If you have a global business, you understand the importance of keeping performance consistent for your online visitors. Global load balancing allows you to manage your traffic to and from your data centers and cloud service provider around the world, making it easier to create the best end-user experience possible.
With global load balancing, there are two approaches: using on-premises hardware and software or utilizing cloud-based services. Both have the same end goal, but different processes and costs. For the most cost-efficient solution for your business, we’ll break down the differences between the two approaches.
Comparing Capital and Operating Expenses
When it comes to any comparison of do-it-yourself versus purchasing a service, the difference in capital expenses is always the same: with a cloud service, there is no initial purchase price for capital—the service provider covers all hardware and software costs (of course, there will be a recurring subscription fee, but that would fall under operating expenses). For an on-premises GLB appliance, at least one appliance purchase is required (two if you want redundancy) plus additional hardware as required.
Moving on to operating expenses, with a GLB appliance, many of your expenses will come from personnel time. Aside from installation done by a vendor technician, configuration, training, network integration, and administration & maintenance will all be done by internal engineers. These engineers must have extra training and experience as these are complex systems, so an average administrator is usually not qualified to carry out these tasks and ensure that all systems are running properly.
Compared to a GLB service, the personnel cost is much less for a cloud GLB service. An administrator must become familiar with the portal interface and will spend some time setting up the service and monitoring alerts, but the cloud service is wildly less time-consuming. Each update could take several days to perform with an appliance and typically need to be performed ever quarter or so. With a cloud-based offering, you do not even have to think about it.
Flexibility of Service
With a cloud service, you gain additional flexibility. It is easier to swap out providers to ensure that you are getting the best price, all without needing to make major changes to the load balancing aspect of the service. This also allows you to expand your infrastructure quickly as you move into new markets or regions.
Flexibility doesn’t come only in terms of the choice of services, but also flexibility within your staff. Since IT teams don’t have to spend the time maintaining infrastructure, they have the time to optimize other areas of the business.
What It All Comes Down To
In the end, the real purpose of putting time, money, and effort into a global load balancing solution is to improve your customer experience. With a cloud solution, you are providing customers with the better experience received from global load balancing, but you are also able to put a focus on other areas of your business with the time and resources saved from using an on-premises appliance.
Saving money should never be at the expense of your customers, because in the end, without them there is no revenue to begin with. With a cloud GLB service, you can rest assured that not only are you spending your money efficiently, but you are creating loyal customers due to your great online experience.