Server cloud management refers to the efficient management of virtual servers provisioned or running in the cloud.

If you have been keeping up with recent advancements in hosting technology, then hearing about cloud servers won’t be a surprising thing itself. Clouds are the perfect replacement for physical servers, and their use has simplified and abstracted out many tedious aspects involved in running an IT service or IT related company.

Now instead of buying physical servers, then hiring server engineers for both the installation and maintenance of the servers and then repeating the same thing when you want to provide local services to a new country or you are expanding your business consultancy to new frontiers, Cloud technologies have removed all these hassles from your way so you can focus on your businesses core competency without worrying about the extra baggage.

Also, cloud servers are almost infinitely scalable, i.e., you can spin up as many instances of a server as you want without worrying about locations and space constraints. This can help unusual traffic cases, especially on black Fridays, other holidays, or times when people/clients are more likely to visit your website in rather impressive numbers.

Cloud servers also reduced the need for significant management and maintenance of your servers. With cloud technologies, you have only the software part to worry about while your cloud providers get to worry about the hardware, etc., of your servers.

However, cloud technologies didn't eliminate the need for maintenance, updating, and general cloud server management systems for your business. You still have to perform routine checkups, routines, and other stuff necessary; cloud hosting merely reduces this.

Cloud server management system

Cloud server management system refers to the management of cloud products and services. The proper cloud server system is the one that assists your engineers in managing, controlling, and orchestrating your cloud services and products to give your clients the best possible value for their money and time.

Cloud server management also gives your organization the flexibility and adaptability necessary to scale quickly when it is needed.

It also allows you to automate tedious processes to redesign others while making sure you do not exceed your set budget for the quarter.

When done right, cloud server management makes the task of managing servers a gratifying process.

Need for Cloud server Management Systems

Cloud server management systems exist to solve a need in the IT ecosystem. They serve as a buffer between you, the business owner, and your virtual hosting provider (AWS, Oracle Cloud, Google, etc.).

They provide broad functionality by sitting on top of the API’s provided by your hosting provider and then turning them into meaningful buttons and data that you can analyze and control.

Before the advent of Cloud server management systems, end-users and business owners found it difficult to integrate their business code with the cloud hosting platforms. It was a constant battle having to figure out what works and what doesn’t by performing trial-and-error many times.

CSM systems brilliantly solved this problem by abstracting away this struggle and ensuring the dashboard presented to you is an easy-to-understand dashboard that is equally easy to manipulate.

How does this work?

Every cloud hosting service provides APIs necessary for you or your developer to communicate with the provider’s infrastructure.

A cloud server management system is set up by installing cloud server management software on your virtual servers.

This software integrates into many parts of your hosting provision service like the database, health sections, and other necessary information. It organizes them as real time data or real time graphs, which it then displays to you. If needed, the software also provides a detailed analysis of what is going on.

With all the data provided by this, you can now make better-informed decisions on your entire management workflow.

Now along with everything mentioned above, there are some basic functionalities every cloud server management system must provide before it is considered for use.

  1. The ability to collect and adequately display metrics and data and log them in an easy-to-use manner.
  2. Must provide easy data back, migration, and recovery in cases when things go south.
  3. Must be able to enforce the security of resources and access-based access for different users in the organizations.
  4. Ability to manage the required workloads while efficiently managing assigned resources.
  5. Must be able to accept and fulfill service requests from end-users.
  6. Must be able to support DevOps processes.
  7. Must be able to take inventory of pre-allocated and unallocated devices and then manage them properly.
  8. Efficient Optimization.
  9. Must be able to integrate well with on premises private cloud, CPS hosted private cloud, public cloud service, IT service management, etc.

The ideal cloud server management software provides all this plus other features that might be unique to it.

Competitive advantages from using cloud management systems

In today’s fast paced business world, everyone is on the lookout for the next competitive advantage over there competitors and hopefully your business is not an exception.

