Much has been made lately about the benefits of cloud computing, from eliminating capital expenses to the flexibility to grow (or shrink) on demand. I’m going to talk here about IaaS cloud computing and where I see the largest benefit of it.
First, a little primer about Iaas and how it compares to SaaS cloud computing. SaaS (software as a service) provides access to a single cloud based application, ala Google Apps, Gmail, etc. In this form of cloud computing, the user has no control over anything except their own use of that particular application.
With IaaS (infrastructure as a service), ala our own cloud service, the user has a full virtual server. This virtual server is identical functionally to a dedicated physical server, except it’s powered by a cloud.
In our Aurora Resilient Cloud Service ( powered by Xen Cloud Platform), we take this one step further by offering cloudblocks. Cloudblocks are preconfigured virtual systems that can be “plugged together” to create dedicated customer networks, just like co-locating equipment in the data center. With routers, switches, email, dns, and web servers, load balancers, and a number of other common services, building a real network is almost as easy as snapping Legos together.
What does this mean for the promise of cloud computing? When we first started off with our cloud, we migrated 2 physical email/DNS/web servers and balanced them with round robin DNS. When we added the second cloud in our second data center, we added a third DNS/web server to the DNS round robin. When we added the load balancer cloudblock, we removed the DNS round robin, balanced the first 2 servers with failover to the third. Now we’ve split the first 2 servers into separate email/DNS and web servers.
We did these what would have been fairly complex changes with physical servers without ever touching a screw, unplugging a cable, or lugging around a server. All network changes were made during normal load times with no impact to any user traffic, and because we could easily build the new virtual network in parallel and test it first, there was virtually zero chance of failure (and the old virtual network was still in place for a simple and easy return if something was missed in testing). Best of all, each of these changes was done in a single afternoon.
Now the bad old days of network and server revamp nightmares are gone. No more cabling problems, no more equipment that doesn’t boot, no more unexpected compatibility problems, no more having to take chances with irreversible changes.
With our Aurora Resilient Cloud Service and cloud blocks, get your own secure virtual cloud network and rearrange or add to it quickly and easily and never dread server or network changes again.
Email or call me or visit the SwiftWater Telecom web site for cloud computing services!