Virtual Machines from Cirrus
There is an interesting evolution taking place in the traditional hosting space. Cloud computing is being steadily extended. People are rethinking the data center and this exciting process opens up an eclectic variety of new modifications to the traditional server in order to serve the customers better.
Virtualizing the server is one such modification available in the market today. The act of virtualizing a server in computing refers to creating a virtual rather than an actual version of something. This includes but is not restricted to a virtual computer hardware platform, operating system (OS), storage device, or computer network resources. Cloud computing is the technique that after virtualization has taken place provides resources from various separated computers on-demand.
The environment used to virtualize the server is Hypervisor. Hypervisor helps to create several virtual machines (VM) that have an independent CPU, Memory and Network and individual Operating Systems.
Cloud providers such as Cirrus Tech are getting really interested in Docker Container technology within a Virtual Machine. Docker is an Open platform for developers and system administrators to build and test cloud applications. Docker is fast becoming a very convenient way for building, running and shipping distributed applications. Docker, which is operated as an application (service), is a Virtualization platform that can build and package a number of applications and make them highly portable.
Docker helps to manage a computer environment separated from an OS by using the Libcontainer, which is a Linux container system. This Container technology is more than a decade old already. Google has been using in-house versions of containers for many years. But Docker container has now made the tools easy enough for everyone else to use too.
Thanks to Docker, users can now create a network and attach containers to it. They can communicate seamlessly across a cluster of containers with a single command. Basically a container summarizes applications and defines their interface to the surrounding system, which should make it simpler to drop applications into VMs running Docker in different clouds.
With Docker developers and system managers can distribute and test the software that they have developed, more easily and faster, move it from a laptop environment to any geographical location or any system that is supported by Docker or vice versa.
By using Docker containers, resources can be isolated, processes provisioned and services restricted to have an almost completely private view of the operating system with their own process ID space, file system structure, and network interfaces. Multiple Docker containers share the same kernel, but each container can be constrained to only use a defined amount of resources such as CPU, memory and I/O.
Docker is primarily made up of two technologies:
- Docker Engine: A portable, lightweight application runtime and packaging tool.
- Docker Hub: A cloud service for sharing applications and automating workflows.
These two work together and the developer utilizes these two to implement their technology to make their testing or developing cycles quicker and easier.
Benefits of using Docker in a Virtual Machine
1) Having a Docker container in a VM is easy to manage and applies the policy of system, network, user and security. With Docker, there is no need to install an extra OS as Docker container has everything it needs to operate.
2) In a Docker container, you can run multiple Docker instances in a single VM or per physical node and so this is far more economical for developers.
3) Having a Containerized version of a VM makes it easier to maintain and to port to new cloud environments. Containers are isolated and share an OS and can also share bins/libraries when required.
Giant tech companies are rushing to deploy this Docker technology, which represents one of the biggest shifts in application development in years. Mostly all activity online now is an application running in the cloud. Apps housed in Docker’s free container software have been downloaded 535 million times in just two years.
Many large businesses are planning to adopt Docker faster than any cloud open-source product ever according to a study by New York based market research firm, Enterprise Technology research.
Docker is completely open-source and easily accessible. Therefore, it is being consumed heavily in the market by the non-procrastinating developers.
When considering expansion or even keeping up to date with business practices today, it is becoming increasingly vital that businesses re-evaluate and revise their technological methodology. Trying to move from antiquated hardware to work with latest software is like trying to make an old dog learn new or rather impossible tricks.
One of the best and most cost effective ways for keeping up with technology is to consider converting your physical server to a virtual environment. Server virtualization has been around for more than a decade now. Subdividing a single server to seem as multiple servers has been a common practice since 2001.
Previously, changing to a different system could take several years to plan, build and transfer data. Virtualization speeds that process today and is a service that can be purchased by an Internet hosting company. Virtualizing the server has been transformational for the IT industry, providing greater flexibility, proficiencies and abilities that are not plausible in a constricting physical environment. Furthermore, conversion from physical to virtual is easy.
Virtualization refers to the undertaking of creating a virtual version of a computer hardware platform, operating system (OS), computer network resources or storage device. This allows customers to install new software that runs on an older OS, by virtualizing it first. Virtualization adds scalability which is a desired necessity for businesses today and in technological settings, especially when looking at today’s rapidly evolving business environments.
Advantages of Virtualizing:
- Increase in Uptime
Most virtualized platforms offer numerous cutting-edge features that cannot be found on Physical servers which help the business steadiness and enhanced uptime continuity.
