Category Archives: Cloud Computing

VPS Hosting Without Borders

RAID humor

The United States is at the forefront of technological development, but nations around the world – even developing countries – are experiencing major shifts made possible by a wide range of computing breakthroughs. In fact, some nations that have never been fully connected with phone service have been able to jump over the landline era and go straight into wide usage of cell phones. Hosting bring similar technological possibilities to the entire world.

Specifically in terms of hosting, because of the security and stability in the United States, many companies abroad choose to use an American-based solution. Storing the infrastructure that runs one’s site and business technologically at a data center in “the states” allows businesses to have great safety and reliability, while gaining easier access (faster load times, better SEO) to customers throughout the US.

Globalization means that all areas of the world are, in a certain sense, becoming local to us. Whether you are in Brazil, India, Finland, or Japan, US-based VPS hosting runs 24/7. Even when you are sleeping, your business is working for you while people in other countries are awake. Globalization is a broad concept, but the implications specific to the cloud – and VPS servers in the cloud – are particularly intriguing.

Why is a VPS so often used? The virtual private server, or VPS (a server created using virtualization technology), has become a staple of the hosting industry because it’s a cost-effective way to get similar (in some cases nearly identical) power and control to dedicated servers, without having to pick out and maintain hardware. Let’s look at how VPS hosting, the cloud, and globalization are intertwined to understand how working with a US-based hosting service might be the right choice for a business located elsewhere.

The cloud and globalization of computing

It’s not an accident that cloud technology is becoming so widespread internationally. We all know how important scalability is, and some of us have experienced frustrations created by growing “too quickly” – as can frequently happen with server infrastructures.

Cloud computing and hosting offer the opportunity for a business to grow technologically in the smoothest and simplest possible way. You don’t hit a resource cap with the cloud – whether for storage room, bandwidth, or any potential limitation – because more devices are utilized. You are no longer “stuck” within one machine or set of machines, at the mercy of the parameters allowed by those servers. Cloud also optimizes speed and performance because the work load is distributed, so it’s unlikely that your infrastructure will experience strain.

Globalization is involved with the cloud because everything is available through the web. A company’s IT system can exist in another country from its headquarters, or in various countries. Author Thomas Friedman has described the globalization process as delivering an increased access worldwide to information and resources, which is exactly what is involved with cloud hosting and VPS servers in the cloud.

Server maintenance also does not have to be conducted at the same physical location, in many cases. Engineers employed to service cloud environments can be located in other countries as well, which is good and bad – that aspect reduces operating expenses but can mean job loss in the countries where the servers are located. Either way, you can see how the cloud has impacts not just for technology and businesses, but for people around the world as well.

Popularity of the United States for hosting & bigger possibilities

The United States is chosen by most American companies for web hosting, but also by many organizations worldwide. In fact, the performance monitoring company Pingdom conducted analysis in 2012, using Alexa and its own software, to determine locations of servers for the top 1 million websites. More than 2 out of every 5 sites in that group were hosted in the United States, upwards of 430,000 of them. Amazingly, the US was more than five times higher than any other nation; with Germany coming in second, followed by China and the UK.

Pingdom conducted the study via an analysis of big data, checking and statistically processing IP addresses for all of those sites. Notably, because big data offers such incredible possibilities for businesses to better understand user behavior, and interaction with and within their own systems, cloud hosting and VPS in the cloud are frequently used to conduct analyses such as this.

As our own Brett Haines described in a guest post for the Cloud Advisory Council, Dr. Michael Cunningham of Seattle was able to analyze data related to the childhood disease craniosynostosis, a study that would not have been possible prior to the advent of the cloud (because all the data was stored in the cloud, allowing the physician to take advantage of resources beyond the scope of his hospital’s physical infrastructure).

You can see why cloud and VPS in the cloud are extremely popular for hosting. The United States has firmly embraced these models due to increased efficiency and scalability, and web hosting services operating in the US offer high-level security and stability to ensure safe operation and strong performance. Atlantic.Net offers VPS in the cloud, via our SSAE 16 (SOC 1) TYPE II (Formerly SAS 70) certified datacenter in Orlando, Florida.

By Kent Roberts

Test IP Address to Gauge Cloud VPS Speed – A Real World Scenario

SSD speed joke

It’s sometimes difficult for customers of hosting services to determine which plans and companies will best meet their needs. This challenge has become more pronounced in the era of virtual private servers (VPS’s) and cloud computing. Although distributed virtualization has strongly positive attributes – speed, reliability, redundancy, cost-effectiveness, etc. – it also can be unclear exactly what you are getting.

