Cloud Computing Is Not Just For Enterprises

Updated: May 13, 2009

Radio Flyer, the nearly century-old maker of the iconic ‘little red wagon," took the plunge into cloud computing with Rackspace Cloud in April, 2009. The benefits that Radio Flyer saw in porting its pretty simple Web presence over to a cloud-based platform apply to millions of small to medium-sized businesses.

Radio Flyer's Web site consists of an online catalog, an HR portal, customer service, and a simple online store. These could be the components of any Main Street business' Web presence.

Scalability is the biggest benefit that Radio Flyer realizes from Rackspace Cloud. The company's business is highly seasonal, with peaks in summer and during holidays. It conducts online marketing campaigns intermittently. These variables drive steep spikes in traffic. Cloud computing handles them effortlessly.

Prior to moving to Rackspace Cloud, Radio Flyer was in a traditional arrangement of multiple dedicated servers with another Web hosting company. That meant constantly juggling resources: allocating disk space, adding servers and taking them offline, etc.

But with Rackspace Cloud, resources scale up and down automatically without anyone writing memos, holding meetings, or throwing switches. "The man of Tao does nothing but nothing is left undone," as the Tao Teh Ching ("Classic Way of Virtue") says.

Another benefit Radio Flyer saw in the Rackspace Cloud platform is the ability to run PHP and .NET Framework applications congruently. Separate servers and the added complexity of balancing their loads are the norm in traditional configurations. Rackspace Cloud is currently the only hosting provider to offer this advantage, but it's not proprietary. Customers want it and it will become commonplace.

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