More and more managed hosting companies are touting their use of "cloud computing" as a benefit to their customers. And, there is little question that a cloud's virtualized environment enables dramatic increases in efficiency. These, along with significant economies of scale, result in lower operating costs than most businesses can otherwise achieve. Managed hosting companies can and do pass on a portion of these savings to their customers. As a result, enterprises and small companies alike can save money when they outsource a portion of their infrastructure.
IT Business Edge contributor Michael Stevens has uploaded the Cloud Computing Checklist, which helps users understand what to look for in a cloud. In many cases, the mass market clouds offered by Amazon and others will not be able to provide all the features required by IT departments to run their mission-critical applications. But there are several other managed hosting providers utilizing clouds with rich feature sets, and their numbers are growing
Stevens also uploaded a Server Refresh Calculator. In the current economic situation, many companies are rethinking their refresh rate for servers, moving from a 3-year cycle to a 4-year cycle. This accompanying calculator will give you a quick estimate of what your savings would be if you adopt this strategy. You can calculate the effects of a change in refresh rate for as many as five classes of servers.