These days, everybody wants to use “the cloud”. And many website owners want “cloud servers” or “cloud hosting”
But few seem to actually understand what this means.
In many cases, marketing has clouded (pun intended!) the term in mystery, resulting in many myths.
Even worse, many hosts don’t understand cloud either!
The Top 5 Myths Around Cloud Servers:
#1: Cloud Servers are distributed across many servers
Most people imagine the cloud to be many computers working as one. But that’s not accurate. It’s more complicated than that.
Cloud servers can float from one hypervisor to another, and are not hardware-bound. But there’s no mainstream cloud technology that processes data on multiple hardware simultaneously.
The closest technology that exists is VMware’s Fault Tolerance (FT), which uses a live shadow instance that creates instant backups of the cloud server’s VM. In the event of hardware fail, VMware vSphere FT automatically creates a new instance on a new hypervisor on new hardware. (FT ensures near-zero downtime as a result.)
Myth #2: Cloud Servers are not VPS
Lots of hosts pretend that cloud hosting is something special, and is somehow better than mere VPS hosting. They do this out of either ignorance or deceit.
VPS = virtual private server.
- Is a Cloud Server virtual? – Yes.
- Is a Cloud Server Private? – Yes.
- Is it a server? – Of course! Yes!
It’s nothing more than semantics.
Some hosts try to obfuscate (or are themselves confused about) the issue by ranting about paravirtualization, kernels, OpenVZ or Virtuozzo, etc. But that’s a different topic.
#3: Cloud server use hourly billing
- Can cloud servers be billed by the hour? – Yes.
- Must it? – No.
Cloud technology has allowed for some interesting elastic billing methods, but it’s not required. Although hosts like Digital Ocean bill per hour, and Google bills per CPU cycle, EuroVPS is sticking to easier monthly billing.
Myth #4: Cloud is more reliable than traditional hosting
Realize that “cloud” is a nonsense term. There is no standard that defines what is and is not a cloud server. There is no authority that decides what can be called “cloud”.
So, as usual, caveat emptor – buyer beware!
The only way to know if a “cloud” is reliable is by understanding the details on it.
- Which hypervisor?
- Which hardware?
- What type of storage?
- What are the failover protocols?
- How is it networked and interconnected?
There are many variables involved. “Cloud” can be anything from a high-end enterprise setup to a home server on a DSL line.
#5: Cloud servers never have downtime
This is the ultimate myth, a Pinocchio pants-on-fire lie, when it comes to the cloud.
Many cloud hosts are keen to advertise their “high availability” (HA) features. Ideally, HA will auto-boot the VM on a standby node, thus reducing downtime to almost zero. And to EuroVPS, this is a required feature of a true cloud.
But HA only works if the data is still present. Due to modern server error correction, and accurate MTBF (mean time before failure) calculations, host node failure is rare.
“Cloud” almost always means that storage is centralized, using a SAN (storage area network). And SAN failure, as opposed to host node failure, is quite common on cheap “cloud in a box” type solutions used by many cloud hosts. A single SAN failure can take out an entire row of server rack!
Hundreds of VMs … poof, gone! I hope they have backups!
Managing a SAN requires a higher skill set than traditional hosting. Too many “cloud” hosts are not experienced enough to handle the technology, though many try (and fail). Worse yet, some create SAN from SATA, and it’s a disaster waiting to happen.
At any given moment, a cloud host somewhere has dozens (or hundreds!) of VM instances offline.
EuroVPS and the Cloud
The “cloud” is often nothing more than marketing. It’s an attempt to dumb down hosting into a buzzword for the masses. And sadly, people are gravitating to it. Servers are a technical mystery, but “the cloud” is easy.
But not all hosts want to cloudwash the cloud.
At EuroVPS, we’re extremely proud of our cloud architecture. It’s truly redundant and enterprise grade, perfect for mission-critical sites and projects for businesses like yours.
All of our VPS are based on an OpenStack and VMware-based true 100% cloud.