In the context of hosting, “Cloud” originally referred to a “next generation” of technology abstraction, something better than basic virtualization. Vendors proposed many conflicting definitions that included a mix of vertical scaling, horizontal scaling, automatic scaling, API driven provisioning, etc. Usually, whatever a particular vendor was offering was that vendor’s definition of Cloud.
There was never full agreement on what constituted Cloud, and then, over time various traditional, non-Cloud hosting platforms began growing Cloud features. So, did those platforms become Cloud platforms, and if so, when? That’s a question that’s open for debate.
Basically, when “Cloud” caught fire as a term in our industry (and in popular culture) the definition began to morph. Cloud has become synonymous with virtualized hosting technology of any kind. For the hosting industry, the rule of thumb has become: if it allows you to outsource your hosting infrastructure to a third-party service provider, and it uses any form of virtualization — it’s Cloud.
ServInt’s line of Cloud demarcation is different, because it’s largely defined by our customers’ user experience during the scaling process.
We were recently asked why we use both the terms “Cloud” and “VPS” to describe our SolidFire SSD VPS solution. Here’s why.
Both our Flex VPS and SolidFire VPS solutions have “cloudy” elements. While the resources are bundled together in packages, users can still scale up or down through all packages freely and — in most cases — with minimal downtime. A customer can sign up today for an Essential VPS with 1.5 GB of RAM and 60 GB of storage, and scale in minutes to a Flex dedicated server with 192 GB of RAM, up to 5 TB of disk and 16 dedicated cores.
Still, for our Flex VPS, we do not refer to this as Cloud. It’s only when we replace our hard drives in the server with a remote storage array that allows customers to order specific amounts of disk space and IOPS, and partitions the data of those customers in a highly redundant, self-healing storage array that we even introduce the term Cloud into a VPS product.
In addition to allowing for instantaneous scaling of drive space, separating the disk from the CPU and RAM of a server enables ultra-fast scaling never before seen on a VPS platform. Simply put, SolidFire VPS may use VPS-style virtualization, but the user experience is like nothing a VPS user has ever seen. It is true Cloud because it introduces a level of speed, redundancy and user-friendliness that no traditional VPS can offer.
Click here for more information on our SolidFire SSD VPS platform.
Photo by Rod Waddington