What Can You Do with a VPS and Cloud Server?

Kent Roberts
by Atlantic.Net (71posts) under HIPAA Compliant Cloud Hosting
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Choosing the right direction with hosting gets a little complex. For instance, you might think that there are strong points to be made for using virtual private server (VPS) hosting just as there are for using cloud hosting. Actually, these two options are not contrary to one another but can be complementary: you can get a VPS within a cloud infrastructure. That cloud VPS hosting option means you can benefit from both of these incredibly popular and useful technological approaches for your backend.

This article discusses the core reasons businesses utilize cloud hosting and cloud VPS hosting, then reviews some of the most prominent use cases for the latter.

Why cloud hosting?

A cloud server is an environment that is provided to users through numerous servers that are integrated and together make up the cloud. Key obstacles that have prevented people from adopting this hosting solution are a lack of full data control and worries about security. However, there are many benefits of cloud; in fact, thought leaders now believe that security is, in fact, one of them.

It requires considerable resources to run a website that includes the need for a database, handling a large volume of requests, and is perhaps integrated with enterprise systems. Full access and control of at least one server will be necessary in these environments if you are to maintain strong response times to customer requests. These servers for the site are typically stored within a data center, in which they are connected to the Internet.

Usually the way that companies have met this need is by looking for space for hardware, sometimes in a facility that is at a great distance to the organization’s headquarters. The relatively new option of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS, or cloud hosting) allows people to host through a server delivered by an orchestrated pool of machines. Within a cloud, you could develop the site using open source tools such as a Java stack or LAMP stack (Linux, Apache HTTP Server, MySQL, and PHP). You might also want to use commercial programs. You can take either route with a cloud server.

When a business uses a cloud server, it is leveraging the data center of an external provider to run the site, interact with customers, and deliver its contents to visitors – from a virtual server built within a cloud-engineered environment. The cloud service provider (CSP) takes care of initial deployment, hardware, data protection, and upkeep. They will differ in the amount of permission they give customers to use their own configurations and guidelines for the servers and programs. Scaling can sometimes be performed through a web-accessible interface too.

One reason cloud is preferred is that someone that is not within your organization will take care of getting all the components implemented. You are able to manage the servers through a highly secure network connected to the Internet.

Firms that utilize cloud technology are able to scale incredibly. Scalability is critical because it is not just about your ability to grow but your organization’s ability to respond at the moment to changes in demand – since your size at any given point on average will always be lower than the amount you are selling during peak periods. (See below peak-traffic bursting section for more.)

What is special about a cloud VPS?

What makes cloud VPS hosting different from other IaaS approaches is that it is rooted more in containerization – giving you many of the benefits of cloud without completely virtualizing the equipment.

It should also be noted that any type of VPS hosting is dramatically more secure and customizable than shared hosting because the former has its own distinct operating system, as well as its own server (which is why root access becomes possible within a VPS scenario). While a traditional VPS divides up the resources of a traditional server with strict limitations, cloud VPS hosting gives you dedicated resources as well.

Use cases for a cloud VPS

Here are some of the most common use cases for cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (Iaas), as indicated from Cloud Academy and Enterprise Networking Planet:

Production migration: One of the main ways that the cloud is used by business is in the transition of production from an on-site datacenter to the cloud.

Disaster recovery & backup: The way that a cloud hosting system is designed makes it impervious to individual component failures or speed issues of a single physical machine. Plus, you basically have as much storage room as you need immediately with the cloud. Lifecycle management is an understood mandatory piece of one of these service environments.

Redundancy: You can implement two cloud virtual private servers in two geographical locations. Then you can use a load balancer to send requests to each of the two servers and make your system far more resilient.

Data manipulation & big data: You are able to manage big data much more efficiently within the cloud. As with other uses, you do not need to pay for the resources except when you have a large dataset that you need to study (spinning up a server as-needed).

Peak-traffic bursting: When a company does a substantial volume of ecommerce transactions, they will see peak times as the traffic fluctuates. Within the environment of a traditional datacenter, you would have to prepare the management directly for all resources, from network capacity to storage to compute. Scalability does not flourish in that context. You will have more hardware and resources than you need in order to operate just for a few weeks out of the typical year. Rather than getting sufficient equipment on site to handle the holidays that is then underutilized at other times, it makes more sense to use cloud. A public cloud architecture is designed for great performance in response to substantial rising and falling in traffic. When your traffic goes down, you could potentially go back to using only your regular systems too. (You could, of course, simply move systems to the cloud so that you are then able to adapt seamlessly as traffic volume ebbs and flows: see “web hosting” below.)

Proof of concept: The cloud makes it possible with a relatively thin budget to deploy your proof of concept. With the findings, you are able to have more evidence to share with leadership.

Web hosting: Often companies will decide to generally use infrastructure-as-a-service for their business, as indicated above. They make that choice partially so that load balancing is implemented systematically throughout their ecosystem, and so that they can auto-scale on demand. Simply being able to scale without having to manually intervene is a massive gain for companies that want that process to be easy, without management or maintenance challenges.

Development & testing: Just like you might not have extra room for hardware to allow for bursting during peak periods, you may also not have the space for a developmental backend (which can be costly). Cloud servers can be deployed as needed, such as simply for an hour of testing.

The right cloud VPS for your business

As you can see, there are many benefits of a cloud VPS, as well as many common use cases. Do you think that an infrastructure-as-a-service virtual private server (or cloud VPS) might be right for your needs? At Atlantic.Net, our cloud server hosting uses RAID-10 SSD storage to deliver guaranteed CPU cycles. We also offer HIPAA compliant cloud hosting solutions.

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