What is a cloud server?

Tips and Guides/ 04th Apr 2017/Will Cook-Martin

What is a cloud server?

The term cloud is often used to describe a myriad of internet related technologies, from cloud computing, to cloud drives to cloud servers. In this article we will focus on trying to provide an answer to a question we are asked on a daily basis – what is a cloud server?

What does a cloud server look like physically?

Cloud servers are created using virtualisation software to divide a physical server into multiple virtual servers i.e. they share physical resources like RAM, CPU and disk space from the underlying physical servers and storage devices.

Not to be confused with a Virtual Private Server (VPS) which have a single point of failure, Cloud servers have inbuilt hardware redundancy, whereby if the physical hardware running the server develops a fault, the data on the virtualised environment is automatically transferred to new hardware.

We use OnApp cloud management software to run our cloud platform, which powers over 30% of public clouds around the globe and more than 1 million virtual servers

Is a Cloud Server right for me?

Now that you know a little bit more about what a cloud server looks like, you’re probably wondering whether it’s the right choice for you.

One of the key considerations to choosing an appropriate hosting package or server is how much traffic the site is likely to receive. If your website is already live you’ll know this, if it’s a new site or app there’s going to be some calculated guess work involved.

When dealing with unknown volumes of traffic, or sites that will grow over time, or even sites that have peaks in traffic due to marketing campaigns, we would typically recommend a cloud server.

Why? Cloud servers have the ability to scale quickly and easily

So if you know your site is running a marketing campaign, extra hardware resource can be put in place to manage the extra volume of traffic and then removed when the campaign has finished – this also importantly makes them extremely cost effective

A few cloud server FAQs

Are cloud servers secure?

One of the main myths surrounding cloud servers is that they are insecure. Whilst some industries such as the banking sector have to use dedicated servers due to legislation, cloud management software has evolved over the years such that there are now several methods in use to isolate individual cloud servers. We use OnApp to manage our cloud accounts, for a brief overview of their security implementation you may find this datasheet useful – www.onapp.com/files/datasheets/onapp_cloud_security_datasheet.pdf

Are they as powerful as dedicated servers

A second myth with regards to cloud servers is that they are less powerful than their dedicated counterparts. Our experience and that of others suggests this is absolutely not the case. There is a small performance impact as a result of the virtualisation layer, but in real world terms this is not noticeable. Of course this depends upon the underlying hardware being the same as a dedicated server for comparison.

What resource can be scaled?

All resources on a cloud server can be increased; CPU, RAM and hard drive space, in terms of decreasing this is the same with the exception of the hard drive which can generally only be increased.

Can I host multiple applications/websites on a cloud server

Absolutely, you can host as many apps and websites on a cloud platform as you like, though you may have to increase resource to cope with the extra processes that are likely to be performed.

Still not sure?

If you are still unsure whether a cloud server is appropriate for your site or application, we would be delighted to have a discussion with you.

There is no charge for our advice, nor are you under any obligation to purchase our services.

Speak to one of our experts on 03300 885 250.

Did you know…

At Clook, we specialise in Managed Cloud Servers

– We monitor over 40 services 24x7x365

– Our experienced UK staff are on hand to help via phone, email or chat 24x7x365

– All servers are based in the UK, in ISO accredited data centres.

Will's our technical sales guy from the hills of Rossendale. A follower of Stoke City, father to Eddie, husband to Catherine and a fan of gadgets - oh and he's recently mastered the art of really slow DIY.
We have a very strong team here at Clook and we build on everyone's strengths and weaknesses, you have to be able to make a good brew too!

Chris James

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