The Perks and Possibilities of a Virtual Private Server

The Perks and Possibilities of a Virtual Private Server

Wait, What Exactly is a Server, Anyway?

There is a common and universal vagueness around the understanding of what a server is. But a server is really just a computer. A really big computer. The function of the big computer is to respond to requests from other computers, or to “serve” them. Kind of like a great waiter at a fancy restaurant. Which is why that giant, wait staff of a computer is referred to as a server. One of the many widespread jobs that a server accomplishes is web hosting. So does a Virtual Private Server (VPS) mean you get a giant computer all to yourself? Not exactly. There are actually several ways to host your website.

Shared Servers

When a server is shared, it is really hosting numerous websites at once and all users have equal contact with the server. In a shared server situation, hundreds or even thousands of people have access to the same server. It is a great solution for individual blogs or websites that need little in the way of security. For example, a gymnastics coach might host their site on a shared server, where he or she can list location, class times, rates and areas of expertise for public referral. In this scenario there is little need for high level security or back up.

Dedicated Servers

A server that is used exclusively to host one site is called a dedicated server. A dedicated server is expensive, but a necessary solution for enterprise level organizations like hospitals and large corporations. When you need a dedicated server, you know it. But what if you fall somewhere in between the above options? There is an easy answer.

Virtual Private Servers

Fortunately, server based web hosting can happen in a third form. This is the Virtual Private Server (VPS). A VPS is private and dedicated. When a higher level of security is required, small business web hosting, for example, a VPS is often the best answer. A VPS accommodates where files need an individual firewall, avoidance of public level accessibility and the ability to run software that isn’t allowed in shared server settings. But if it’s not shared, and it’s not dedicated, how does it work?

Here’s How it Works

A VPS is a section of a giant computer or server, which is partitioned to house several smaller servers. Each partitioned server within the computer is its own environment. Each environment has its own operating system (OS) accessible and 100% controlled by its user. A VPS is less expensive than a dedicated server – and a VPS has several advantages over a shared server.

Advantages of a VPS

The perks of hosting on a VPS are numerous:

  • You can fully customize a web space to meet your needs and never have to pay for features or storage that you don’t use.
  • It’s cost effective because it’s scalable. You can start with a plan that supplies only the resources you need and then add to your plan as your need expands.
  • You have more control and more options than with a shared server. You can run most any software to make your web space work for you. You also have CPU processing to keep your site running faster.
  • A VPS gives you the option of conducting secure ecommerce by allowing you to fulfill CPI Compliance requirement - so you can accept credit cards as payment.
  • You get the same level of technical support that you would with a shared server.
  • You can choose the level of involvement and support you desire: from simple server space, to semi- managed sites or even fully managed web hosting where design, SEO and maintenance is all handled for you.
  • But wait, there’s more! A VPS is backed up by design. Most VSP hardware includes a second copy and backup power supplies that keep your site safe! So, if you have any hardware issues at all, your host can easily move your web instance to another space and you’ll never miss up-time or go to expense to fix your server.

Best of all, a VPS is a green light move – once you start hosting with one, your options are almost endless.

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How Secure is Your Cloud?

How Secure is Your Cloud?

As more companies move towards virtualizing their businesses, they venture into the private cloud, while some gear towards the public cloud. There are various issues with private and public cloud security. With the announcement of Heartbleed in April 2014, which was a serious Open SSL bug that affected nearly every company, agency, business and other individuals utilizing the cloud. Before making the jump to a public cloud, businesses have to think about a few issues that will make your cloud more secure and also make your IT department happier.

1. Cloud Providers Need Specific Security for Virtual Machines

While public clouds don't have the best security, it doesn't mean they are not secure. However, virtual machines require specific security measures and strategies that will identify and resolve issues that are specific to the infrastructure with that machine. The security should also note how it communications with cloud applications and multiple tenants on the same machine. Customers who plan to go into the public cloud need to also think about perimeter security. VMwhare vShield is one platform that offers security services to hypervisor and a group of APIs that allow third-party security vendors to create security services based on VMware's platform.

