Tag Archives: cloud server

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.

We provide 24/7/365 live support.

Have a question now about cloud VPS hosting? Contact us by phone, email, or live chat anytime.

By Kent Roberts

Cloud computing application: forklift weight & usage data (& comic)

cloud web hosting data joke

The speed and agility of cloud-based web hosting has change the playing field in many industries, expanding the possibilities of technological application. One obvious example is medical research. Phys.org reports that the cloud is being used in genetic profiling research to allow for a much faster and less costly analysis of DNA sequences. Wu Feng, a computer scientist at Virginia Tech, notes that data analysis generally has become more sophisticated because of the speed and scope of the cloud.

Businesses are slowly beginning to grasp the vast potential of the cloud and how it might be applied for a competitive advantage in their industry. In a completely different corner from medical research, freight software and technology company Integrated Visual Data Technology, Inc., recently approached us about a cloud-based solution for their business. Let’s explore the nature of the business and how our hosting solution was effective.

Weight analysis & employee monitoring

Integrated Visual Data creates software and devices that log weight and other usage data for various freight-handling trucks: pallet trucks, lift trucks, and various kinds of tilt and level indicators. The machines allow information about usage of the trucks to be monitore by operators, as well as stored and accessed by management.

Weight data is helpful for general operational analysis and record-keeping, but the systems created by IVDT are useful in a completely different way as well. The company has an additional feature that can be added to any of its equipment as desired: an alert system for “rough vehicle handling.”  This system notifies management of the following parameters related to each lift truck:

  • excessive speed
  • overloads
  • extended periods of idling
  • windows during which the truck is underused
  • integration with scheduled break time.

In fact, Integrated Visual Data’s customers can add whatever parameters they want to capture and analyze. The company customizes the software so that individual business needs are met.

SkidWeigh is the general umbrella name for IVDT’s product offerings. The system is based on an organized system of modules, which are basically packaged chunks of code that are easily moved in or out of a system (similar to a desktop application on a PC). Building the system based on modules makes tailoring the technology simple, and it also makes operating the system friendlier to the end-user.

The SkidWeigh system is also apparently unique. According to Integrated Visual Data, its devices are the only ones available that show the user of freight equipment a slew of information related to material handling on a moment-by-moment basis. That same breadth and detail of information, plus additional analysis and notifications, is accessible to management. This feature allows those in supervisory positions to monitor forklift utilization at a distance, alerted of any problems in real time.

Crafting a cloud hosting solution

Integrated Visual Data contacted us in December to help make the delivery of its data more efficient and cost-effective. They wanted to use a cloud server to upload data from the forklift onboard weighing systems. Using the cloud would allow the end-user to access the data much more quickly. It also would allow real-time analysis to get more complex because slow load times (i.e., high latency) are much less of an issue with the cloud. Management would have access to all weight and usage information – including rough handling details – in real time.

IVDT asked for our input so that we could customize a solution based on parameters they described. Integrated Visual Data has over 200 different algorithms for its technology, and it customizes its software regularly for customers. Our business has a similar approach to clients. We have a wide range of hosting plans with preestablished parameters, but we can also tailor infrastructures. In other words, it was a synergistic partnership because the two organizations held similarly adaptive philosophies.

Public cloud vs. private cloud

Cloud technology is itself highly adaptable. However, often when businesses use cloud hosting – with what’s often standardly thought of as “the cloud” – they are taking advantage of the public cloud. In that scenario, many different businesses share the same servers, with the cloud technology keeping all of the server requests organized and distinct. Just as traditional virtual private servers (VPSs) are sections of one physical machine, the virtual machines of the cloud are made up of multiple sections of a variety of physical machines.

Integrated Visual Data, due to the sensitive nature of its data, needed its own private cloud. The company required its own firewall and virtual private networks (VPNs), and they wanted managed hosting services so that our team of security and efficiency experts could monitor their system and keep it running smoothly. The best option was a private virtual machine (VM), connecting multiple physical servers with cloud technology so that data computation and analysis could be as fast and complex as possible.

IVDT is just one of the many companies that we assist with custom cloud solutions every day. At Atlantic.Net, we have been in business for 20 years and continue to grow because our technological focus is matched only by our customer focus.