We feel that one of the best ways to use a blog is to draw on customer questions and turn individual conversations into education for a broad audience. That way we are answering common concerns, while always respecting the privacy and sensitivity of any information stated during interaction. We call the series of articles that is derived from our specific user communications “Real World Scenarios” (RWS).

In this installment of RWS, we look at speed as a factor for customers. Why is speed important? How do you determine the speed of a hosting environment? Let’s look at the issue both broadly and then in the context of an actual interaction between our hosting consultant and a client.

Why speed is critical for websites

There are two basic reasons and one more complex reason why speed is crucial if you want to succeed with your site. Basic reasons:

  1. The data reason – Your prominence on the search engines is determined, in part, by how fast it loads.
  2. The human reason (Part A) – One of the top considerations of anyone who wants to optimize their site should be user experience (UX). Slow load times cause frustration, and that means poor UX and rapid flight from your site to one that won’t feel like it’s wasting the user’s time. Put another way, the people visiting your site like feeling control. Waiting for a site to load can make a person feel like they are stuck in the technological vortex.

Complex reason:

  1. The human reason (Part B) – Our attention spans and memories are shorter and less reliable than we like to think. When we wait, the data in our short-term memories starts to deteriorate, and we become less capable of meaningfully connecting what we are experiencing. That’s the essential argument offered by Jakob Nielsen, PhD, of the Nielsen Norman Group, and it makes sense.

How to test a live site

There are numerous tools online to determine the speed of your site in its current setting. One of the most reliable ones is through Google. Go to Webmaster Tools > Other Resources > PageSpeed Insights. You’ll get a score from 1 to 100, along with notes on why your site is slower than it could be and recommendations to optimize it.

That’s for testing speed of a live site, though. Things get trickier when you want to test the speed of a hosting service before you sign on as a client. The below discussion details a customer that is concerned with speed, along with the tool we recommend to showcase the strong performance of our network.

Request to test a cloud VPS system

Client: Hi, do you guys accept Visa debit cards?

Consultant: Yes, we do.

Client: Okay. I think I want to rent the XSmall package. Before I do that, though, I need to test one of the sites currently running on this type of server.

Consultant: We do not provide free trials. You can create a server under the hourly rate. When you have finished your test, you can delete it. You will only be charged for the hours you have it online. We use 100% SSDs (solid state drives), which exhibit up to 100 times the speed of standard HDDs (hard disk drives).

Client: Can you please give me the URL of a website currently running on your $4.97 per month server?

Consultant: Unfortunately, we cannot provide you with information on any of the customers that use our data center. However, your response time should be comparable to this test link.

Client: Great. Just one second. Let me test it right now, if that’s OK.

Consultant: Sure, let me know when you are finished.

Client: OK, it looks good.

Consultant: Our smallest plan currently costs as low as $3.65 a month. I would recommend signing up for that plan (XXSmall Linux), due to the low cost associated with the service. That way you can test it while only incurring a small fee.

Client: I appreciate it. Actually, I’m going to go ahead with the XSmall. I know I’m going to need those extra resources, and the speed looks fine. Thank you!

Consultant: Thank you for using Atlantic.Net. Please let us know if you have any further questions.

SSD cloud VPS through Atlantic.Net

If you are interested in any of our cloud VPS packages, you can take advantage of our publicly available speed testing. If you choose us for your hosting needs, you will get access to live consultants 24/7, exhibiting the same expertise and courtesy experienced by the client above.

By Kent Roberts

Bring My Chicken Kebab From the Cloud: A Real World Scenario

cloud food

Cloud computing represents a fundamental technological shift. By allowing businesses to cut costs while enhancing the speed of their systems, the distributed virtualization strategy is being put to use in manifold ways. In academic settings, large datasets are being calculated in short windows of time, allowing researchers to perform analyses that previously were financially unfeasible. In manufacturing, the Industrial Internet is underway, with thousands of sensors facilitating real-time monitoring in production plants. In medicine, misdiagnosis is becoming less common for cancer patients, with doctors cross-checking images of similar biopsies in moments.

