Understanding the Nature and Use of Cloud Servers

The cloud is big news. Anyone looking into the subject of hosting is sure to see the term come up fairly quickly. At the same time though, many people are unfamiliar with what cloud servers are or how it’s allowed for some cutting edge designs. Before one can understand the most cutting edge techniques, one must first understand the basics.

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Cloud servers are functionally the same as normal, or dedicated, servers. A cloud server can do almost anything that a traditional server can. The actual specifics of it can differ significantly. However, these days most of the details are heavily abstracted. In practical terms one can use both dedicated and cloud servers to store data which is then shared. And this process of sharing data can involve either private or public permissions. Basically, it means that either solution will allow one to share data with others or simply share it with oneself.

And this is where some of the differences between the two platforms will show up. This plays around with the strict definitions to some extent. But for the sake of simplicity, one can think of a dedicated server as something which is dedicated to storing a single instance of something. It can have a lot of files on it. But it’s going to concentrate on a single instance of that file. To extend the metaphor a bit more, imagine a server as something which serves out water. A dedicated server keeps that drop of water in s safe and central position. A cloud server, on the other hand, is made up of multiple copies of that drop of water. The copy of that drop of water is replicated, and forms a cloud. In the same way that this happens in nature it can happen with servers and copies of a file.

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The big advantage here is that a dedicated server creates a single point of failure. If something happens to that server, than something will happen to the file within it. A cloud server, on the other hand, is built upon the idea of redundancy. To return to the previous metaphor, one can think about what happens if part of a cloud dissipates. The full mass of the cloud is diminished. But it’s still the same water left behind, and in the same state. This is basically what happens with cloud servers and the files within it. Even if one of the component servers is damaged the actual files will maintain their state.