2. Lock Down Endpoints

Have you looked at mobile device sales lately? Tablets have been growing and are likely to hit 300 million sales by the end of 2015. In addition, 1.1 billion smartphones are slated to be sold in 2015 alone. Many businesses who want to capture the mobile market are moving to the cloud. They are sending data across the cloud and storing even more in applications built entirely on the cloud. In some businesses, companies allow employees to use their own devices, and it's causing major concerns for security. To lock down endpoints, there has to be a policy in place and employee procedures to ensure that users can't use personal devices on the corporate network. To do that, network security administrators need policy roadblocks in place. Devices may even need to be confiscated if there is a malware issue.

Sometimes it is imperative to give upper management more controlled access through cloud computing. You can use things like mobile device management modules to make it more effective and secure. In addition, a cloud provider's ID management scheme must go along with your internal management procedures, or else you could run into other issues. If you lock a personnel into a set role through ID management then you must ensure they don't have access to certain data outside their jurisdiction.

3. Get More Security From Your Service-Level Agreement

Cloud providers have a standard service-level agreement that do not mention more severe aspects of security. However, providers like Virtual Stacks go beyond just monitoring service usage in order to keep you secure. Customers should push their cloud providers for better compliance procedures and an overall security infrastructure that will make it easier to transfer to the cloud. Many companies don't realize this but you can request a custom security SLA. You may even have the ability to set up specific terms.

4. Take Action Lightning Fast

When security holes pop up, reacting quickly isn't quick enough. Businesses have to stay on top of their public cloud usage and ensure that any security problems are dealt with as soon as they discovered. Many companies have dealt with security issues in a slow fashion, which has only led to more security issues and frustrated IT departments for those same companies. It's imperative to always work on security breaches as they arise and get holes closed as soon as possible. Having a good cloud provider is one to prevent issues before they start, but an excellent cloud provider will also be able to help with security issues.

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Benefits of Building a Private Cloud

Benefits of Building a Private Cloud

If you’re like any other web developer or business owner out there, you have probably considered the benefits of creating your own private cloud. A private cloud offers a lot of control over your data, but it also means you are in charge of risks and security. Many businesses don’t want to use the public cloud because it means sharing too many resources with too many hands on deck. With a private cloud, you don’t have to share any resources, and thus you can do what you want to do while also customizing your cloud to be exactly what you want.
Security
Cloud computing is very secure, but it’s even more secure when you have your own private cloud that you have built and understand. You get to set your own firewall configuration. It’s important that you manage risks and have a system administrator in order to maintain your cloud’s security properly. In addition, virtual servers have an advantage over a dedicated server that you keep locally in your building because they are maintained in highly secure datacenters that are powered by generators in case of emergency, which allows for complete redundancy.
No maintenance or Upgrade Limits
If you have ever had to upgrade your IT, you may not understand why it costs so much or what you’re paying for. As a business owner, you can save money by setting up your own server and having the option of upgrading or scaling as your business grows. You simply rent the space with the virtual server so you really don’t have to pay for more than you want. The virtual server company mows the lawn, to-so-speak, as well, so you save on maintenance costs.
Flexible Scaling Storage
In private clouds, you can use a virtual private server to customize your storage and bandwidth needs for different applications or websites. You can add more memory, CPUs, storage and bandwidth just as you need. This means that it’s easy to add more or take away resources and only pay for what you need.
Redundancy
Losing data is hard for any business. Large enterprises will have a lot of different servers in order to operate properly, so they need to be able to trust that their servers will always save data and recall that data when it’s needed. You can design any private cloud environment to provide backup and restore.
With Private Cloud, No Need for Dedicated Servers
There’s also the option of dedicated servers to set up your own hosting, but typically large businesses use this type of hosting. If you have multiple on-site servers, then there are more costs. You have to maintain and upgrade the servers, but you also have to store them and keep tabs on their energy usage. All of this is paid for by the hosting company with a virtual server, which allows you to save on the cost.
Bottom Line?
Whether you are a Lake Mary leak detection company, plumber in Orlando, Fl, family practice or best dog shampoo provider, security is key to keeping your business afloat in the digital age!
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