Web Hosting | Cloud Computing

Hosting of websites, including internet, intranet, extranet and microsite, remains the most common use of cloud hosting currently. Indeed, the cloud hosting market has its origins in the “managed hosting” world of dedicated or shared servers being rented for web hosting.

The vast majority of companies already host their websites via a third party hosting provider, so the benefits are well-understood. However, with websites moving from being informational to transactional, often with mobile and social app extensions, they are so core to the successful running of most companies that they now need to assess their hosting provider more stringently than in the past.

The scenario below is a classic mid-sized company deployment. Here, the website has a reasonably high level of daily traffic, including e-commerce, necessitating the availability of back-end transactional databases.

Four virtual machines are configured and load balanced for the main web servers. Adjacent to those are caching servers, in this case two “Memcached” servers on two VMs. Two SQL databases – e.g. MySQL or Microsoft SQL Server – interface directly with the web servers, perhaps for customer data collection or transaction processing. For a site such as this, e.g. a “cash register” for the business, there would normally be some backup services, probably full disaster recovery, in place too. Once the solution is designed, the deployment options are the same as application hosting.

For a virtual private cloud, where the infrastructure is multi-tenanted, this would be all the involvement the customer would need. The hypervisor functionality on the cloud platform would “spread” these eight VMs across multiple physical servers, with high availability mode ensuring they will not be lost in the event of a physical outage.

For a private cloud, the customer and cloud provider would agree on the physical configuration too. All eight VMs could exist on a single blade server or the customer could pay for additional hardware to position the VMs across two or three (or more) physical servers for added resilience. Once agreed, the cloud provider would manage the deployment going forward, including backup, disaster recovery, and other value-adding services.

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