Last week, we talked about why SaaS startups choose cloud, however the cloud isn’t just for SaaS startups. Mature SaaS businesses traditionally plan capacity based on historical performance. If an application saw a spike during a certain period last year, you’ll plan to handle that same spike next year. Retailers, for example, use this model to secure the additional capacity needed to manage big holiday buying days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Taking on the capacity to serve millions for a few days of the year while only seeing a few hundred hits a day the rest of the year means creating a resource gap between what’s used and what’s sitting idle.
That additional capacity hangs around all year sucking up power, floor space and maintenance time. During non-peak periods, these servers are likely sitting idle, but can potentially leave you vulnerable if peak demands were miscalculated or if there is a spike outside of your pre-determined peak. Until a few years ago, this was a nuisance that businesses just dealt with.
Cloud computing gives SaaS businesses the opportunity to provision resources as needed to close that resource gap. The elasticity of the cloud offers SaaS operators the flexibility to add resources to manage Black Friday, for example, and shrink back on Saturday. Unexpected spikes are also easier to manage with the ability to add cloud capacity in real time to handle the onslaught and roll it back when the spike subsides. With cloud-based SaaS architecture, the business is free to develop, test and deploy apps and releases without worrying about setting up or scaling servers to make it all run.
Planning for optimal resource utilization is an important element of SaaS planning. If poorly planned, user experience and response time can be degraded resulting in lost customers and damaged reputation. Our cloud experts can help you take the first steps toward moving to the cloud or help you explore a Hybrid Cloud approach that combines dedicated resources with cloud. Next week, we’ll talk more about the potential of hybrid cloud.
Trey is a cloud evangelist with the Rackspace Startup Program. Check out the previous post in his SaaS series where Trey talked about why SaaS startups begin their journey at Rackspace. In his next post, Trey discusses the benefits of a hybrid cloud for your SaaS app. Find out more about hosting your SaaS application at Rackspace.