These advancements have become possible in part due to optimized speed, which makes the technology compelling to all businesses. As described below, hospitality companies have started taking advantage of cloud-hosted applications to expedite ordering and payment processes.

Typically our “Real World Scenario” series explores interactions between clients and our hosting consultants: questions are answered regarding a company’s search for a new IT environment. However, this installment was inspired by a small restaurant we discovered that is taking advantage of distributed virtualization, enhancing the experience of every customer who walks through its door.

“Servers” in two different fields – a personal story

I recently visited Ahmed Indian Restaurant in Orlando, Florida. The chicken tikka masala and fried fish were outstanding, and I am looking forward to going back to explore the rest of their menu. However, since I am in the information technology field, I was also intrigued by the restaurant’s computing system.

I have been interested in restaurant IT because, in the past, I have found myself accidentally and humorously in competition with the food and beverage industry. In my company, we host servers (i.e., server computers). We have had to adjust pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns so that people searching for “restaurant server” and “restaurant host” information aren’t errantly delivered the ads for our site.

Similarly, we ran into difficulty when developing language for a billboard at one point. We were considering the simple message, “Server Hosting Since 1994.” That slogan was scrapped out of concern that we might come across as a restaurant or catering company.

Those two bits of marketing confusion I’ve experienced have helped me relate to restaurants in terms of online presence within the search engines. However, what I was noticing during this visit to the restaurant had to do with their use of distributed virtualization across a number of mobile devices.

Restaurant’s use of cloud app on mobile devices

Cloud computing has greatly expanded the number of mobile applications, allowing significant enhancements in performance so that feature-rich programs can operate quickly. To take advantage of this technology, Ahmed Indian Restaurant uses a point-of-sale (POS) software that syncs data across all devices, so that information is updated simultaneously.

I spoke with the owner of the restaurant about the benefits of the system they are using. The following dialogue is based off of that conversation.

Me: What’s the system you are using here?

Restaurant Owner: The cloud-based software we use is called POSLavu. It is a software, specifically designed for restaurants, that runs on Apple mobile devices such as iPads and iPhones. All of the devices, and all of the transmissions conducted by them, are synced within our Wi-Fi network.

Me: How does it benefit your business?

Restaurant Owner: For one thing, it makes payment easier. We have the option to charge customers at the table if they are paying with a credit card. They can sign the iPad on the spot and automatically be emailed a receipt. Plus, since we have a number of iPads, we can perform multiple customer checkouts at the same time, rather than having people wait for other checkouts to process.

Me: I assume it helps with ordering too.

Restaurant Owner: Yes, that process is also expedited. The order goes directly from the table to the kitchen, sent through the Wi-Fi by the software. Just like with paying, there is no waiting in line to punch in orders because all the servers have their own individual devices.

Me: Are there any other benefits you’ve seen with your customer interactions?

Restaurant Owner: Yes, we can customize the menu by uploading an image for each item. If a customer wants to see how a certain dish looks, we can show them the picture.

Me: What about administrative tools?

Restaurant Owner: We have back-end access, so we can look at reports for weekly and monthly sales – organized by item, server, and a number of other variables. It gives us a better sense of the popularity of our menu offerings and how well servers are doing over time.

Me: Is this system cost-effective?

Restaurant Owner: The system itself is reasonably priced, and it’s also reduced our credit card processing fees.
***
The IT approach at Ahmed Indian Restaurant is now more customer-friendly, and administrative capabilities have been strengthened as well. Applications such as POSLavu often reside on high-speed servers such as our cloud VPS environments. Atlantic.Net has optimized mobile app hosting solutions for any size business and any situation. Both independent restaurants and chains are taking advantage of our hosting solutions for increased efficiency.

By Moazzam Adnan; comic words by Kent Roberts & art by Leena Cruz.

Why Use FreeBSD for Your SSD Cloud VPS Hosting? 10 Reasons

married to a VPS

When people consider operating systems for their hosting environments, the two most common choices are Windows and Linux. However, another OS has been steadily gaining traction since its initial development in 1993.

FreeBSD, like Linux, is a spinoff of the UNIX® operating system. The benefits of the former OS are similar to those of the latter one. Both have proven popular because they are free and open source. Because there are no licensing fees with either one, they are cost-effective. Because they are open source, they are built optimized for freedom and flexibility. Also, their popularity – in conjunction with their backing by the open source community – has generated vast networks of support on forums and elsewhere.