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

Cloud Hosting Providers: Comparison Chart

how businesses use a cloud hosting provider

how businesses use a cloud hosting provider

One of the most difficult things for companies is trying to figure out which hosting provider to choose because there are so many different factors to consider. They may know they want cloud hosting, but exploring different services can sometimes get complicated and confusing. Comparison charts allow a simple, side-by-side view of various parameters offered by a number of different companies, so that you can easily determine what you are getting for the price.

Let’s look at basic features for three of the most prominent cloud hosting providers (CHPs), along with Atlantic.Net. (Note that our “Medium” cloud hosting package at Atlantic.Net is one of the options listed, but all information is current to the best of our knowledge, obtained through third-party comparison pages and the sites of the hosting companies themselves.)

Basic cloud hosting provider features – chart & explanation

The below comparison chart gives basic parameters for each of three major cloud hosting providers. Not everything is included here for the sake of efficiency, but you will find these patterns hold true, in a general sense, for other features as well. (Note the 24/7 support description in the section below the chart to better understand the prices within that row.)

Atlantic.net Linode.com Amazon Web Services Rackspace
Monthly Price $19.94 (Lin.)$29.94 (Win.) $40 $43.20 $58.40
RAM 2.048 GB 2 GB 1.7 GB 2 GB
Disk Space 160 GB 96 GB 160 GB 80 GB
Billing Timeframe Per Second Per Hour Per Hour Per Hour
24/7 Support Free Free $100 Free

The above gives you an idea of how the top hosting services compare with regards to price, memory (RAM), bandwidth, disk space, billing timeframe, and 24/7 support. Now let’s analyze each feature separately, before looking directly at comparison costs for the amount of RAM and disk space available:

  • Monthly price – The price obviously covers a broad range, from $19.94 to $87.60. It helps to know upfront what the monthly charge will be for each of these services. However, the resources are what’s really important. Each of these cloud hosting providers offers different prices for different sizes of accounts. In this chart, RAM serves as the stabilizing feature so that we are comparing the same basic type of account.
  • RAM – As stated above, this feature is just about even. Obviously there is a little discrepancy, but all the hosting services are right around the 2 GB mark for these specific solutions.
    Disk Space – Two of the hosting solutions stand out in this category with significantly more disk space than is offered by the other two companies.
  • Billing Timeframe – Most cloud hosting providers contain language on their sites explaining that you will be billed for the full hour for each partial “instance-hour” during which you consume a resource. The problem for customers regarding pricing with that policy is that there is a lot of “rounding up” involved, on an hour by hour basis. In other words, if you need more during the hour, you pay for those resources for the entire hour, whether you need them or not. A company that bills for each individual second does not bill for the full hour based on the highest amount of resource use.
  • 24/7 Support – Typically people want support questions answered almost immediately. Because the support team is available 24/7 at Atlantic.Net for free and immediate assistance, the prices for support listed for the other hosting packages are for personal customer support that is available right away.

What really gets helpful here to better gauge price is to look at the amount you will be paying for certain amounts of RAM and disk space on a couple of the different plans. Since Atlantic.Net is obviously at the low-end on price but also has high resource figures, we will use it as the basis for comparison for a couple “what-if” scenarios.

At the $43.20 rate offered by Amazon Web Services, how much would you be paying if the RAM were to be equivalent to that offered by Atlantic.Net (2.048 GB rather than 1.7 GB)? To get the same amount of RAM Atlantic.Net provides from AWS offered at their per-gigabyte rate, you’d have to pay $52.04 each month (all other factors remaining equal). That allows a clear comparison between the prices and parameters of the two cloud hosting providers.

At the $58.40 rate offered by Rackspace, how much would you have to pay to get disk space that equals what is offered in the Atlantic.Net plan (160 GB rather than 80 GB)? To get the same amount of disk space from Rackspace as Atlantic.Net offers at Rackspace’s price for each gigabyte in its plan, your cost would be $116.80 (all else remaining equal). Again, comparing in this way gives a better sense of the true difference between prices for the two solutions.

The important thing when you choose a cloud hosting provider is to know exactly what you’re getting. For example, you might get a little irritated if you sign up for an account with a big-name cloud service and then realize you will have to pay $1200 per year to get the 24/7 support offered standardly with many hosting services. As you can see generally from the above, Atlantic.Net has worked hard to develop extremely competitive cloud servers at a cost-effective level for any type of business.