There are some advantages provided by using cloud management software and some of them include:

  1. Increase in Collaboration: Your employees can share information and different data across multiple locations across the world by using cloud server systems. In fact, the recent increase in adoption of remote work across the world is due to the increase in companies moving to the cloud and subsequently adopting diverse cloud server management systems.
  2. Business insight: Among the various features provided by cloud management systems are data analytics and business insights. Data is essential to the running of any and every business in the modern age as data helps you make better hiring decisions, make better business decisions and overall realign your business to take advantage of increased opportunities. But most data you are likely to encounter in your day to day interactions are usually raw, informal data that might be hard for you to make sense of, a cloud server system takes this data, aggregates it, clean it and presents it in easy-to-understand bite-sized bits.
  3. Flexibility: In a case that you are running and managing an in-house server and writing and maintaining custom apps for it; you tend to devote hours that could have been used to focus on your business’ core competency, to frivolities. A cloud server management system helps you to take care of all this unnecessary stress and frees you up to take care of what really matters. Also, it gives you the freedom to innovate and pivot very fast in the business space; Want to move your whole business operations to a new country without having to dirty your hands with database operations? Or want to focus exclusively on one aspect of your business? A cloud server helps you do exactly that without any hassles.
  4. Increased Quality Control: With a cloud server system, all your data is maintained in a central place and you can easily track changes across multiple employees; this allows you maintain consistency across data and make sure errors and inconsistency in data is eliminated. Data loss due to lack of backup and employee missteps are also reduced.
  5. Automated Operations: With cloud server systems, most pars of your business which are not directly connected to your business’ core competency are easily automated away. Your software, plugins, security updates and dependencies are automatically updated for you. Also mundane tasks like data backup, loss prevention are automatically performed for you. This leads to better streamlined business operations.

Cloud Servers vs. Physical Servers

Now, you might be wondering that instead of going through all these hassles to learn a new way of deploying, you are better off sticking to buying your servers and deploying them as you see fit.

Well, I do not recommend doing that as cloud servers offer a host of benefits not available in physical servers.

Let’s analyze both by some factors necessary to their full performance:

1. Costs

The issue of costs is a sore issue with many people, especially small and medium IT businesses, where the price is a major constraining factor. Overall costs depend on the specific server you are either buying physically or provisioning online, as the better the specifications of the server, the higher the costs. Also, the significant difference between virtual servers and physical servers is that physical servers cost more upfront, i.e., you have to pay for the full software at one time. In contrast, the virtual cloud server will require a recurrent but low upfront fee to set up.

If something breaks on your physical server, it’s up to you to purchase and install the replacement while with the virtual cloud server, all these details are abstracted away for you.

NOTE: Depending on your virtual servers' configuration, you can end up paying a very high monthly recurring fee.

2. Performance

Performance needs are usually the second thing on the mind of most professionals; sometimes, performance considerations might exceed cost considerations because what is the essence of getting a dirt-cheap alternative if it crashes all the time, can’t run your required applications, and is very slow or hogs bandwidth?

Before choosing either a virtual server or a physical one, I advise first making a list of your critical business software and testing them out on the server platform of your choice to see if it can run there. Also, try testing the server platform for unusual traffic times (Black Fridays, Sales, etc.) to see how well it handles the extra load.

In the case of a physical server, you also need to check the network cards, ports and check its thread utilization rate, while for the virtual server, you have to read the datasheet to have an idea of what's going on and how well it performs.

Virtual servers are more powerful and offer more performance benefits than physical servers because of their overall distributed computing architecture.

3. Security

This is also another pressing concern when choosing servers as security of both company data, and client’s data is of utmost importance.

In this aspect, I dare say that physical servers outperform virtual servers because of their on-site location. You can add custom layers of security to what is already available and make your whole infrastructure more reliable.

Also, virtual servers are very secure to an extent. Still, with the relatively massive number of people you are sharing the server with and the fact that the virtual server's on-site engineers might get compromised, an in-house solution is always the best bet or this.

But all this is assuming you have qualified and competent in-house security engineers to handle this for you; if not, you are better going with a virtual server as they provide a good enough security solution.

4. Reliability and Migration

You have to make sure your preferred server platform supports stress-free migration and backup. Also, reliability is a big issue here; all things being equal, virtual servers are more reliable than physical servers because they implement redundant backups and other secure ways of ensuring that your data stays unchanged while preventing data loss. Also, with virtual servers, you have the assurance that highly qualified professionals are always on hand to troubleshoot and handle any problem that may arise.

Conclusion:

Cloud server systems are an essential part of today's hosting and security network, and as such, you should analyze your business needs to know and choose the best provider for your business.

While picking, you need to consider some factors to aid you in making the correct choice, and these factors will depend on your business and its peculiar needs for security, reliability, performance and other needs.

Cloud server systems help streamline your business operations, allowing you to make proper business decisions, focus relentlessly on your business’ core competencies while automating and abstracting the day to day running of your servers and other mundane activities.

In today’s fast paced and remote-working business environment, a cloud server management is very essential to success.

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