The lesser-known operating system, though, offers particular benefits that have prompted some users to prefer it over the various Linux distributions.

What is FreeBSD?

It is an OS that is primarily concerned with three elements of computing: stability, performance, and functionality. It is a variation of BSD, which was developed at the University of California – Berkeley and distributed by the institution’s Computer Systems Research Group (CSRG) from 1977 to 1995. The operating system, like Linux, is developed on a community basis, by a broad pool of users.

10 Benefits of FreeBSD

Specific advantages of the operating system – garnered by comments from its users – include the following:

1. Community

This OS is centered, first and foremost, on its community. Although corporations use the operating system and, at times, assist with its development, the integrity of the community approach is maintained at all times. Interaction occurs between veteran and rookie users on forums and through Internet Relay Chat (IRC). Advice is dispersed through email newsletters as well. A Core Team is elected by the community for monitoring and management, but it mostly resolves conflicts between developers rather than steering the direction of the OS.

2. Stability

When people talk about stability in an operating system, they often simply mean that it is unlikely to crash. This OS goes beyond that expectation. When you upgrade the software, you don’t have to do the same for users. The appearance is never changed for aesthetic purposes; instead, it is adapted when there is a strong argument for making changes. Any new version of the OS is capable of running code from previous versions as well. All aspects of the system and kernel are developed as one package to avoid upgrading difficulties.

3. Collaboration

FreeBSD was one of the first operating systems to adopt the LLVM infrastructure. A number of developers within the community also contribute to LLVM, making both projects stronger and more integrated. Outgrowths of the OS, including the desktop offering PC-BSD and the firewall pfSense, are created in collaboration with the most recent operating system version as well.

4. Ease-of-use

Every service contains a script that activates and deactivates it. The OS includes a file with simple commands for initiation and configuration of various primary services. You can immediately know what services are enabled as the OS starts to run. The system understands the relationship between various services and will run them simultaneously or independently, as best fits the situation.

5. Ports

You have full access to a library of independent applications. If the community is in disagreement about the latest versions of certain programs, you are able to choose which version you want. Unlike some competitive operating systems, there is a set folder for independently developed applications, making it simple to clean a server of any and all installations as desired.

6. Security

Several of the security components of this operating system include the following:

  • Jails are components of the OS that allow you to run an application without affecting anything else on your system.
  • Mandatory Access Control makes it possible to determine limitations of control for all resources.
  • Capsicum allows you to isolate privileges so that potential negative effects of maliciously altered script are minimized.

7. ZFS

This volume manager makes it significantly easier to perform a wide variety of tasks – from the creation of clones to deduplication to compression – without having to know the size of the relevant partitions. You can experiment with ZFS without fear of the end results: just generate a snapshot: If you aren’t satisfied with the outcome, it’s plain and simple to undo your efforts.

8. GEOM

This tool enables robust storage within FreeBSD. With GEOM, you can use two servers for redundancy and reliability, adjusting your RAID configuration as desired.

9. Sound

You can mix sound quickly and accurately, with volume that can be adjusted within any program you run.

10. Options

This OS is open and completely prepared for extensions, such as KDE or GNOME. You can run it through a serial port, with full configuration capabilities. You can install whatever desktop you want as well.

***

FreeBSD offers an operating system, through a community-driven model, that serves as a strong alternative to Linux. Also free and open source, the OS is known for its stability, ease-of-use, security, and collaboration with various third-party applications. Contact us now to get started with your FreeBSD hosting environment today.

By Kent Roberts; comic words by Kent Roberts & art by Leena Cruz.

What are the Benefits of an SSD Cloud VPS? How Solid State Drives Enhance Your Computing Experience

cloud concerns humor

The solid state drive (SSD) has long been considered a preferable solution to the hard disk drive (HDD). However, SSD’s have not made sense for many companies until recently, because their cost has been too high. Now that they are less expensive, it’s possible for all businesses to experience the various benefits of an infrastructure built on this advanced technology. Continue reading

Common Questions of SSD Cloud VPS Users – A Real World Scenario

SSD vs. HDD joke

Our blog functions, in part, to present typical interactions between our hosting consultants and individual clients. The users of our hosting solutions often have similar questions, and this “Real World Scenario” series allows us to highlight helpful information provided in these discussions. The below dialogue is based on an exchange between our staff and a potential customer interested in our SSD Cloud VPS (virtual private server) offerings. Continue reading

