Opened 2 years ago

#748 new enhancement

An Introduction to Cloud Servers and Their Benefits

Reported by: Karen Sam Owned by:
Priority: major Milestone:
Component: Database Version:
Severity: major Keywords:


Having, in the first part of this article, described what cloud servers are and how they work within the context of cloud computing, the following installments go on to discuss how they generated some of the key features that drive the adoption of the cloud at both a personal and enterprise level. This installment covers the two performance related benefits of scalability and reliability.

Scalability By combining the computing power of a significant number of cloud servers, cloud providers can offer services which are massively scalable and have no limiting capacities and antivirus and security . With hypervisors pulling resources from the plethora of underlying servers as and when needed, cloud services can be responsive to demand so that increased requests from a client's particular cloud service can be met instantaneously with the computing power that it needs. There is no issue with functions being limited by the capacity of one server and therefore clients having to acquire and configure additional servers when there are rises in demand. What's more, with cloud services, where the product has already been provisioned, the client can simply tap into the service without the costs and delays of the initial server set up that would otherwise be incurred.

For clients whose IT functions and antivirus and security are susceptible to large fluctuations

For example, websites with varying traffic levels, pooled cloud server resources removes the chance of service failure when there are spikes in demand. Additionally, on the flip side, it removes the need to invest in high capacity setups - as a contingency for these spikes - which would go unused for a large proportion of time. Indeed, if the client's demands fall, the resource they use (and pay for) can also reduce accordingly.

Reliability - Redundancy & Uptime As mentioned, the high number of cloud servers used to form a cloud service offering means that services are less likely to be disrupted with performance issues or downtime due to spikes in demand. However, the model also protects against single points of failure. If one server goes offline it won't disrupt the service to which it was contributing resources because there are plenty of other servers to seamlessly provide that resource in its place. In some cases, the physical servers are located across different data centers and even different countries so that there could conceivably be an extreme failure causing a data center to go offline without the cloud service being disrupted. In some models, back ups are specifically created in different data centers to combat this risk.

In addition to unforeseen failures, pooled server resources can also allow maintenance - for example, patching of operating systems - to be carried out on the servers and networks without any disruption or downtime for the cloud service. What's more, that maintenance, as well as any other supporting activities optimizing the performance, security and stability of the cloud servers will be performed by staff with the relevant expertise working for either the cloud service provider or the hosting provider. In other words, the end user has no need to invest in acquiring that expertise themselves and can instead focus on the performance of the end product.

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