When choosing a new product or service, it’s important to have an understanding of how it works before deciding for sure if it will meet your needs. Hosting is no different. It is vital that you have a basic understanding of how the various technologies work to ensure that you make the right choice. In this post, we will cover the basic functionalities to help you make educated decisions about your web hosting solutions, specifically concerning Cloud VPS.
What is a VPS?
Let’s start by looking at a VPS and how it works. A virtual private server, or VPS, is a virtual machine (VM) that is used as a server. Virtual machine is a term used to refer to a computer system that exists virtually on another real computer. Computers are designed to present resources such as disks, memory and the CPU to the operating system. As computers became increasingly more powerful with larger amounts of RAM and disk available, software was created to emulate a real computer using sections of the RAM, disk and processor so that you can run a normal operating system.
A special software called a hypervisor is used to manage the operation of virtual machines on a computer. A hypervisor segregates the computer’s RAM and organizes the processing of the various virtual machine’s software on the CPU. As ideas of VPS caught on, CPU design began to incorporate features to improve virtual machines, allowing them to run with much better performance. This improved performance, along with the power efficiency of modern computers, has allowed for many old computers to be virtualized onto fewer new ones, reducing many companies power bills in the process.
To distinguish between the hardware computer and the virtual ones, the hardware computer is generally referred to as a host, and the virtual machines running on it are guests. One of the limitations of these virtual machines is that they rely upon the host computer to operate, and if anything happens to the host all the guest machines stop with it. The Cloud VPS concept was developed to provide a way for Virtual Private Servers to operate without this limitation.
What is Cloud VPS?
At its basic level, a VPS Cloud consists of a number of computers working together to act as hosts for many guest virtual machines. Some computers run the hypervisor software and are responsible for providing CPU and RAM resources for the guests. Other computers, called SANs, provide storage for the various guests’ data. Yet another computer controls the whole cloud assigning hypervisors to run the virtual machines, defining their disks on the storage SANs and ensuring that the virtual machines are linked to their relevant data.
One of the biggest causes of downtime for a server comes from hardware failures. Separating a virtual machine’s storage from the host prevents long downtime periods. In the event that a hypervisor server experiences a hardware failure, the guest virtual machines can be moved to another hypervisor server to run. In a similar manner, redundancy for the storage and control servers means that an individual hardware failure will not stop the cloud and keeps the data for the guest virtual machines secure.
When in use, a Cloud VPS is not really any different to a dedicated server when it comes to management. From the operating system’s perspective, both Cloud VPS and dedicated servers appear as the same. So most guides and tutorials you find for configuring a dedicated server are equally applicable when using a VPS. The benefits of a Cloud VPS are all transparent when running an operating system, but also provide users with additional features in the resistance to hardware failures, which cause extended downtime. Cloud VPS also offers the ability to scale your VPS by increasing or decreasing the resources you assign to fully meet your requirements.
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