Signs We’re Headed to the Cloud – IBM and Cisco as Cases in Point

cloud server misconceptions comic

As the cloud grows, major tech companies are struggling to rapidly reorganize their companies and stay competitive in the IT marketplace. Two primary examples are IBM and Cisco. Each of the companies is investing heavily in the cloud – with a special focus on the Internet of Things from Cisco – after years spent focusing primarily on the physical server model. Continue reading

Marketing in the Internet of Things – How Web 3.0 Will Change the Way Businesses Connect with Consumers

marketing humor

The CEO of Cisco, John Chambers, noted in January that the Internet of Things (IoT), otherwise known as Web 3.0, is going to skyrocket into a $19 trillion industry. He made the comment at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. In his keynote presentation (which included a comedy spotlight by Sarah Silverman), Chambers discussed a future, not-so-distant reality in which Internet-connected devices all around us will already know our preferences and can adapt to suit our expectations.

As far as marketing is concerned – and sales generally – the Internet of Things represents a vast new field of possibility. With your “user preferences” immediately understood by the world around you, marketing can adapt so that what you’re presented by marketers aligns with your core interests. Consumers are more likely to make purchases when the Internet of Things is delivering more relevant content to them.

So what exactly will the Internet of Things do?

The Internet of Things won’t just help businesses make more sales and boost the economy. It will also allow for widespread social improvements – for our security, our safety, and our health. Further, it’ll help us cut costs, organizationally and personally. It’s estimated – per a study cited by Chambers – that garbage cans connected through a cloud-hosted system will reduce the expense of waste management 30%.

Chambers notes that what is really exciting about the Internet of Things is that technology is a means to an end, and Web 3.0 allows us to use the technology we have more expansively, with broader purpose. Chambers said the Internet of Things shouldn’t really be conceived of as a technological concept but as a revolutionary social shift that “changes people’s lives forever.”

Cisco as an example of cloud & IoT adoption

Cisco has realized that it needs to enter the cloud, specifically with regards to the IoT, if its business is to continue growing. Revenue for the IT hardware aspect of its business (its bread and butter) is turning downward, with a 5% drop expected for 2014 (per Bloomberg). Cisco expects its sales to be dampened until 2017 or possibly even 2019, although placing the cloud and Web 3.0 as a point of focus could help the company avoid a major dip.

Cisco is a great example of how companies are adapting to fit the times. As the Internet of Things grows, the possibility for marketers to take advantage of the new terrain is obvious and compelling. Certainly the individuals and organizations who figure that space out will likely experience incredible success.

Implications of the Internet of Things for marketing

Molly Borchers, a contributor to The Huffington Post, is a public relations professional interested in the marketing ramifications of the Internet of Things. She notes that much of what makes Web 3.0 distinctive is its access to massive amounts of data that can be analyzed and reframed for marketing purposes. Borchers uses the example of a Nike+ Fuelband, which collects data such as the wearer’s heart rate, number of strides while walking or running, and calories they burned. Marketing success will depend in large part on how successfully and creatively companies can use the big data.

An obvious example is a Google Glass app released last fall called Glashion. The app will allow users of Google Glass to gather clothing and accessory information from people they are passing on the street, then seamlessly look for prices online. In the age of the Internet of Things, particularly with the cloud’s ability to crunch data incredibly quickly, preferences can be integrated in  real-time with product offerings in Glashion and similar arenas. In turn, that will increase the likelihood of purchase.

Marketing site ClickZ spoke with a few experts in the field to gauge their perspectives on the Internet of Things as well. Here is a summary of their thoughts:

Amy Lanigan, vice president for Fluid

Marketing that makes use of Web 3.0 should have the following characteristics:

  • designed for seamless integration
  • frictionless (avoiding anything that gets in the way of your message growing and being spread online)
  • has clear and obvious value for customers.

Jeremy Lockhorn, vice president of emerging media for Razorfish

Marketers should be able to meet two primary developing needs of consumers:

  • a personalized experience that protects their privacy
  • marketing and service that is predictive.

Regarding the second bullet, for a short primer on the predictive cloud – with significant attention paid to predictive analytics and predictive modeling – see this recent blog post.

Rebecca Nadilo, director of digital strategy for BBDO

Marketers should ask themselves two basic questions when strategizing a plan for Web 3.0:

  • How can I establish brand utility (usefulness of the brand, such as connecting people for a phone company or helping people realize athletic potential for a shoe company) through the Internet of Things?
  • How can I take the big data and turn it into smart data?

