You probably run a small or medium-sized company and have already planned most of your budget. Unfortunately, there is no inexpensive hosting solution for your platform. You must pay attention to power and performance. However, a dedicated server or your local server is too expensive. In this case, a cloud server is your salvation. In particular, it stands for reliable computing power and is affordable even on a small budget.
- Cloud servers are an inexpensive alternative to dedicated servers and still offer full access rights.
- With very high scalability, cloud servers enable a flexible price/performance ratio. There is always as much computing power available as is required.
- Put an end to your maintenance or repair costs! The provider completely takes these over.
What is a cloud server?
A cloud server is a virtual server comprising many individual dedicated servers. Small to medium-sized companies like this cloud hosting solution because it is significantly cheaper than a single dedicated server. It is because the computing power of a cloud server is distributed among several users.
- A cloud server is a virtual server made up of several dedicated servers.
How does a cloud server work?
Unlike an ordinary hosting solution, a cloud server is a virtual server. Its computing power is, therefore, not limited to a physical server but is based on an entire server network. Depending on requirements, it obtains its capacities from sub-areas of a server, several servers, and even several data centers, regardless of location.
The performance components include:
- Random access memory (RAM)
- Storage space
It results in very high computing power that more than covers the needs of a single user. It is also why a cloud server can easily handle multiple users and web projects. If one website temporarily has more visitors than another, the resources are immediately flexibly adjusted and can withstand even enormous peak loads.
For whom are cloud servers suitable?
Combined with the flexible service, the costs are also very manageable. With a cloud server, you only have to pay as much as you have used in performance. In particular, small to medium-sized companies with a small budget benefit from this.
As with a local server, the cloud server also offers all access rights. Thus, developers can not only set up a complete development environment but also host numerous different projects. Whether it’s a website with a database connection or business applications, there are hardly any limits. Here is a small list of the possibilities:
- A website with heavy load spikes
- online databases
- data processing service
- streaming of media content
- development environments
- All sorts of growing projects
A cloud server offers full root access rights and is significantly cheaper than a local server. Smaller companies, in particular, benefit from this hosting solution.
The advantages of a cloud server
A cloud server brings various advantages. Some of them are:
Flexible computing power as required
The required server resources for your web project are often difficult to determine in advance. What if you need less than you thought or if your project is growing? Compared to the usual hosting solution with fixed service packages, the actual requirements can be flexibly adjusted with the cloud server, even while the server is running.
Automatic care and maintenance of the systems
Due to its architecture, a cloud server is very easy to maintain. The maintenance of the server and the import of updates take place automatically. The provider does that for you. This scalability makes it easier to calculate costs that arise. You always know what price a provider charges for its services. Don’t worry about unexpected expenses like replacing a hard drive in a local server. The provider alone takes care of the maintenance of the hardware. This way, you have no downtime, and your projects are always available online.
- Maintenance and repairs, as well as the integration of updates, are carried out automatically by the cloud server provider.
High security for your projects
On a cloud server, your web projects are usually secured with multiple redundancies. The risk of data loss is almost zero, especially due to the automatic daily backups, which are stored separately from each other.
Working together on web projects
You have worldwide access to your cloud server. It means you can work on your projects together in a team and give external developers access to your web projects. Thanks to file versioning, you can immediately identify the most recent files and restore older versions if necessary.
The cost of a cloud server
Each cloud server has a certain basic structure with fixed costs in its tariff, but the actual costs vary. The computing power is individually adjusted as required; accordingly, you only pay as much as you use. The prices also depend on the booked tariff. Pure web space for your web projects is cheaper than if it is equipped with additional tools and functions.
Security measures also play a role. Due to the disputes with the strict German data protection guidelines and high encryption standards, German providers are usually somewhat more expensive than the competition abroad. Depending on the scope of services, the costs for a cloud server range from a few euros to several hundred euros per month.
What should you pay attention to when choosing a cloud server?
As a company, you not only want the highest possible level of security, but you also want to pass this on to your customers. It is essential, especially for an online shop that handles daily sensitive account data and payments. Many companies, therefore, shy away from entrusting private company data to a third party. For this, you need a security provider who implements the whole thing. So watch out for the following:
Based on the company headquarters of a cloud server provider, you can almost guess which data protection regulations applicable to them. You should also pay attention to who has access authorization to your data. For technical support and maintenance reasons, this should be the sole responsibility of your provider and yourself.
High encryption standards
In addition to the data protection guidelines, you should address the encryption of your data. These should not only be encrypted during transmission between you and the data center but ideally at your site and then also in the data center of the cloud service provider. This encryption method is known as end-to-end encryption and is currently the most secure option regarding data transmission over the Internet.
You should always ensure end-to-end encryption for the highest possible security during data transmission.
Secure erasing of data
What happens to the daily backups that are automatically created by your projects and are no longer needed? Usually, you can restore the status of the last 7 days. But are all older versions professionally and securely removed from the provider’s server? And what happens after the end of the contract? Always pay attention to certain exit clauses that guarantee the secure deletion of all your data, including backup copies, after the contract’s end.
The most important features at a glance
In terms of functionality, you can expect the same as with a local server. With most providers, you can choose between the two operating systems, Linux and Windows, with various versions such as Ubuntu, Debian, and CentOS available as 32-bit or 64-bit variants for Linux. You then have full access to the operating system with all root rights. The following features are also often included:
- Software development kits
- API interfaces
- Hosting apps
- SSD storage
- SSL certificate
Difference between Cloud Server and Shared Hosting
When it comes to virtual servers, the terms cloud server, dedicated server, and shared hosting keep coming up. But what do these terms stand for, and what is the difference between the individual server solutions?
Shared hosting as a server alternative
Shared hosting is a single dedicated server shared by multiple users. It is physically limited and usually only tolerates a few web projects. Although shared hosting is one of the cheapest solutions, it quickly reaches its limits during peak loads. If a single web project by a user has an unusually large number of visitors, the remaining web projects are severely throttled to withstand the onslaught.
Cloud server as a server solution
Compared to shared hosting, a cloud server consists of an entire network of dedicated servers, which several users share. A cloud server is not physically limited and can withstand even enormous peak loads. For this purpose, resources from other servers are used. Regardless of location and across multiple data centers.
The most popular cloud server providers
Cloud server providers have proven to be particularly secure and trustworthy despite the many security concerns when entrusting sensitive company data to third parties.
The following are particularly in demand:
Due to extensive data protection guidelines, high encryption standards, and automatic backups, hardly anything can happen to your data. End-to-end encryption alone is sufficient to offer you maximum protection. High server uptime rates and fail-safe server systems with redundant connections ensure that your web projects are always available. A cloud server can withstand even intensive loads with its flexible computing power.
Thanks to all access rights, smaller companies finally have the option of a fully-fledged server that you can use, like a local server. A cloud server is, therefore, a very inexpensive alternative. The costs are much lower than with a conventional server solution. Maintenance and repair costs are also eliminated.