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Google Apps and the cloud: Maximum economies of scale

Editor's note: This post is the last in a three-part series on the benefits of Google Apps’ cloud-computing architecture. - Ed.

The first post in this series focused on faster access to innovation and last week’s entry described how Google Apps can drive higher reliability and security. This final installment explains advantages achieved from the scale at which the Google Apps infrastructure operates.

Maximum Economies of Scale
An Internet-scale cloud infrastructure achieves economies of scale that can produce tremendous cost savings. Rather than buying off-the-shelf completed servers, Google buys raw computer parts in massive quantities, and assembles custom servers with few unnecessary components. Not only do we save costs on hardware, we also minimize overhead by consolidating on a very small number of server configurations that can be managed in bulk globally at an extremely efficient ratio of staff to machines. On a per-user basis, these economies of scale allow Google Apps to operate at higher levels of efficiency than can be achieved by customers themselves. 
Further cost savings are also made possible by applications that run in the browser. Not only can customers forgo licensing expensive client software, but browser-based applications also require much less administrative overhead than traditional software or “software plus services”. IT departments don’t need to deploy patches or upgrades for web-based applications, and since improvements roll out gradually and continuously instead of in large disruptive batches every several years, companies can also save on change management costs.

Cloud computing – hosted, web-based applications built on shared infrastructure – can achieve breakthroughs in the pace of innovation, reliability, security and economies of scale. As you consider alternatives to address your organization’s messaging and collaboration needs, it pays to understand how different technologies are actually delivered. Over two million businesses considered their own options and have truly moved to the cloud with Google Apps.

If you’re interested in going a level deeper, we invite you to geek out with us on Thursday, when we’ll be holding a webcast to explore the advantages of Google’s cloud. Hope you can join us!

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