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Office 365: Do Cloud Economics Really Exist?

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November 12, 2012

Office 365: Do Cloud Economics Really Exist?

By David Gitonga, TMCnet Contributing Writer

What does the cloud mean to you? If you’ve already figured out what it is, where do you suppose it’s going? Everywhere you look today, whether it’s Amazon Web services, Windows Azure, the Google cloud platform or RackSpace’s OpenStack offering, the cloud is competing for your attention. Microsoft’s (News - Alert) Office 365, a robust cloud-based offering, has particularly got a lot of attention.

When deploying a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS (News - Alert)) solution, you now have a high degree of flexibility at your fingertips.  There is no doubt that cloud solutions like Office 365 together with managed hosted services like those from SherWeb offer incredible cloud economics. The scalability costs between a dedicated server and a cloud offering are sometimes huge, even for a small enterprise. For example, the cost of a data center in a dedicated server is around $160/month at the SoftLayer (News - Alert). Microsoft Azure, a cloud alternative, will be around $70/month, which is less than a half that of a dedicated service. A dedicated data center is paid for perpetually regardless of the user base, while cloud costs are based on individual use cases.

Cloud offerings like Office 365 offer horizontal scaling where additional machine resources are provisioned per application use. In addition, there are no catastrophic data losses since there is no single point of hardware failure in cloud computing. When it comes to launching products on dedicated machines, the challenges of scaling are both horizontal and vertical where complex software needs to be written to give room to grow, and offer the freedom to run anything on any hardware and with any software. Few enterprises have the skill to do this, hence the need to rely on offerings like Office 365 with the help of reliable hosting services.

The advantages of moving to cloud hosts are becoming difficult to argue with. In fact, hosted email and collaboration solutions like SherWeb’s SkyOffice suite offers an excellent support structure for deploying Microsoft cloud services as enterprises continue to move towards the cloud.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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