Owning the Internet of Things

A vast new market is emerging for businesses. Many businesses will thrive because they have embraced Web 3.0. Others will survive because they will make use of the new marketing opportunities it provides. At Atlantic.Net, we have a strong and elastic cloud infrastructure to host applications in the Internet of Things.

By Moazzam Adnan; comic words by Kent Roberts & art by Leena Cruz.

Predictive Analytics, Predictive Modeling, and the Parameters of the Predictive Cloud for Your Business

cloud server humor

Certainly cloud computing is growing astronomically, much of it in the public cloud (the standard model). However, a trend has emerged in which businesses are shifting from the public cloud to a managed private cloud (not always necessary, as described below). The reason that is occurring is that the companies desire more predictability, both in costs and performance.

This new trend is not just about reliability and the IT budget but is a part of a broader focus on prediction throughout the business community. The tools made possible by predictive analytics and predictive modeling allow businesses to develop in more sophisticated and conscientious ways than ever before.

Predictive analytics and predictive modeling

Predictive analytics, according to TechTarget, is a form of data mining that helps you predict how your business and your industry will develop. In predictive analytics, you take a predictor – any measurable factor – and analyze it to determine how it will likely change over time. Sample fields in which predictive analytics are used are insurance and finance. Predictors for car insurance companies, such as the driving record and gender of the driver, help insurers quantify risk. The same is true for investment companies looking at predictors to gauge stock market trends.

Predictive analytics become more complex when predictive modeling is used by an organization. A predictive model takes a number of different predictors and analyzes them using a specific model (essentially a formula to generate future data as accurately as possible). As data is fed through the statistical model and predictions are generated, the system is tested and adapted as needed.

Predictive models are not always set up as straightforward formulas. In some cases, software is used to allow a neural network (a network of computers designed to approximate the human brain) to analyze the data in a more refined way. An example of predictive modeling is in the field of spam filtering. Gmail uses an algorithmic model to make an educated guess about whether an incoming message should be marked as spam.

Why predictive analytics are important

Predictive analytics is by no means a new practice (as indicated by the insurance and finance application above), but the ability to use it wisely creates a more significant competitive advantage in the age of big data. As Predictive Analytics Times indicates, the data about your business can tell you what fails and what succeeds so you can move forward with a carefully calculated approach.

You can use it across your entire business. Customer needs can be met more quickly and with less error. You can streamline your operations. You can use it to determine what individuals will do – customers and employees – as well as what organizations will do – your own, affiliates, and competitors. Overall, you won’t make as many mistakes if your business is guided by a predictive model that is strong, versatile, and flexible.

How to use predictive analytics

To take advantage of predictive analytics, you don’t need to create your own software unless you have specialized requirements. SAS, SAP, and IBM all have predictive analytic tools, as do many other software companies. Each of the programs works by assessing all of your data – sales, operational, and even social media numbers – and then plugs it into prebuilt predictive models.

The vendors listed above have robust solutions that can meet the needs of enterprises. However, not every company needs an enterprise solution. Small businesses can take advantage of scaled-down, cost-effective predictive offerings from Emanio and Angoss. Both of those solutions can be run on a PC rather than a server.

Interesting predictive situations

Information Management provides two interesting scenarios in which predictive analytics have been used:

  • The US Special Forces utilized Dean Abbot’s predictive models to garner a better understanding of recruits. An expert in the field of analytics, Abbot says the primary consideration is how much to weigh different factors. Balance is best achieved by looking at the results: look at the data for various successful members of your staff to create a predictive model for hiring new employees.
  • Geolocation of users allows you to develop a better predictive understanding of your customers’ behavior. Social media companies use location data to determine prominence of posts and better tailor advertising.

The predictive cloud

Probably the main reason some businesses have become frustrated with the public cloud is that many cloud hosting providers (CHPs) are not transparent. Bills can seem erratic: it’s difficult to have a sense of what they will be from one month to the next.

Here are a number of features that allow Atlantic.Net to provide our customers with a predictive cloud, so that their hosting environment is always consistent:

  • real-time billing information
  • per-second billing
  • no hidden fees or stealth upcharges
  • no charge for inbound traffic
  • 1 TB of free outbound data transfer.

