A cloud server can be defined as a logical server that is hosted and operated via a cloud computing platform over the internet. On the functional grounds, cloud servers operate the same way to the typical servers (hardware/ desktop servers); however, the biggest asset they possess is the remote access to the users and the administrators.
Since it is hosted by cloud computing platforms, it is also referred to as a virtual server.
Nowadays, almost everything we do over the internet is backed by the cloud. May it be your WhatsApp messaging, your E-Mail communications, Social Media posts, or just a simple Google search. You may do it sitting in Kolkata, but the search gets delivered by the clustered servers somewhere in Silicon Valley, California. Preparation and maintenance of documents is a recent advancement we can consider as one of the benefits of cloud servers. Google provides the service called Google docs, and with its help you can just prepare a report in an excel spreadsheet, share with your colleague immediately, and he can get it downloaded sipping a cuppa coffee anywhere in the world. All the mentioned examples are in existence because of cloud servers.
How does a cloud server work?
To put in simple, the cloud servers work as a back end of the cloud computing system. The cloud computing can be easily divided into two sections, as front end and back end. The front end is where the user performs his activities and the back end is what makes the communication.
In an allotted virtual space, you can easily access and download the data on the devices of your choice. Even your mobile phone is a front end of cloud computing (for example- your data in your Facebook profile is stored and accessed via the cloud server of Facebook Inc).
There may be multiple servers to manage multiple sets of tasks or operations. The key benefit of a cloud server is whenever in unwanted circumstances like a server crash; another server can substitute and play a cameo without affecting or creating any hurdle to the user. It may happen that the user will not even have an idea if there was an unusual crash. This may incur because of low storage space on the server or low-quality infrastructure.
The types of cloud computing
Cloud computing falls in three foremost categories, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Cloud servers fall under the category IaaS. An IaaS service provider supplies physical as well as virtual machines, block storage, networking components and protection infrastructures like firewall, load balancers, antivirus, etc.
IaaS is economical since you won’t have to invest in expensive hardware and you have the flexibility to choose the size of the data you require.
Each user machine is directly accessible through the internet or via a virtual private network (popularly known as VPN). You also may require a Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) or a Static IP as a part of your cloud server. However, it totally depends on your requirement of infrastructure, moreover your operation’s requirement to be precise.
IaaS basically satisfies the needs of public, private and hybrid clouds. Amazon, IBM, HP, and Rackspace are some of the leading service providers of cloud servers and hosting.
Cloud Server Hosting
Cloud server hosting is hosting services made accessible to users via the internet. Cloud server hosting, unlikely the traditional servers are provided by the multiple connected servers those comprise a cloud. Since these hosting services are provided by the multiple servers, they are also referred to as cluster server hosting. There are some advantages and a few disadvantages to Cloud Server Hosting.
Cloud Server Hosting Advantages
They are scalable- If you have an e-Commerce platform hosted on the cloud, and in a festive season, or on big discount days you experience heavy traffic of visitors on your portal, the cloud server hosting is scalable enough to handle that traffic without causing any issue to any user of your application.
Scalability of Cloud Server hosting can also be helpful when there is an upgrade in the current system software or any amendments in it.
They save your money- It is a persistent observation that many enterprises put their majority of capital in the investment of infrastructures, mainly to buy and maintain the hardware. Cloud server hosting provides cost effectiveness where you will have to pay only for hosting. The good thing is you won’t have to pay for the unused capacity.
They make the disaster recovery- Compared to the traditional backup methodologies, cloud servers are of much swift when it comes to backup and restores. Being hardware independent, the cloud servers are of help whenever you need to migrate your data. And whenever there is an unusual crash, one server can substitute the existing one, providing the ease of access to the front end professionals.
They provide you remote access- As long as there is internet availability with you, you can access your data from anywhere, at any time and at any instance you wish to.
Providing remote access is helpful to enterprises that have employees who roam around various places for the purpose of business.
They provide you the ease of use- Many cloud servers provide you the ease of access. It doesn’t require knowing the technology behind; you can rather start to access the application just by logging in. The ease of access is proven of help to the administrators who often tend to have manipulations in their respective applications whenever it is required.
Cloud Server Hosting Disadvantages
Downtime issues- The availability of the continuous network is an issue. Many times due to blackouts or technical problems the network downtime may affect the front end users. Downtimes can be critical since almost all data accessibility is server dependent.
Data Integrity- Unwanted activities like data corruption, misplacements, accidental deletion (intentional or unintentional), malicious acts, and hardware crashes may create issues. You should have a proper policy for data integrity to overcome such instances.
Confidentiality of data- A reliable identity authentication is important when you put all your important data on the cloud server. Your responsibility gets involved to investigate whether the cloud server hosting service provider has made adequate safeguards to sensitive data in case of hardware failures, natural disasters, and cyber crime or data breaches.
Differences between Virtual Private Server and Private Cloud Server
Many people assume that VPS (Virtual Private Server) and Private Clouds are interchangeable terminologies.
Let’s have a look at the differences between VPS and private clouds
A virtual private server is a single physical server, designed for a limited number of users. While a private cloud uses distributed resources to multiple physical server machines. This redundancy allows the seamless transition of data to the users as well as the administrators.
A noteworthy contrast between a VPS and a private cloud is the area of the equipment. A virtual private server is, for the most part, facilitated at an off-website, outsider web facilitating supplier. A private cloud is arranged nearby or at a server farm, you claim. There are special cases to this standard, be that as it may, as some cloud suppliers are putting forth facilitated private mists for clients. These mists utilize equipment that is exclusively for the utilization of that specific cloud and isn't imparted to different clients.
Cloud control boards are worked in view of speedy provisioning and arrangement. The procedure to get another virtual server, database or other assets fully operational ordinarily takes just a couple of navigates the authoritative board. A VPS expects you to update your administration physically, send in a help ticket to the supplier, or call to get technical support to furnish you with the asset required, making a private cloud more advantageous in such manner.
Private cloud is somewhat costly regarding equipment, as you need to bear the expense of the equipment, establishment, set-up, and upkeep. This is brought down to some degree in the event that you run with a facilitated private cloud, however, you don't have a similar dimension of control on a facilitated cloud as you do with your own, nearby alternative. A virtual private server is immeasurably more affordable and much less expensive than committed server facilitating. Whenever the cost is an issue, the VPS wins out without fail.
Linux Cloud Server
Linux Cloud Server is a secure foundation for those who work on Linux OS. Linux is a group of free, open-source programming working frameworks worked around the Linux piece. Initially produced for PCs dependent on the Intel x86 engineering, Linux has since been ported to a bigger number of stages than some other working framework. Because of the predominance of the Linux bit put together Android OS with respect to cell phones, Linux has the biggest introduced base of all broadly useful working frameworks. Linux is likewise the main working framework on servers and "enormous iron" frameworks, for example, centralized server PCs, and it is the main OS utilized on TOP500 supercomputers.