By Kent Roberts

Should You Own or Outsource Your Data Center?

Back in the day, it was not abnormal for even the smallest of companies to run their own servers. Sure, they may have been unorganized, inefficient and possibly even a fire hazard, but there simply were no other options. Today, businesses are increasingly coming to realize that technology has improved and there are alternatives. As a business owner, should you run your own data center or outsource your data storage and computing needs from a third‐party vendor?

If you have chosen the route of building your own data center, you need to ask yourself some questions first: How big will it need to be? How resilient can you make the hardware? Are you going to rent the location or purchase it outright? Additionally, you will need to update the equipment and operating systems every three years or so in order to remain up‐to‐date. Are these expenses ones you are willing to make?

Building a data center from scratch is ideal for companies that need to keep a close eye on sensitive information. For example, governmental agencies may have access to social security numbers and other information that could lead to detrimental consequences if compromised by unauthorized access.

For those with a tighter budget, outsourcing your data storage and hosting needs to a reputable cloud hosting provider is an ideal option. This solution provides the customer with a reliable option for storing their data and applications, meanwhile only paying for the resources they use. In addition, colocation is a great option if you have your own server, but need a place to house it. Colocation allows businesses to avoid the high cost of in-house storage, power, and bandwidth.

Choosing between owning and outsourcing your data center may not necessarily be easy because there are many factors to consider. However, outsourcing is a great option for the average SMB business, and owning is an equally great option for larger corporations storing secure information. Let the experts at Atlantic.Net help you find the best solution today. Call 1-800-521-5881 to get started.

VPS Hosting versus Cloud Server Hosting

Both virtual private servers (VPS) and cloud servers are proving themselves very important in today’s world of websites, applications, and data hosting. How do you know which option is right for you?

A VPS serves as a traditional dedicated server operating in a data center. Customers typically order the specific resources they need, and alter the architecture as necessary. Most hosting providers invoice VPS to the client by the minute, which can add up to be quite costly.

Cloud computing offers a variety of services from a pool of resources to provide an astonishing amount of flexibility and reliability. The allocation of a cloud solution’s resources can be increased or decreased as necessary, allowing the customer to worry less about future invoice payments and more about the business.

When making the choice between a virtual private server and a cloud server, it is important to select the server that best suits your individual needs. A VPS provides a secure environment for the transmission of sensitive data, and since it is on its own operating system, it has its own disk space and bandwidth, which ensures that all your information is safely located in one place. A cloud server is most beneficial due to the fact that it is easily scalable through virtualization. Additionally, the architecture on which a cloud server is located has proven stable through rigorous installation and testing.

Virtual private servers and cloud servers both have individual beneficial features, functions and applications. Because each solution has differences, it is important to choose the one that is just right for you. If you need help choosing between a VPS and cloud server, contact Atlantic.Net today at 1-800-521-5881.

What is a Cloud Server?

Every new development in technology brings a plethora of new terms and concepts to become familiar with.  Cloud technology is no different.  In this blog post, we will tackle the term “cloud servers” so that you can fully understand what a cloud server is and how it can benefit your business.

The CloudTimes Cloud Computing Glossary defines cloud servers as:

“Virtualized servers running Windows or Linux operating systems that are instantiated via a web interface or API (Application Programming Interface).  Cloud Servers behave in the same manner as physical ones and can be controlled at an administrator or root level, depending on the server type and Cloud Hosting provider.”

In essence, a cloud server is a virtual dedicated server instance launched by producing a virtual server image on the cloud.  Cloud servers can be quickly launched and shut down through application programming interfaces, offering the user greater flexibility and scalability than with a traditional VPS (virtual private server).

Compared to a traditional VPS, cloud servers offer shorter provisioning times and easier resource allocation, which offers the consumer far greater control of infrastructure spend.  A major problem with VPS platforms is that they tend to be oversold, making one physical host machine run too many customers, causing server crashes and/or poor server performance.  However, with a cloud server you are guaranteed the full amount of allocated memory, CPU, network I/O, etc. that you are paying for.