The above parameters apply to all our public cloud plans. Predictive spending comes standard, and you can utilize our managed services for your infrastructure as desired.

By Brett Haines; comic words by Kent Roberts & art by Leena Cruz.

Compare Atlantic.Net Cloud VPS Hosting – Important Considerations (Comic)

server humor

A typical question one of our customers asks us is, “What is your advantage over other cloud providers?” We know at Atlantic.Net that we are just one of many options for cloud hosting. There are numerous ways in which we set ourselves apart. Here are some of the hallmarks of the service that makes Atlantic.Net the best cloud hosting provider in the industry:

We give you your own kernel.

With our Cloud VPS, every server created has its own kernel. In contrast, many providers offer their users a shared kernel, significantly reducing the amount of control customers have over their server environments.

We bill on a per-second basis.

Per-second billing is especially beneficial for large server deployments. However, per-second billing is an advantage to every customer. The cloud is incredibly elastic, which means that you have access to additional resources on a moment-by-moment basis. If you need additional resources beyond the limits of your plan, you simply bump up the parameters within your control panel.

What’s important is how long that higher rate remains in effect. With us, the second you start needing additional resources is the second you start paying at a higher rate. Based on the second you ramp your resources back down, you stop paying at the higher rate. In contrast, many cloud hosting providers charge per hour, so a higher rate would remain in effect throughout whatever hours they are needed.

We provide free backup.

We back up your entire site, applications, and any other elements of your network, completely free of charge.

We provide Windows servers.

Many cloud hosting providers only offer Linux servers, which doesn’t meet the needs of many organizations. Now, to be clear, Linux is extraordinarily popular and is used by companies as large and powerful as Facebook, Google, and Amazon. However, some businesses want to use Microsoft for reasons such as the following:

  • integration with the broad spectrum of Microsoft applications;
  • ability to incorporate pages created via ASP and your database into FrontPage; and
  • resilient, high-performance SQL server databases.

We provide additional IP Addresses.

Sometimes businesses need more than one IP address, and we can accommodate them. A sample situation in which you might want to have an additional IP:

  • 2 nameservers should have two different IP addresses, according to Request for Comments (an Internet Engineering Task Force publication);
  • the second IP can be used when installing SSL certificates
  • the second IP can also be used for IP-based hosting (hosting an additional site using the same cloud VPS).

We have been in business for almost two decades.

When you look for affordable hosting, you may be afraid of doing business with fly-by-night companies. Atlantic.Net has been in business since 1994, with a long and impressive history of rapid growth and other accomplishments.

We provide other hosting solutions in addition to Cloud VPS.

It’s good to know that you can create a hybrid solution as needed. For example, you can use cloud VPS in combination with colocation or dedicated servers. You can also combine a cloud VPS with managed services. You can even transfer your system from the public cloud to a private cloud, or vice versa.

We offer easy and highly secure server deletion.

If you need to take a server off-line, you can delete a server with us in less than 10 seconds. We have tested other hosting providers in which it took about 17 minutes for the server to clear. Not only does that mean the task is completed more quickly, but you also aren’t paying for the extra time.

Beyond time and money, your provider should have strong security practices with regards to server deletions. Some hosting providers use outdated security protocols such as LVM (logical volume manager). Atlantic.Net has state-of-the-art security for server deletions that are clean and total.

We have competitive pricing.

Our cloud servers are reasonably priced, starting at only $0.005 per hour.

We own and operate an SSAE 16 TYPE II certified data center.

Many hosting companies are not in control of the data center itself. We are. Furthermore, our facility has been professionally audited and is highly secure, through stipulations set by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

We offer cPanel.

We previously covered why cPanel is such a great tool for those administrating a cloud VPS hosting account. Here are a few highlights:

  • Prominent and familiar – Either cPanel or its integrated cousin WHM are used by almost 2/3 of hosting companies, as of 2011.
  • User-friendly – It offers a feature-rich platform, controlled through an interface designed for ease-of-use. Modules can be added as needed.
  • Control – Because cPanel is so widely used, it’s easy to switch from one hosting provider to another. You don’t get stuck in a single hosting company’s proprietary software.
  • Support – Beyond the support provided by Atlantic.Net, you can also use cPanel’s knowledge base or the broad online community of cPanel users. You can visit cPanel support directly or try an online forum such as DaniWeb.

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By Kent Roberts