We have a server (4GB RAM, two 4-core Intel Xeon E5420) performing the following tasks:
- website with static content (currently just some CMS, we plan to add a caching reverse-proxy)
- customer control panel (basically web interface to a database)
- backend scripts for our desktop software - a few PHP scripts which perform a few DB queries/updates, but will be hit up every 5 minutes per customer
- database storing data for the above two
We are expecting a big (up to hundreds of thousands) influx of users in the upcoming weeks. My superiors are worried that our current setup may not be able to handle the load, and are considering moving to cloud hosting - however, I'm not convinced that this would help. From what I understand of cloud computing, virtualization won't be of much help unless we can split the workload across several machines (unless they have individual servers significantly more powerful than ours). They offer MySQL clusters, however the backend scripts simply read/write some values in a few rows and don't perform any computationally-intensive SQL queries, so again I'm not sure MySQL clusters would make much of a difference compared to Apache/PHP overhead + MySQL network latency. As for the website, we could also move most of the static content to a CDN as we have a few video clips which could stress our bandwidth.
So, would cloud hosting benefit us in any way?