- Save Energy
Migrating from a physical server to a VM (Virtual Machine) would mean using fewer physical servers.
Therefore reducing monthly power, cooling and even hardware costs in a data center.
- Expanded disaster recovery
By minimizing actual physical servers, organizations can readily create an affordable duplication site with minimum effort. Most virtualized platforms have software that can help automate the failover if a disaster does strike.
- Faster server provisioning
Virtualization enables elastic capacity to provide system provisioning and deployment at a moment’s notice. Quickly clone a master template, gold image or existing virtual machine to get a server up and running within minutes.
- Easier to move to the Cloud
By virtualizing servers and summarizing the underlying hardware, it becomes easy to prepare your data for a move into the cloud. The eventual and gentler transition to Cloud may be to move from a simple virtualized environment to a private cloud first.
Operating system level virtualization permits the properties of a computer to be segregated for multiple isolated user space instances (containers). Due to Virtualizing being software dependable in nature, it can be easily constituted, consumed and designed. Customers can also have their data in separate containers for heightened security, to improve resource management features and to have independence in hardware.
The physical server runs software (hypervisor) which works in creating, releasing and running resources on virtual machines. Another advantage of Virtualization is that the initial start-up cost is low and you only pay for what you use.
These virtual machines are designed to share resources of the physical server in such a manner that the customer is only aware of any physical attributes that the software (hypervisor) allots them. Even though resources are shared, under the time sharing model, virtualizing provides a high level of security. Virtualization also cuts down on server waste by more fully utilizing the physical server resources and by provisioning virtual machines with the exact amount of CPU, memory, and storage resources that it needs.
Cirrus Tech Ltd (Canada) is an internet hosting company that may be offering a potentially free of charge migration from a physical to a virtualized environment after discussing your company’s complexities and schedule. Cirrus has been providing affordable and reliable, cloud infrastructure and website hosting since 1999.
If your business is not looking at updating your IT department, then it is time to increase security. Security threats are far more real and have become closer to home in the recent years.
It is important to understand that no matter what you may think of future technologies-the data center is going to be at the heart of it all. Your underlying hardware architectural resource is constantly being made to adapt to a wide assortment of solutions that allow the customers in today’s world to go far beyond the classic one service per server practice.
Cloud computing, which is powering many of our electronic devices today, has been said to have been a concept prior to President J. F Kennedy even taking office. However, many industries today have now grasped cloud computing and are looking at switching over to it unabashedly.
One such industry that is looking to and somewhat even begun transforming its business practice is the Health Care industry. This industry has had to re-evaluate itself due to the pressing and evolving clinical and business realities and more so, due to Governmental reforms. Health care heavily relies on data and so it will have to now make technology alterations to look far beyond the traditional electronic health record (EHR). The EHR needs to be transformed into a more dynamic informational system and one that can easily be connected to the global landscape.
The simpler EHR is fast becoming a tool of the past and must become part of a larger more integrated recording system. The Electronic Health Record (EHR) performing better would lead to better quality care, safety, privacy, precise prognosis and of course efficiency while engaging with patients. Each patient’s integrated data leads to efficient interactions with the patient which in turn also benefits the healthcare organisations in lowering costs.
HealthLeaders Media Survey indicated that 81% of healthcare institutions reply on an EHR, while 95% expect to in the next 3 years. Today’s EHRs only contain 50% or less of available patient data or have incomplete patient record. Today’s patient’s data lies across multiple systems or even on paper records. To collect and then to collaborate all this data efficiently will only be satisfactory or reliable if all the data collected from all forms of mediums is formatted in a clinically acceptable way.
The fundamental migration of data requires health care professional and IT professionals to think and design a structure that is easily integrated, more collaborative and definitely more analytical. We cannot afford to continue to employ the traditional operating systems that disseminate information intermittently or keeps information in uncollaborated pockets.
Today’s model of patient records can be easily integrated with cloud technology – keeping the patients data and care at the forefront of it all. All medical records should now start to be synced and easily shareable so one can access the patient’s full medical history immediately. This is however most demanded when the patient has a number of specialists they need to see.
Connected health care is crucial and so sharing, integration and mobility across this enterprise is what will really drive this industry to alter making health care more people centric, precise and personalized.
Looking at Cloud Technology for the Health Industry
One of the superstitions floating around regarding the Cloud environment is that once it is deployed, it becomes dependent of the providers on-premise data center. The Cloud has gone through many reiterations from its initial birth, and so the modern cloud infrastructure can be easily an extension of a consumer’s already existing infrastructure if he so choses.
