A cloud server is powerful physical or virtual infrastructure that delivers applications, processes information or provides data storage. Some cloud servers are created using virtualization software that divides a single physical (bare metal) server into multiple virtual servers. Cloud service providers use an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) model to make virtual or bare metal servers avalable to customers.
With cloud servers, organizations only pay for what they need and reduce the expense that comes with maintaining server hardware.
Users can scale computing and storage resources to meet changing needs. This is particularly helpful for organizations with fluctuating needs.
An organization’s cloud servers are networked to ensure uninterrupted communication and fast deployment. A “single pane” enables complete control.
I've observed or been a part of buying decisions for a few thousand server customers, from small-business owners getting a website online for the first time to established platforms with tens of millions of visits every day. While each of those purchasers had different requirements and priorities for a cloud server, a few key deciding factors were consistent across those decisions:
How much will it cost? What configuration/technology is best? Which provider is most trustworthy?
Every website administrator has had to answer those three questions. While they seem pretty straightforward, they end up overlapping, and the buying decision starts to get a little more complicated:
The natural assumption is that everyone will choose a cloud server that falls in the "sweet spot" where the three circles overlap, but server decisions are not made in a vacuum. Completely valid hosting decisions can target every spot on that graph.
Let's break the chart down into a few distinct zones to look at why a user would choose a server in each area:
A lot of transitioning happens between an initial buying decision and a follow-up decision.
Regardless of how you make an initial buying decision, when it's time for the next cloud server, there is a new factor to take into account: you'll probably want to grow in the same place.
Moving between providers can be a pain, managing environments between several providers is more difficult, and if servers have to work together, they're generally doing so across the public Internet, so you're not getting the best performance.
If you had to choose a zone that best describes your buying decision, which one would it be?
IBM Cloud Platform—Infrastructure Marketing Leader
Twitter: @khazard (link resides outside of ibm.com)
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Cloud computing transforms IT infrastructure into a utility, letting you ‘plug in' to computing resources and applications over the internet, without installing and maintaining them on-premises.
A virtual machine is a virtual representation, or emulation, of a physical computer. Virtualization makes it possible to create multiple virtual machines on a single physical computer.