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Comprehensive Guide to Cloud Server Architecture

A cloud server provides computing resources remotely. But when is a cloud server the right choice? We explain the basics of cloud server architecture and also show you possible alternatives.

The world of cloud servers can seem intimidating at first, but don’t worry – we’re here to help you understand the basics. In this article, we’ll give an overview of cloud servers, what they are, how they work and whether they’re the right choice for your website or web application.

What is a Cloud Server?

It is an internet infrastructure that provides remote computing resources to users. You can think of a cloud server as a private computer that you can set up and control just like an on-site computer, such as a laptop or desktop. Typically, cloud servers are virtual machines running in large server clusters called virtualization. This article explains the main components of cloud server architecture, the difference between cloud servers and other cloud offerings, and how to find out which cloud offering best suits your website or web application.

Cloud Software

To understand them, it’s helpful to know what kind of software runs in the cloud. Here are some important components:

  • Operating systems: To one set up, you first need to install an operating system. Today, most cloud customers use a Linux-based operating system such as Ubuntu or Rocky Linux due to its broad support, free or flexible licensing and general prevalence in the server computing world.
  • Server-side software: This is a type of software designed to run in a cloud environment that does not have a desktop environment or display. Typically, this means that the software is installed and configured through a command line interface and then accessed by normal users through a web browser or other application.
  • Web server: This software allows it to communicate with users or applications on the Internet using the HTTP protocol. If you are setting up a cloud server from scratch to host a website or web application, you will probably need to install and configure server software. The two most popular options are Nginx and the Apache HTTP Web Server.
  • API server: APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are a type of software mediator that allows applications to communicate with each other. A web server is a type of API server that implements the HTTP APIs. There are many different types of APIs that allow your cloud server to exchange data with external applications and data sources.
  • Database servers: Database servers are another type of API server. Unlike web servers, which can be called via a web browser and usually provide an HTML user interface, database servers are usually called via a database query API.

Their Alternatives

It is essentially a virtual computer, other cloud product offerings can be understood in relation to them. For example, some cloud providers offer dedicated web hosting or dedicated database hosting. Any product offering that provides a database or web server on its own effectively abstracts the actual cloud server out of the equation.

Should I Use one?

They typically have a variety of security features, and it is not necessary to provision a large-scale production deployment to safely and securely run open source software on a cloud server.

Overall, cloud servers offer a wide range of options and flexibility. Whether you should use a cloud server depends on the specific requirements of your project and your capabilities.

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