However, with the help of Advanced Application Programming (API) and other connection methodologies, partnerships like OnApp and Cirrus Tech give reach to global infrastructure to their customer’s. Cirrus Tech employs 3 Data Centers in the Toronto area for its web hosting and hosted exchange operations which means that the customer’s data can remain on Canadian soil as well. Cirrus Tech (Toronto) with the help of OnApp can make people’s health related data be easily connected through their global infrastructure. This type of flexibility around connectively in cloud is a relatively new phenomenon. And so Cloud is a perfect solution for the health industry as this platform provides agility and is geo redundant.
The OnApp Federation is the perfect platform for different health agencies that are looking to easily correlate their data. One of the best features of this Federation is that the ownership of data will never be limited to one company and there are choices of different managed SLA’s to choose from. Different types of data can be chosen to be distributed in different geographical locations. That data is an easy access through Cloud and CDN instances from around the world from a single dashboard-in actual time.
Benefits of Cloud Federation for health care focused cloud service providers:
- Dealing with a single company
- Unlimited capacity expansion
- No Downtime
This junction that the health care industry is at right now is quite exciting for patients around the world. Patients will no longer be passive receivers of a diagnosis but will become more active and global consumers of their own health care. They will be able to access their entire health record more actively and securely and also be able to share this information from any mobile device. The lines between cloud providers, payer coverage and the patient are all blurring. What should remain is our vigilant attention on making sure the health care industry communicates more efficiently and effectively.
Processes and systems that go along with data collection need to manage data in a way that optimizes its value. Having these fundamental structures in place before hand only makes sense. Getting started on this data collecting venture in this industry where costs are expected to double in 2019 creates an uneasy urgency to it all.
In 2014, businesses had begun to really grasp the IT Enterprise and fully comprehend Cloud Technology and its practices. The Cloud in return adjusted more of its core features and incorporated traditional needs for this Enterprise called IT. Weather it is for native Cloud Web-scale applications or for businesses of varied sizes, the Cloud is gaining its respect to be one of modern days best practices to increase efficiency as well as flexibility in any digital savvy business environment.
However, it is also estimated that the companies that do choose to adapt Cloud this year- about 25% percent of them would be investing in Cloud for the very first time. A lot of the companies across the world are being driven back to private cloud after the initial thrill into public and hybrid models, mainly due to the increasing security concerns.
In 2015 Gartner surveyed more than 2,800 IT leaders globally and found that a majority of CIO’s both in Canada and across the world had a concern about the increasing risks around securing data being created in the digital world in business practices. Apparently the Canadian CIO is said to be more focused on legacy modernization, application development and IT services, compared to other global business environments. And here then lies further credit due to the Canadian CIO for being experimental and brave despite his far greater fear than its global counterparts regarding digital risks. It has been surveyed that the Canadian CIO’s (92%) as compared to Global CIO’s (83%) are far more concerned regarding the ability to deal with these risks from a management perspective.
Both Canadian and other Global CIO’s are following almost the same patterns with only a slight variation when it comes to adapting Cloud options for Software and Infrastructure. Virtualization has increased efficiency and flexibility on the server side of computing. However, the storage side of it has remained mostly unchanged.
Canada in 2014 however, has not had a large number of breaches reported in comparison to other parts of the world especially the US.
Canadians attitude towards data privacy:
- 78% – Have become reluctant to share personal information with businesses.
- 81%- Have expressed that the business they do with a company, depends on the companies’ public reputation around privacy.
It has been found that Cyber attackers can have unconstrained access in a victims systems for a median of 205 days before they are exposed and some breaches on the other hand can go undetected for even years, says a new report from FireEye. Apparently very few businesses can even detect a breech on their own. In 2014 it was estimated that around 69% of a company’s breach was found out by a third party.
Security with Cirrus Tech. Ltd.
Cirrus has been actively adopting measures for Cloud Security, throughout its business years in Cloud Hosting. Cirrus, not only adopted industry standard practices but has also after about 16 years of working within the industry and being deeply engaged with actual early on adopters of Cloud, has managed to reached some novel methodologies developed by its internal engineers.
Cirrus’ physical infrastructure resides in layer 3+ datacenters in Toronto, Canada and the entire access process is monitored, logged and supervised by specialized engineers 24/7/365.
The network layer of the infrastructure is powerfully protected not only for DDOS, data breaches and any sort of malicious attacks but is actively monitored by some of the very best threat management applications such as ThreatStop, Brocade firewalls, etc ….
