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Introduction to Cloud Servers

Last Updated: February 5th, 2024 7 min read Servers Australia

Cloud servers offer unparalleled flexibility and scalability, allowing businesses to adjust their computing resources on-demand, ensuring efficiency and cost-effectiveness. They provide a secure, reliable infrastructure that supports remote access and collaboration, enabling innovation and agility in todays competitive environment.

What's the difference between a Cloud Server and a Virtual Server?

A virtual server is a software-based partition of a physical server, typically managed and maintained by an organisation or a hosting service, whereas a cloud server is a virtual server that is delivered and hosted on a cloud computing platform, offering scalable resources and services over the internet with flexible, pay-as-you-go pricing.

The terms "Cloud Server" and "Virtual Server" often overlap in their use and can sometimes be confusing because they share many characteristics, but there are distinctions primarily based on the environment and the service model they operate within.

The terms "Cloud Server" and "Virtual Server" often overlap in their use and can sometimes be confusing

Virtual Servers

What is a Virtual Server?

A Virtual Server refers to a virtual machine (VM) running on a physical server. It uses virtualisation technology to divide a single physical server into multiple isolated virtual environments. Each virtual server can run its own operating system and applications, operating independently from the other virtual servers on the same physical hardware.

Virtual Server Deployment

Virtual servers are usually managed on-site or in a data centre owned by the organisation or a third party. The management, maintenance, and infrastructure costs are generally the responsibility of the organisation using the servers.

Control and flexibility

Users have a high degree of control over their virtual servers, including the choice of operating system, software, and configurations. However, scaling might require manual intervention to allocate additional resources.

Cloud Servers

What is a Cloud Server?

A Cloud Server is a type of virtual server that is accessed over the internet and provided by a cloud hosting platform. It shares the same virtualisation technology as a virtual server but is offered as a service, allowing for more scalable, flexible, and reliable computing resources.

Cloud Server Deployment

Cloud servers are hosted in the provider's data centres. The cloud provider is responsible for managing the physical infrastructure, virtualisation environment, and ensuring the availability of services.

Service Model

Often delivered on a pay-as-you-go basis, allowing businesses to scale up or down resources based on demand. This can lead to cost savings as businesses only pay for what they use.

Scalability and flexibility

Cloud servers offer easier scalability and flexibility compared to traditional virtual servers. Resources can be adjusted automatically or with minimal effort, accommodating fluctuating workloads without the need for significant upfront investment in hardware.

5 Benefits of Cloud Servers

  1. Security and Disaster Recovery

  2. Competitive Edge

  3. Increased Flexibility and Reduced Costs

  4. Work Environment

  5. Customer Satisfaction

1. Security and Disaster Recovery

Technology security poses a significant, ongoing problem for businesses of all sizes. So it’s even more important for small businesses to develop a Disaster Recovery Plan. When companies store sensitive data — including proprietary information about the business or its customers — on local hard drives, the simple human error of leaving behind a laptop can result in disaster.

Cloud hosting solutions such as WMware Private Cloud provide businesses with greater protection for sensitive data, and tech support personnel can remotely wipe misplaced laptops and smartphones. When machines inevitably malfunction, organisations have instant backups, and getting up and running on another machine is quick and easy.

In addition, virtualising a dedicated server to the cloud provides powerful support for disaster scenario planning. Businesses ravaged by fires, floods, theft or malware suffer immediate losses, but long-term downtime and damage to customer relations can cause even-greater harm.  With all important data in the cloud, businesses can minimise downtime of mission-critical services even in the face of disasters.

2. Competitive Edge

For companies offering internet-based services, including hosted software and online sales, cloud-based servers are a must. With your operations in the cloud, you open up a world of potential for your business as you reach a global market. When anyone in the world can access your products and services through a web browser, it becomes as easy to reach a customer across the globe as one in your own backyard.   

Beyond surpassing geographic boundaries, you also take your business up a notch in other ways when you move to the cloud. On a cloud-based server, you have access to the latest, enterprise-class infrastructure and technologies, which bring virtually unlimited power to your business. Small businesses become competitive with major players, and customers only see stellar service.

3. Increased Flexibility, Reduced Costs

If your business needs flexibility and scalability, a move to a cloud-based server will provide numerous benefits. As you gain global reach — and new customers — you can scale up your operations easily and quickly to meet the increased demand. Should business drop off, you can scale down just as easily, with minimal costs and minimal capital lost to infrastructure.

If your bandwidth needs fluctuate seasonally, you also can scale capacity up or down quickly while controlling expenses. With the ability to adjust nimbly to changes in the business climate, your business remains agile to meet changing demands — giving you an advantage over larger competitors that can take months or years to accommodate significant shifts in the marketplace.

If your bandwidth needs fluctuate seasonally, you also can scale capacity up or down quickly while controlling expenses.

4. Work Environment

When you implement a cloud-based server, you give your employees and contractors the ability to work from virtually anywhere. As a result, you can offer flexible working schedules and locations — considered a significant perk by many workers. By providing the ability to work remotely, you enhance your organisation’s desirability to highly qualified, top candidates across the globe.

Employees who have the option to work remotely can enjoy a better balance of career and personal life, which can have positive effects on both physical and mental health. A flexible work environment allows your employees to remain productive on their own terms.

5. Customer Satisfaction

When you deploy cloud-based servers, you take advantage of benefits that keep your customers satisfied. Your server software gets automatic updates, which minimise downtime no matter your business application. Whether your customers need to browse your website, access your mobile app, or pull information from your database, they benefit from speed and seamless delivery over the internet via your cloud server.

Many customers also prefer companies that consider the environmental impact of their operations. By using a cloud-based server, you reduce your energy usage and the waste that can result from constantly changing technological needs. Your cloud presence allows you to provide your customers with an efficient, earth-friendly service.

Why consider a move to a cloud-based server? From increased competitiveness to happier employees, more satisfied customers and lower costs, the benefits of cloud operations quickly become apparent. You improve your ability to reach customers around the world and choose from the best employment candidates even as you control capital costs. With maximum flexibility, security and the knowledge that you can stay up and running through any disaster, you also gain significant peace of mind.

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