Everything you need to know about cloud servers: definition and products
Over the last decade, elements of the network and cloud have merged with elements of the internet. Behind any application we use on a daily basis is a server, which has become a key part of how online services work. Companies have therefore turned to cloud computing to help offer their services on demand, including cloud-based servers.
What is a cloud server?
The definition of a cloud server is similar to that of a physical server. A physical server is simply a computer connected to the network. It is responsible for responding to users’ requests and providing them with the content that they ask for. The server makes websites, web applications, platforms and other services accessible.
A cloud server is created from a physical server, then made available over the Internet. With cloud computing, users can manage their machine through an interface (dashboard, control panel or API). It is usually hosted in the datacentre of the cloud service provider offering it, which is responsible for maintaining the physical infrastructure attached to your cloud server. This includes monitoring, updates and maintenance.
How does a cloud server work?
The physical dedicated server is the basis of virtualisation. This machine is divided into several virtual servers thanks to a hypervisor that connects and structures the virtual infrastructures. In particular, it partitions the physical server resources to allocate them to virtual servers.
If the server is made directly available on an on-demand model, it is an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). If the machine is used to make platforms accessible, this is called Platform as a Service (PaaS). Finally, if it is software that is provided, it is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).
These solutions, available over the internet, make up cloud computing.
Which cloud server should I choose?
There are several ways you can deploy a cloud server. Each has its advantages in terms of maintenance, budget and power.
Overall, there are three possible deployment models.
- Public Cloud The provider owns the server, and manages it completely. This infrastructure allows them to provide on-demand IT services to the customer via their cloud.
- Private Cloud With this model, customers have more freedom in managing their virtual servers. They can manage their resources remotely via a public or private network. However, the provider retains responsibility for the physical infrastructure.
- Hybrid cloud This type of cloud combines the features of the two other models. It offers more flexibility in resource management and complements your IT service portfolio with a catalogue of solutions.
What are the advantages of a cloud server?
There are many advantages to offering servers to users.
- They get to have a flexible environment in which to carry out their projects. Cloud infrastructures offer better scalability than on-premises infrastructures (located on the customer’s premises),
- so it is a much more accessible method for the customer. There is no need for them to invest in IT infrastructures on their premises, nor to recruit or train staff on its maintenance. What’s more, the billing method for a cloud service or server is simple: you only pay for what you use, so you can easily manage your budget.
- Deploying a cloud infrastructure is simple and fast. A few minutes or hours after the order, the user can access their server from their Control Panel.
- Cloud security has long been under scrutiny. Safety standards have evolved and are now extremely strict. Using a European cloud provider like OVHcloud ensures that your data is protected under the GDPR. What’s more, our Hosted Private Cloud private cloud solution is SecNumCloud certified: the highest level of certification for data security and sovereignty. Issued by the French National Agency for the Security of Information Systems (ANSSI), this qualification is a testament to our ability to provide a highly secure environment for your sensitive data.
What is the difference between a cloud server and a traditional server?
Cloud servers and physical servers have a different purpose, and provide different project approaches.
As a reminder, you should think of a cloud server as a resource you can use on demand, or as a terminal that gives you access to cloud services and applications. Its aim is simplicity, providing a fast-use solution (IaaS, PaaS and SaaS).
A traditional physical server, or dedicated server, is allocated to the user. It provides more resources (CPU, RAM, bandwidth, disk space) than a virtual server, and offers you more options. Our bare metal servers can be considered as physical servers, although they are a little different from traditional servers. They are hosted in our datacentres rather than on-premises, and can be accessed via your Control Panel. You can use them to host your applications, programming and development environments, online games, and other projects that require high computing power. Our physical servers are a high-availability solution.
Our solutions, including cloud servers
- Web hosting: put your websites and applications on high-performance, easily accessible web hosting plans. We support millions of customers worldwide with their web projects.
- Public Cloud: a range of secure, scalable and versatile cloud instances, so you can launch your projects in seconds. Get a cloud with guaranteed resources.
- Hosted Private Cloud: the power of 100% dedicated resources, combined with the freedom and flexibility of the cloud.
- Virtual private servers (VPS): our virtual private servers are an accessible solution with exceptional performance, security and versatility.
- Enterprise solutions: the highest performance for your most complex projects. Get started in big data, AI and machine learning.