What is a cloud server?
Cloud servers are virtualized server resources that are accessible over an Internet network, giving users and organizations remote access to robust processing power, ample storage, and other applications as needed. Also known as virtual servers or virtual platforms, cloud servers power much of the cloud-based technology and services that are in use today. In general, cloud servers are classified under three categories: public, private, or hybrid (a combination of public and private).
The benefits of cloud servers
Cloud servers of any kind offer enterprises several advantages, beginning with convenience. Since virtual servers deliver the same performance as dedicated, on-site servers, users can access the information and applications they need remotely. If anything goes wrong in a shared environment, you are less likely to experience excess downtime.
Additionally, cloud servers are far less expensive to manage when run by a third-party provider, especially when compared to purchasing and running your own on-site infrastructure. And with pay-as-you-go subscription models, cost savings increase when companies only pay for the resources they use.
Cloud servers are also vastly more scalable, letting companies stay more agile. In minutes, server resources can meet virtually any increase or decrease in demand over time.
Finally, cloud servers are much more flexible and can be fine-tuned to an organization’s needs. Whether public, private, or hybrid, you customize your IT solution to your precise workload and security needs.
How do cloud servers work?
Public, Private or Hybrid
Public cloud servers are offered by third-party providers for a wide range of customers, while private cloud servers are managed by much larger enterprises or corporations. Cloud server providers will often offer users these services through one of three delivery models or packages: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), or software as a service (SaaS).
Virtualized Physical Servers
Cloud servers begin as virtualized versions of physical servers, existing as partitioned spaces within a physical environment. With the help of software like a hypervisor or virtual machine monitor, which connects and runs one or more virtual machines (VMs), a host computer lets VMs share resources like memory and processing. These resources can then be used across a single group or multiple organizations on any number of guest operating systems, and be used for more than one dedicated task. Depending on infrastructure needs and constraints, IT administrators can create as many cloud servers as needed within physical servers.
On-demand Compute Services
When deployed as a public virtual server, these resources are set up as an on-demand compute service that is accessible through any Internet connection and managed by a third-party provider. In most cases, public servers are offered on a subscription or pay-as-you-go basis.
Private Virtual Servers
Compared to public virtual servers, private virtual servers are set up in similar ways, except they are only accessible through a company intranet or VPN. And private virtual servers are managed on site rather than by a third party.
HPE and cloud servers
HPE is a leading provider of cloud servers and services, helping enterprises deploy, manage, and secure their cloud solutions. Offerings like HPE GreenLake, which delivers a pre-integrated, pay-per-use model, have been shown to meet workload expectations, expedite performance, and find ROI.
With the help of HPE GreenLake cloud services, you can expect:
- 75% faster time-to-market
- Up to 40% capex savings
- 40% resource savings
- 85% less unplanned downtime
Overall, HPE cloud categories fall into one or several categories for VMs: general, enterprise-ready, and hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI).
General VMs are ideal for basic workloads such as web applications, batch processing, and most non-mission-critical functions. Enterprise-ready VMs are custom-built with composable infrastructures (i.e., virtual and physical) to meet specific needs like Big Data, graphics processing, video editing, NoSQL databases, and other resource-demanding workloads. On the other hand, HCI only uses virtual applications to maximize performance and intelligence. Examples of HCI offered through HPE include HPE SimpliVity and Nutanix.