After asking a few people to review our new site we had some feedback which I guess I didn’t really expect.
“So what can I use your services for?”
This was a bit of a shock to me as the people we asked were in the IT industry some even web hosting providers. It is interesting to know that even now there are potentially a lot of people out there who don’t really know the usage scenarios for Virtual Machines, also known as virtual private servers. To make matters worse there are even more people that get confused over Cloud solutions.
I wanted to try and clear this up as much possible and hopefully help people understand where Virtual Machines are useful and clear up confusion regarding cloud marketing.
Virtual Machines (VM’s, VPS) run a guest operating system. In our case Guest Operating systems are fully isolated from each other and run Windows a Linux operating system. These operating systems are no different from the Windows or Linux servers you running at your business or home. There are no real restrictions on application and services they can run (Providing they are legal activities) and performance is guaranteed using a resource scheduler.
Our customers use their virtual machines to run a variety of services which require an always on, hosted in a protected and secure location with low latency, high bandwidth networks.
- Email Services – dedicated Microsoft Exchange servers or simple mail relay systems
- Web Services – Apache, WordPress, Cpanel , IIS
- Software as a service – Hosted applications which are rented out by providers
- Business environments – Fully hosted sever environments using multiple virtual machines accessed via VPN or Remote Desktop Services
- Disaster recovery solutions – Replicated data which can be accessed in emergencies
- Database Services – Mysql, Microsoft SQL
- VOIP solutions
- Forex and Betfair trading systems using Windows remote desktop services
- Windows Workstations – Secure hosted workstations using windows 2008 providing access Office and other applications
And the list doesn’t stop there, basically any application which can run on Windows or Linux can be installed. All of which will benefit from being in a secure location with fully redundant hardware and fast internet connectivity.
So what is cloud?
So whats ”cloud” about? Well really Cloud is just a marketing term, it can mean a few things. Some dedicated services are built on “Cloud”. Our service allows you to build virtual machines on a Cloud platform to provide your own cloud services to your customers.
You may want use our cloud platform for any traditional hosted service running on Linux or Windows just to remove the headache of physical dedicated hardware and other single points of failure.
Cloud allows you to buy a proportion of an Enterprise class environment without the normal associated costs.
Simple pay as you go short term flexible contracts make budgeting easy, preventing you from being tied in for long periods of time.
You have to be careful when comparing “cloud services”. For us Cloud means a highly available platform with flexibility. Our VM’s all run on our Cloud infrastructure and benefit our clustered storage array, fully redundant networks and automated recovery (HA). Our VM’s can be upgraded and downgraded at any time using our self-service portal, providing flexibility when you need it.
Some other providers may pass of Virtual Machines on isolated hosts as “Cloud”. In some respects this could be seen as cloud due to the flexibility virtual environments provide. However in our opinion the hosts are isolated and will have limited availability in the event of a host failure.
Always check the label, when comparing services make sure they all meet the availability and flexibility you need.
Now I’m sure this is still as clear as mud , but hopefully it is a pointer in the right direction and at the very least helps explain what cloud services we are offering here.
“Windows and Linux Guest Operating systems with full administrative access. Running on a highly available and flexible cloud infrastructure”