The ability to add servers and storage quickly and easily can benefit the entire business
Things used to move very slowly in enterprise IT. Buying a new server required countless hours of research in order to draw up the specifications, and then an anxious wait to find out whether the budget holder would approve the purchase. After that you'd have to wait a few days for the device to be delivered, a few more days for someone to install it in the server room or data center, and yet another few days for someone else to configure the software and finally declare it ready for use.
The whole process was frustrating for the people or department waiting to use the new server. The marketing team, perhaps, desperate for their new image and video repository. Or maybe the finance department, waiting to upgrade to a new accounts package. Or the sales team, keen to get their hands on the new CRM (customer relationship management) system.
In the last few years, cloud computing has enabled IT departments to change the way they work, for the better. No longer does commissioning a new server require a multi-month project or multi-thousand dollar expenditure. With cloud providers like Alibaba Cloud, a new enterprise-level Windows or Linux server can be up and running in minutes and cost just a few tens of dollars per month.
In addition to reduced CAPEX, cloud computing allows for flexible billing options to better match your business's ever changing demands. For instance, Alibaba Cloud Reserved Instances allows you to reserve resources and capacity, providing a significant discount (up to 79%) as compared with standard pricing.
For servers that are only required for short periods, you can even pay by the hour. So, the days of having to keep old, unsupported legacy hardware up and running to use for tests and evaluations are no more. If the IT team need to evaluate some new software or perform tests they can spin up a cloud server for a single afternoon, delete it when they're finished, and have change from five dollars.
Cloud computing doesn't just mean servers, of course. It also provides highly affordable storage. If you're a hospital, why store 10TB of archived x-ray images on-site, on expensive hardware that also needs to be backed up, when you can store it in the Alibaba Cloud Object Storage Service (OSS) for a fraction of the cost? And when you notice that 2TB of those images are so old that they can now safely be deleted, your monthly storage bill instantly decreases by 20 percent. You only pay for the storage you use.
Cloud computing means that staff or departments who need new IT can have it right now. Not in two months, when someone has specified, ordered, installed and configured a new server, but today. And if an upgrade to the sales team's CRM dictates that the server now needs 32GB of RAM instead of the current 16, there's no need to take the back off the server and plug in some new chips. A few clicks and it's done.
Agile computing with Alibaba Cloud is a good deal. Not just for the IT department, but the whole business.
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