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One of the continued myths when it comes to cloud computing is that it does not require any physical storage. The saying is only half true. No storage can exist without having a physical disk to write data-bytes to. Cloud servers may have eliminated storage disks at your end, but at someplace on the earth the data is still being fed to bare metal servers.
This article debunks all the myths that have grown up around cloud computing. We will primarily focus on the architecture of cloud, and how and where does all of your data go in a cloud. We will also pull the curtains off why more and more businesses relying on cheap dedicated servers in Australia are moving to cloud servers instead.
Different cloud providers deploy different cloud architecture. It is challenging to talk about an architecture without mentioning the cloud utility underneath it. Some providers focus on cost reduction, while some on performance. The perspective of cloud’s construction therefore depends upon its utility. But, we can still perceive a general overview of its construction, which remains the same- more or less.
A cloud architecture is spun around the delivery of data on demand from the user. Generally, a cloud comprises of a front end, a middleware, and the backend.
At the front end, an Application Programming Interface is deployed to access the storage. An API is a web-based access module, and is analogous to GUI in an operating system. It curtains the storage construction from the users.
The middleware implements various Storage logics and runs storage algorithms to store data based on the cloud’s utility. The algorithms generally employed are: data replication, de-duplication, and distribution.
Replication creates multiple copies of an existing data on different sites. When required, the data is retrieved from the nearest available site. Replication enhances reliability and reduces data loading time.
Deduplication eliminates redundant data. It creates a Meta link for data blocks that are repeated over and over again. The repetitive data is stored in only one location and all the other instances of the data are made to point to that location.
The backend implements the physical storage. This is where all the data is stored. It contains hardware pieces that are managed by the cloud provider.
Advantages of Cloud’s architecture
The front end provides users with an interactive interface without the need to worry about the underlying operations. The front end also acts as an interface between the user and storage logics.
The middleware is the brain of cloud computing. How, where, and in what state the data will be stored is worked out by this logic layer.
The backend is the organ of cloud. The virtual machines, computers, and servers are the chief elements of backend. All the data is stored and managed at the backend.
Data Storage Methods in a cloud
A cloud works on object storage method. An object storage method manages data as objects and adds all of its associated metadata to the same file.
Data is stored in object storage method in two ways, namely: Replication method and Erasure coding method
Erasure coding method fragments the data and stores the redundant pieces in a set at different locations. Erasure coding enhances the security of data in a cloud.
Replication method is simply copying one database from a server to another database on another server. Replication of data enhances reliability and availability.
Cloud servers replicate the data set to a number of locations. This in turn ensures that even if one the servers undergoes a crash, data can still be accessed from other servers. Besides, the data is primarily fetched from the server which is at close proximity to the location from where the access is being demanded.
Combining Replication and Erasure Coding method ensures round-the-clock availability of data in a secured environment.
How data is retrieved from the cloud
When a user requests access through the API, the same is almost immediately conveyed to the Storage Logics. The storage logics works out the location of the file(s) in one of the bare metal servers. The file location may again contain Meta-links pointing out to some other server location. The data from multiple servers is simultaneously fetched and consolidated. The original state of the file is restored and displayed to the user.
The same data is stored at multiple locations concurrently.
Why Cloud servers are replacing dedicated servers?
Dedicated servers have a single point of failure. If the host server malfunctions, the entire system will undergo an outage. Even an expensive dedicated server cannot deliver the scalability, flexibility, and the convenience that a cheap cloud hosting can. A cloud can be scaled up in an instant.
Is Cloud cheaper than a dedicated server?
As there is no hardware setup involved, cloud is comparatively cheaper for entry level computing. However, organizations that need humongous storage capability might have to invest more with clouds than in setting up their own dedicated servers.
According to cloudscene, Sydney stood 9th in Cloudscene's list of “Fast 50 Markets to Colocate in 2018”
The growing craze for computing in AU is evident from the above statistics. Consequently, people have started switching to cloud servers at a very early stage of their business.
Are clouds superior to dedicated servers in performance parameters?
One of the prevailing misconceptions surrounding clouds is that they deliver far better performance that dedicated servers. As a matter of fact, they don’t. Dedicated servers, by far, deliver better performance than any other server that has ever existed. The gaming servers are said to perform better than dedicated servers, but the former is also a dedicated server.
A lot of myths surround Cloud computing at present. Despite these myths, there aren’t many blogs that write on the minutes of Cloud computing.
Computing, to discuss in detail, would open an encyclopedia in itself.
With this blog, we have aimed at busting myths we felt were crucial towards a crystal clear understanding of this technology.
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