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6 Reasons You Should Use The Cloud

6 Reasons You Should Use The Cloud

Does this situation seem familiar to you?

— Hey, can you please send the snaps that you took at the cafe last night?

— Sure. I will upload it to the Cloud, will share the link in a while. :-)

(With a confused face, you scratch your head and look up at the sky) — What the heck is the Cloud?

This is exactly what happened in the hit movie, “Creed”, when Michael Jordan told Sylvester Stallone that the photo he clicked was sent (or “uploaded”) to the Cloud. Muscular Stallone had little to no idea what the Cloud was – like a caveman discovering the joys of electric heating.

I have to agree that tech terms (to non-techies) can get very confusing sometimes. Although they sound simple, it’s often another world to them.

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Interestingly, we use “Cloud services” on a daily basis: Gmail, Google Drive, DropBox, OneDrive – these services are all cloud-based.

What exactly is the Cloud?

Let’s look at this like we’re newbies. I was – I didn’t understand much of the technology at first. As I found nuggets of knowledge that were explained clearly, I “got it” much quicker, and everything made a lot more sense.

We have been using emails and accessing websites for more than a decade now. For all these services to work, it needs a server (which is essentially a computer that is connected to high-speed internet 24/7). In most cases, this computer has similar components to what we use: RAM, harddisk storage, CPU, motherboards, graphic cards, etc. The main differences, though, are that it never shuts down, is connected to internet 24/7 and has specific applications installed on it that transform it into a server.

Now, imagine, if there is no space left in your hard disk, the RAM (or CPU) has crashed and you are unable to connect to the internet. In that case, you will not be able to login to your computer. So, if there are any important files in your PC, you will not be able to access them because you will get a connection error. This is called DOWNTIME. You know those sites that are “down”, with pages showing “503 Error” (unable to connect to the server)?

Usually, that downtime is a result of those components crashing. Technicians or webmasters have to go into the server and fix errors.

This doesn’t happen in the Cloud ever. The Cloud has 100% “uptime”, because it isn’t just one thing – it’s a series of internet servers based online.

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So, after getting the dirt on what Cloud is, let’s look at what the Cloud actually does.

What does the Cloud do?

1. Redundancy

When there is a hardware (RAM, CPU, motherboard etc.) failure in a server, it will route traffic to a backup server. Therefore, hardware failures won’t affect the evil downtimes. Similarly, in the case of software failure (server configuration), when files are not accessible, the server will again route traffic to backup servers. In the case of traffic spikes, the Cloud will route partial traffic to a backup server to avoid load issues which can crash the server.

2. Scalability

In Cloud servers, you can increase/decrease resources (RAM, CPU, storage etc.) anytime as you see fit. This is not possible with traditional shared, VPS or dedicated hostings.

That is why many industries run their services in the Cloud. When traffic goes off the chart and one can easily increase resources of the server.

3. Cloud = 100% Uptime

Whatever application, files, images, videos are there on the Cloud, they’re all accessible all the time. The Cloud also makes accessing and sending everything faster.

So, if one server or some hardware goes down, the other one comes up. So, you don’t have to worry about losing information at all.

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4. Hosting

It is difficult to find a web host that has almost 100% uptime rate.

  • Dedicated hosting would be a better choice than a shared or VPS hosting, as dedicated hosting has 100% server-hardware/resources dedicated to it
  • Whereas with shared hosting, all resources are shared with neighbours
  • While in VPS hosting, specific resources (like 2GB RAM out of server 32GB RAM etc.) are assigned

Surprisingly, neither shared, VPS, or dedicated hosting can guarantee 100% uptime when there is hardware failure. Whether it’s because of heat, unforeseeable crashes, or anything else that can derail you – such as software failure which is often due to traffic spikes that can’t be handled with the current server’s configuration, configuration faults, or server update faults.

It’s important to remember that Cloud servers are expensive, meaning they will take a check out of your wallet. This is because Clouds are a phenomenal service to the internet, and Cloud hosting services know this.

5. Cloud Hosting Providers

Public Cloud servers like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, RackSpace, and SoftLayer are incredibly (and almost unbelievably) expensive.

Luckily for us, there are true Cloud servers that are top tier providers like the big guys mentioned before. The only difference? They aren’t expensive.

Servers such as Linode, DigitalOcean and Vultr, just to name a few. Linode was actually listed among the top 4 cloud servers being used by top 10,000 Alexa sites.

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There is a downside, however. These more affordable Cloud hosting servers may not have 100% scalability or redundancy features, the way the big dogs do. Keep in mind that they are just as worthy of hosting your files/documents/site etc. as the more expensive providers.

6. Installing & Configuring Cloud Servers

Sadly, the main trouble comes in when it’s time to actually set up a Cloud server, which requires high-end technical skills and costs a good sum. Luckily, we have ServerPilot that can do this work for free! That’s something to cheer about.

With all the advantages Cloud hosting offers, it’s still confusing how people resort to traditional hosting methods. Hopefully you’ve learned a thing or two about the huge benefits Cloud hosting gives you and your valued visitors. In the end, aren’t we doing this for the happy experiences of our visitors and customers?

Featured photo credit: heladodementa/pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Maya Levine

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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