Is cloud hosting secure?
Cloud hosting is rapidly growing and people are switching from traditional servers to ssd cloud servers. Why? The advantages of cloud hosting are many. For sure there are disadvantages too but the advantages are more. That’s why that type of hosting becomes more popular for both individuals and businesses around the globe. Is cloud hosting as secure as as the traditional hosting though? Let’s find out.
Advantages of cloud servers
- Upgrade/downgrade anytime – you have full control over the resources of your cloud server. Upgrade and downgrade any of the systems resources of your server at anytime. You can increase or decrease disk space, memory, CPU cores, connection speed, IP addresses. You make changes without even rebooting your server. That is a big plus. If you have a dedicated server and you want to add more memory you have to take it down to do that. Such a process usually takes 15-20 minutes and your web site will not function during that time. If you want to add more CPU cores you will have to migrate your web sites to a new server with more processors. That is a troublesome process and will cost you time and money.
- Self-healing system in case of hardware problems – if the motherboard of your dedicated server fails you will have to replace it or move the drives to a new server with the same motherboard. That will result in hours of downtime. Properly configured cloud hosting infrastructure with built-in reliability such as the one Scala Hosting has will result in just a couple of minutes of downtime. That’s a huge advantage and one of the most important ones of cloud hosting.
- Better utilization of resources – the cloud hosting technology allows the hosting provider to utilize the hardware’s systems resources more efficiently. On a dedicated server you will always hit some bottleneck before utilizing 100% of all systems resources such as RAM and CPU. For example, the biggest issue with web hosting servers is the IO resources end before the CPU is at least 80% utilized. The hosting provider pays for a server with a quad core CPU but at the end they can use just 2 of the cores at 100% because of slow storage. Then the hosting provider replaces the slow HDD’s with SSD drives to get a more powerful ssd server. In that case, they can use 100% of the CPU resources but they get lots of free disk space on the server and that disk space is expensive since it is coming from SSD disks. If the hosting provider uses an ssd cloud server then they the storage works via the network and they can use 100% of the storage, 100% of the CPU and 100% of the memory.
- Lower cost – using cloud hosting services decreases the expenses for colocation, support, hardware and licenses. Cloud hosting servers (hypervisors) are monster machines with lots of memory and many CPU cores. Scala Hosting’s hypervisors have up to 24 CPU cores and 512GB RAM. Hosting providers can use more powerful servers to host more web sites and finally have less servers to support. The self-healing system allows hosting providers to store less spare parts and use unified systems for the hypervisors. Also, providers such as Supermicro offer systems to achieve a very high density in terms of space/resources so the hosting provider will pay less for colocation space at the datacenter.
Disadvantages of cloud hosting
- Public clouds with too many users – there are many public cloud hosting providers and most of them overload their infrastructure. That results in performance issues for the end user. If you are looking for a cloud hosting solution always make sure the storage is ssd powered as that is most often the bottleneck.
- Problems due to bad planning – cloud hosting is very popular and modern term. Many providers offer it just because it is popular however many of them cannot build them properly and if a cloud setup is not planned well the end results can be very very bad. Some of the biggest mistakes we hear often are clouds which have single point of failure elements missing redundancy. Scala Hosting’s ssd cloud hosting infrastructure has dual redundancy on both network and hypervisor level. The data is on 3 separate systems which can function on their own if the other two happen to fail.
- Virtualization – all cloud hosting servers are virtual machines (VM’s) which are running on top of a hardware node (hypervisor). The virtualization layer has its disadvantages. One of them is it can decrease performance of the components especially processors. A virtual processor (vCPU) does not have the same power as a physical processor (CPU). If properly configured the difference goes under 10%.
- Migrations – if you don’t like the virtualization system you are using anymore and the cloud control system it is not easy to migrate to another one. That process usually results in the setup of new cloud infrastructure and a manual migration of all data.
Cloud hosting security
If you worry about security alot and it is a huge factor for your business you have 2 choices.
- Plan and build your own private cloud where you own all servers.
- Use a traditional dedicated server.
Cloud hosting hypervisors host multiple VM’s. They can exploit the hypervisor’s kernel to gain root privileges and then have control over all VM’s running on the hypervisor. In a dedicated server you have control over the physical hardware and it doesn’t host anyone else except you. That doesn’t mean a dedicated server cannot be compromised or that cloud hosting is insecure. Both are secure if you manage them properly. If you are a bank you will then surely build your own cloud for better security. In case you want to host some web sites or run a mail server then using a public cloud server will be just fine. If you compare them to dedicated servers’ security – you will have one idea better security with a dedicated server. It will be more expensive though and it will not have the advantages of cloud hosting servers. The final decision is yours!