As a leading cloud provider, Atlantic.Net offers simplicity, security, scalability, and reliability with the latest virtualization and cloud server hosting platform.  An Atlantic.Net platform allows you to build, test, and deploy Windows or Linux servers in the cloud in seconds.  Sign up for a free cloud server trial today by calling 800-521-5881!

High Availability Does Not Have To Be Expensive

Highly reliable computing resources are a must for any modern business. Critical business functions like e-mail, inventory management, online presence, scheduling, data protection, or remote collaboration all depend on these resources. Downtime can cost thousands of dollars per hour and seriously hurt your bottom line.

But there are many potential points of failure. Hardware failures, power outages, natural disasters and data corruption can all threaten your computing uptime and seriously damage your business. Until a few years ago, the standard approach to achieving high availability was to purchase and implement two or more of everything. This meant redundant servers, internet uplinks, data storage, etc. With a single server costing $4,000 or $5,000, this level of redundancy was often prohibitively expensive right from the start. What’s worse, it did not protect against power failures, natural disasters, or security breaches.

In addition, the mere fact of adding complexity to the in-house IT infrastructure introduced technical complications such as data mirroring and hardware/software compatibility that many companies found difficult to manage, and which required specialized and dedicated personnel. The hardware and management costs added up to a very steep price, while providing only partial protection against downtime.

So purely from a financial perspective, achieving better reliability by doubling your IT infrastructure meant a burdensome up-front cost and a difficult return on investment. Until recently, you had a difficult decision to make: absorb these costs or increase the company’s exposure to potentially catastrophic risk.

Fortunately, the advent of cloud hosting has changed the equation. Today, companies looking to get started, grow, or transition can have access to fully redundant computing infrastructure without paying the up-front premium and ongoing costs of redundant systems. Cloud servers take advantage of advanced data centers, economies of scale and professional, dedicated hosting teams to deliver the same level of computing infrastructure as a service. With a quality cloud server provider, the reliability is built-in, and you benefit from limited up-front costs, as well as amortization of IT expenses over the life of your contract.

Cloud servers can be surprisingly affordable and extremely reliable while still offering the option for high-end performance. Atlantic.Net offers a 100% Network and Infrastructure Guarantee for servers starting at  $10.95/month for Linux and

$58.40/month for Windows.

In addition, cloud infrastructure offers you the flexibility to manage your own server performance, or add from an array of managed services like e-mail, automated backup, and security monitoring.

Cloud Hosting: Access a Range of Hosted Services

This is the last in a series of four posts exploring how cloud computing offers significant advantages to companies who want to scale their business.

In this post: Help Us Help You: The Larger World of Hosted Cloud Server Services

As we’ve discussed, switching to cloud servers means you’re becoming a smarter business and tailoring your server resources to match your real-time needs. In addition to servers, cloud hosting providers like Atlantic.net offer a range of hosted services which can provide you with even more flexibility, scalability, and savings.

What are hosted services?

Hosted services are basically IT functions that can be delivered over the network. Cloud-based hosted services mean that professional Atlantic.Net personnel (not your own employees) can handle many of your recurring IT needs. These services can be billed on an as-used basis, just like servers and other basic cloud computing resources. This model gives you all the flexibility, resources, and advantages we’ve explained in previous posts, but opens up a wider range of services, including:

System configuration, maintenance, installation and troubleshooting

Getting your computers to work, and keeping them running

System security

Firewalls, encryption, antivirus, software patches and maintenance

Offsite data backup

Crucial for any business – gives you peace of mind and helps you fulfill legal requirements (store data for a certain time, or delete after a certain time)

Monitoring and notification

Have a professional team to keep an eye on your network, spot potential problems before they develop, and help you through any downtime

Remote access accounts

Grow your business by letting your employees work from anywhere, with secure access and reliable applications

If you’re already set up with cloud computing resources – i.e. offsite servers – and you’re used to accessing those resources through the Internet, then adding hosted services is extremely easy. It’s as simple as contacting Atlantic.Net and discussing your needs, then having us turn on the service. Hosted cloud services mean that whole range of enterprise-ready services are literally at your fingertips.

We hope this series has shown you how cloud computing services can help your business grow. Cloud computing is a powerful new model that is rapidly gaining acceptance in many fields, and we’re proud of what we’ve done since 1994 to help make that a reality.  We look forward to a future where computing power is seen as a valuable resource, not a frustrating liability.

