Every new technology that computer science has brought to us has been changing old assumptions, breaking unbeaten records and making new ones, with cloud technology being no exception. With advancements in computing and the penetration of broadband, it’s now a viable idea for every organisation to move all their work to the cloud. Cloud services are now fully capable of providing real-time efficient monitoring, elastic servers, and a plethora of other features. Here’s how to make a successful move to the clouds, and make your business grow like never before.
Why Cloud Hosting?
Before moving all operations to the cloud, one needs to analyse the reasons for doing so. One of the major reasons for embracing the cloud is financial saving. When cloud-based services are hired, the organisation only pays for the server hosting. There are no hardware charges, and the company does not even need sophisticated and expensive hardware. This does away with the costs of maintaining high-end servers and related costs. The real question that now remains is relating to the advantages.
Cloud Servers over Regular Servers
Cloud servers have some very good advantages over their regular counterpart:
1. With virtual servers, you can increase or decrease the processing power. This is instantly reflected, as the activation is almost immediate. This can take more than a day or two in case of regular servers, where actual hardware needs to be changed.
2. The customer enjoys total flexibility. Load can be balanced instantaneously, by just changing a few configuration settings over a web-based server configuration tool.
3. The customer pays only for the services used, and not for any of the advertised features. Sometimes, this is called “Pay as you go.”
4. Servers can be created or killed within a matter of minutes, as they are all virtualized.
5. There are no worries of security and hardware maintenance, as the service provider manages those aspects.
Moving to the Cloud – One Step at a Time
So now that you have a good idea about the various perks of moving to the cloud, lets plan out the transition in a step-by-step way. New customers often find moving to the cloud to be a complicated task. Here are, therefore, some steps that will help you move to a cloud-based server.
When it comes to cloud-based servers, the users usually have three options to choose from:
Option 1: Set it all up from scratch:
In this method, the user pretty much builds up a fully functional server from scratch. The steps involved here would be:
1. Install an operating system of your choice. The OS can be of any type: Windows, Linux, etc.
2. Install all the necessary tools that are needed for a fully functioning server.
3. Now use a synchronisation tool, such as rsync, to sync the newly created server with the older server. This will copy all the necessary configuration files and data over to the new server.
4. Once the transition is complete, the old server can be stopped (use the “rsync -u” command if using rsync)
5. Boot into the new server.
Option 2: Copy over your existing file system:
The first option is viable only if the user has few tools to set up on the new server. If, however, the user has many different tools and utilities, this option may be better. Note that the following steps will only work in the case of a Linux-based server:
1. Create the virtual server on the cloud.
2. Stop the old server after inserting a blank optical disc in it.
3. Use the rsync tool to back up the entire file system (without server specific directories) to the disc.
4. Use the backup disc on the new server, by booting the new server from the disc. Fix driver-related issues, if any.
5. After stopping the old server, use the “rsync -u” command to copy the data to the new server.
6. Boot into the new server
Option 3: Upload your entire file system to server:
This option is applicable to both Windows and Linux-based set ups, and is the user’s best bet in case of a large set of applications. However, this works only if the cloud service has a drive upload tool.
1. Stop the old server and shut down the machine.
2. Boot the machine from a Live Disc (A live disc is an optical disc that runs the OS entirely from RAM, without the need to install the OS to a hard drive)
3. Activate the drive upload tool and begin uploading the entire set up to the server.
4. Make the few necessary corrections and start the new server.
Note that this option may take a lot of time, depending on the upload size and bandwidth. The site can suffer a large downtime, if the data to be uploaded is huge.
Technical Tip: If you plan to run a web server, you must ideally reset your DNS with a low TTL, so that the site can be accessed faster. Check this post out for more information. Also if you are looking for an opportunity to provide your own clients with your own cloud hosting options then why not apply to provide white label VPS – all the benefits of the cloud without any hardware requirements.
This article was brought to you by ElasticHosts cloud hosting - arguably one of the most flexible cloud server companies in the UK, US and CA!