painful that might be. Magento is pretty complex, when it comes to its infrastructure and hardware plays a huge role in this. With the options of killing and starting application instances at will, using cloud computing, updating software and hardware just became a lot easier.
4. Going Global.
If you have a Magento store and are planning on expanding your business to an multi-national audience, then cloud computing is the right choice for you. Why? Because it’s a lot easier to move your business across various environments. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about private vs. public or local vs, global. We’re talking about a real enabler that the cloud computing really is. The amount of resources needed to become a global company with cloud computing as the tech foundation is a lot easier now.
And last, but not least. The beauty of cloud server security is that it’s done by the cloud provider. You don’t have to worry about a lot of things. Services like AWS offer a flexible and accessible firewall configuration. They maintain various security standards and follow all of the international requirements, like ISO. This is exactly what you need, when you’re running a Magento-based online business, which handles tons of sensitive information, acquired from clients and/or partners.
Are you running your Magento store on a cloud server? Would you add something to this list? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments!
This post was written by MageCloud, who run a great system that helps you get Magento setup on cloud servers.