Cloud Hosting Flexibility: Scale Services In Real-Time

This is the second in a series of four posts exploring how cloud hosting offers significant advantages to companies who want to scale their business.

In this post: Scalable computing grows with businesses.

One of the main advantages of cloud hosting is its scalability. This is just another way of saying that it’s easy to add or remove computing capacity, bandwidth, storage and user accounts. Since you don’t need to have any hardware or software installed locally, it’s extremely easy to add more capacity when you need it, or decommission capacity when it’s sitting idle.  The model is very flexible!

Flexibility and ease of use are important advantages, and ones that are often undervalued. If you’re trying to grow your business, your computing needs will frequently change. Imagine, for instance:

  • you have an interview on a drive-time radio show, and suddenly you’re expecting a lot more website hits
  • you produce a new demonstration video and want to host it
  • you want to add an inventory-management tool to organize your supply chain

All of these scenarios will place additional demands on your bandwidth or processing capacity. Using cloud hosting, you can set up new virtual or cloud  servers in as little as 30 seconds to handle these needs.  And if you find you have excess capacity you’re not using, you can take those servers offline just as quickly. You’ll never be caught with too little capacity, and you’ll never need to watch a valuable piece of hardware depreciate as it sits unused. The flexibility we discussed also leads to several opportunities for cash savings, which we’ll explore in a future post.

From the usability side, scalability means easier management of your people and easier organization of your growth. If you bring in new personnel to support a major product launch, or a temporary team to do an internal audit in preparation for an IPO, you can set them all up with user accounts, network access, e-mail and scheduling – and manage security clearances and automatic expiration – all through a centralized interface, and all without installing any new hardware or software on-site. Cloud computing scalability means that you can have the capacity you need as quickly as you decide you need it. Certain resources can even be set up to scale automatically in response to demand (e.g. processing capacity for running large datasets). With cloud servers, computing scalability has become easily available to the business world, and smart companies around the globe are learning how to use it to facilitate growth.

Check back for parts three and four of this series, where we’ll look at:

  • Financial outlay for hardware, software and personnel
  • Easy access to managed services like backup, email and security

Cloud Hosting: A Flexible Resource For Scaling Your Business

Cloud hosting breaks free of an outdated in-house IT model, and positions modern businesses for rapid growth.

Modern business people know that computer-driven services are vital to organizing and running a business:

  • Email and scheduling
  • Document sharing
  • Customer relationship management systems
  • Supply chain management systems
  • Web presence
  • Online ordering systems

Until recently, the only viable IT model for many small- and medium-sized companies was to have in-house servers to run these services. You probably know that purchasing, configuring, maintaining and upgrading these servers and their software can be a big distraction from core activities. And in business, success comes from focusing on your core activities—ultimately you need to satisfy your customers to succeed and grow. But computer-driven services are so important that companies needed to devote resources to in-house IT, even if this detracted from revenues and growth.

Cloud server hosting changes all that. When you decide to get your computing power from a cloud computing provider, you become a smarter business. Why? Because now you’re treating computing power as a resource rather than an end in itself.

Like other resources you need to run and grow your business, computing power is now available on-demand, from specialized service providers. Think about it this way: when you need electricity, you don’t build and run your own turbine. When you need paper, you don’t fell and pulp your own trees. But until recently, when you needed computing power, you had to buy, install and maintain your own server.

Cloud servers lets you treat computing power like a resource. When you need more—say, when web traffic spikes following a successful publicity event—you can increase your use without spending time and money setting up a server that will likely sit idle most of the time. When you need less, you just throttle back your usage, along with your expenses.

Recent advances in cloud computing let you treat many key business computing functions such as storage, data processing, email and others the same way you treat utilities and office supply delivery: as an on-demand service. Your computing requirements can be met through tailored services provided by specialized suppliers. And this kind of business model lets you stay focused on your core activities while supporting your growth and success.

Check back for more posts in the weeks ahead, where we’ll look in detail at three ways that cloud computing offers unique advantages for growing your business:

  • Scalable services: meeting demand in real-time
  • Financial outlay for hardware, software and personnel
  • Easy access to managed services like backup, email and security