Many businesses used to implement their own web servers utilizing local storage to host web content. Others chose to offload the entire infrastructure process to a third-party host, maintaining control only over the actual content as well.
Today there is a third option: Cloud Storage. It can provide your business with the best of the other web content management models while providing its own intrinsic benefits.
How cloud storage for web content works
Cloud storage for Web content works by storing objects with unique ID tags and serving them to a content delivery network (CDN) for Web-delivery. Therefore, this works best with Cloud storage services using HTTP Object stores, with access provided by a REST or similar API.
What are the benefits of cloud storage for web management?
- Efficient Resource Management
Cloud storage affords built-in support for these protocols as well as making it easier to create and maintain the CDN. Web content management is mostly designed for access through the Internet so having the content stored on the Internet eliminates the on-premises infrastructure that was previously required.
It also alleviates the need for IT resources to manage web servers and other required hardware so that you can focus your resources on Web content creation.
- Reduction of bandwidth usage and overage costs
There are inherent advantages to moving offsite, especially given the reduction of traffic to your datacenter. Depending on your existing Internet connectivity bandwidth and how close to saturation it is, using Cloud storage to host your Web content can result in a major reduction of bandwidth usage from your local site to the Internet. Further, if your Internet provider enforces a monthly cap on bandwidth usage, a Cloud storage solution will likely save you bandwidth overage costs.
Alternatively, if your Web hosts are already hosted offsite with a Web hosting company, these hosts cannot scale to massive amounts of data without adding expensive dedicated servers, potentially providing you with far more processor power than storage capacity.
With Cloud storage, end users are distributed, and the CDN caches and delivers the most frequently accessed media as close to end users as possible.
Which organisation should consider using cloud storage for web content management?
Typically, businesses that store a lot of media for a public-facing Website, or host Web applications, must rent dedicated servers from a hosting provider, or purchase servers and place them in a co-location provider’s data center. Both of these options are highly cost prohibitive, where dedicated servers with a large amount of storage and bandwidth allotted can start at $250 per month.
An alternative that companies like Voices.com, Disability Rights Florida, and IBM have moved to is using cloud storage as the originating server for most, if not all of the media available on their Websites and Web applications. The needs of these organizations outstrip what’s available from shared hosting or virtual private servers, but dedicated servers don’t deliver the value needed either.
It’s not necessary to use the same vendor for both Cloud storage and the CDN. Most CDN providers do not offer Cloud storage services, and vice-versa. One exception is Microsoft Azure that does provide both. Two of Azure’s most used services are Cloud storage, which can be scaled as needed, and support for Azure virtual servers. Thus, you could couple one or more virtual web servers together with scalable storage, all within the Azure service.
ProServeIT has acquired significant expertise in planning and implementing Cloud-based environments, including Web content servers utilizing Cloud storage. If you are considering moving or establishing your Web content infrastructure, our experts can show you how to plan for Cloud storage so that you can realize both cost savings and greater user productivity!