VLANs or Virtual Private Networking option on Cirrus cloud hosting offering, adds another layer of security into the company’s offering, creating network isolation & separation. This helps to prevent any source of network data sniffing. Cirrus also has adopted Starwind one of the greatest industry storage platforms and created a unique data “block storage” layer in its cloud infrastructure with absolute data isolation amongst cloud clients that may be sharing some of this physical computing or storage layer.
All the customer relationships, from sales to support related issues are also entirely logged and performed through PCI compliant platforms and some very rigorous audits for potential points of breaches that may have been overseen.
There is no black and white around Cloud security just yet-however some companies and governments are far more committed to customer security and data management than others. As more and more hackers succeed to get their cheap thrills by breaking through the code- there will always be systems in check to ensure other peoples data privacy, remains sacred.
The advent of IT innovation began more than half a century ago. Leading us now at a point where we have web scale computing, lightning fast processor speed and at a junction of cloud computing, to manage all of our IT requirements. As with most large scale operations, the technology sector too has not only become faster but also cheaper with time. If our predecessors were fortunate enough in the 60’s to have technology, they would be paying around $1000 per MB of storage. Today, a terabyte of storage is almost equivalent to the cost of our toothpaste consumption in a month.
During the 60’s era, computing was mainly used for modeling, forecasting and simulations for scientific research and government programs like NASA. Today’s technology consumption and utility have increased leaps and bounds , due to the low cost computers and storage devices, high- capacity networks as well as widespread adaptation of service-oriented culture and hardware virtualization. We are compelled to increasingly contemplate about cloud computing.
Some businesses however, are still resisting the transition from dedicated servers to a cloud environment. In the mid 1990’s when cloud hosting was picking up as an option for business practice, it took a while for internal systems to catch up to the capabilities of expanding. However, creating a hybrid platform these days is easier than ever.
Cloud VPS or VM hosting is just one of many types of hosting options available in the market today. Essentially, a VPS is a virtual server that offers many if not more advantages then a dedicated server. VPS is a shared server but it makes sure that with partitions in the VPS the user’s information remains highly confidential and secure by allocating separate nodes to each business client. Trustworthy web host providers like CirrusHosting.com also allocate plenty of VPS server resources to responsibly avoid server downtime.
One of the hurdles that companies come up against in migrating from dedicated servers to cloud VPS is that some companies use programs that are designed to work with legacy infrastructure or have not been updated in a long time.
It is seldom that businesses jump off the rut of daily business practices and ask themselves, if there is a more efficient way of testing, deploying or even developing our business applications. Or are just looking for some extra infrastructure that readily scales whenever one would require it to.
Innovation is the buzz word for today’s businesses and that requires agility. If it typically takes your business a while to accommodate new technology and with even greater struggle to disseminate that internally, then you probably want to consider significant restructuring. Cloud computing helps with that struggle as it permits companies to have their applications up and running faster, have lesser maintenance costs, better manageability and allows IT to keep abreast with the rapidly fluctuating and unpredictable business demands.
With additional stability and scalability, enterprises would highly benefit from a private cloud that is easily available and can be upgraded without experiencing downtime or impacting critical business endeavors.
Cloud also helps in maximizing the use of computing power thus reducing environmental damage as well since less power, air conditioning, rack space, etc. are required for a variety of functions. With cloud computing, multiple users can access a single server to retrieve and update their data without purchasing licenses for different applications.
A service provider like CirrusHosting.com takes over most of the management, including security, memory, storage, IT support and even helps in the virtualization.
Customers consistently want to connect their services together more easily. That is the power of cloud; it eases the average business of having to constantly worry about infrastructure maintenance and management.
Virtual Private Servers VS Dedicated servers
- Same Security
- Same Performance
- Better Scalability
- Migration to New Hardware
- Better Redundancy
- Easier Upgrade Paths
Apparently Cloud computing is going to reach a record high in 2015, it is time for businesses to make hay while the sun shines. Meaning it is time for businesses to lay the foundations that will help keep their business up and running for many years to come. It is either that or wait for the inevitable failure of important systems/hardware which of course in the long run, cost far more damage to the business than switching to cloud now.
Migration to Cloud doesn’t have to be a daunting task. It is simply one that is highly recommended for businesses today. It is an incredibly powerful service- whose time has come.
About Cirrus Hosting
Cloud Hosting Since 1999
Cirrus Hosting is a leading cloud hosting provider in Canada, hosting websites and email for 100,000+ companies worldwide.