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What is IaaS?

We have already explained SaaS and PaaS in our earlier posts. Now we are going to fully explain IaaS.

IaaS stands for Infrastructure as a Service and it is one of the main three cloud computing services.

Before this, all companies had to install and keep the needed infrastructure (Servers, Storages, Hardware, Virtualizers, …) locally. With this technology, they can have the infrastructure somewhere else and just use it whenever it’s needed. We should also mention that some companies still keep the infrastructure locally for different reasons.

IaaS vs. PaaS vs. SaaS

Why use IaaS?

As your company grows, you are going to need a more complicated and more expensive infrastructure. IaaS can help you stop worrying about this matter and only focus on your company’s goals. This is exactly what Cloud is for! Cloud services were created to reduce the costs and worries of providing infrastructure.

Another benefit of using IaaS is the security of it. A company’s data is one of its most valuable possessions. This is why we should be really careful about our data security. IaaS providers, keep the Hardware in a suitable place that can keep the hardware physically secured. Also, since this service is cloud-based (which already has all the basic security-related factors), your data can be more secured this way.

The third reason for using this service is the cost. The cost of installing and securing the needed infrastructure of a company locally is much higher than using Infrastructure as a Service. Third-party companies provide a reliable and powerful infrastructure and you can just pay for what you are using.

Just like any other service, Using IaaS is not all pros either. Using IaaS means not having full control over your infrastructure. So, if you need full control and access, this might not be for you. Also, for some very large companies, it might be more beneficial to make the investment and have the infrastructure to themselves.

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What is PaaS?

In our last post, we have explained fully about SaaS which is one of the three main cloud computing services. The other two services are PaaS and IaaS and here we are going to explain PaaS.

PaaS stands for Platform as a Service. This is an amazing solution for running and developing an application without the obligation of having and installing all the needed hardware and software locally on your system. Because the PaaS providers have all the needed hardware and software on their infrastructure and you can use them. Generally, cloud computing is against installing and keeping hardware and software locally on every system. It suggests that if you use Platform as a Service, you can receive better services and features.

Why use PaaS?

  1. Save the money!: The best advantage of using Platform as a Service is that it reduces the initial costs. It means that you can just easily save the money you should pay for the hardware and software.
  2. Save the data!: the risk of losing data while using PaaS comparing to having the platform locally is much less. This is because the offering features of using this service are more capable of keeping your data safe than the other way.
  3. Save the time!: You can get faster results since you don’t need to spend your time planning all the needed resources and then providing them.

Basically, when you use Platform as a Service, It means that you no longer have to worry about the infrastructure or other related things. All you have to do is to create and run your program.

However, Using PaaS isn’t all pros and it can have its Cons too. When you choose to use this service, you should also deal with the risk of vendor lock-in and service downtime. To explain these two shortly, we can say that if you depend on these services for developing and running your application if the provider experiences downtime you can’t have access to the services anymore. And about Vendor lock-in means that if you only use those provided platforms (software and hardware) it might be super hard to change to other platforms if needed.

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What is SaaS?

As we have explained before in our last post, Cloud is a platform for providing services and these services can be categorized into three main categories. These categories are SaaS, PaaS , and IaaS. In this post, we are going to explain what SaaS is.

SaaS

SaaS stands for Software as a Service and it means software which provides services. There are differences between these services and the ones that other Softwares provide us. The main difference is that these services are based on the cloud platform and its features. Let’s take a look at the days before SaaS was created and see what was the reason for its creation.

What is SaaS?

The pre-history of SaaS

The centralized hosting of Softwares goes back to the 1960s. This was when companies like IBM or other Mainframe providers, offered these services as a processing tool. It means that when a process was too big to be done on a local system, they would use these to do the process. In the 1990s ASP or Application Service Providers came into the picture. An Application Service Provider is a third-party group that offers commercial software applications and their related services online.

SaaS is actually a developed version of the idea of ASP. For the first offered ASPs, you needed to also install the software on your computer. However, for Software as a Service, you can only access the software application using the browser!

Nowadays Software as a Service is being used all over the world as a web-based Software.

Features of Software as a Service

  1. Cloud-based
  2. Accessing the software through the web
  3. Centralized management of the software
  4. Users don’t need to manage or upgrade the software
  5. API or Application Programming Interface make SaaS work

Dropbox is an example of Software as a Service. This was one of the first solutions for web-based data saving.

Dropbox is an example of SaaS

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Where did the “cloud hosting” name come from?

In our earlier post, we have explained how and why the idea of cloud hosting was created. Now we are going to explain why the named this type of hosting “cloud hosting”.

Surprisingly, Cloud computing isn’t related to weather or actual clouds. So where did this name come from? To answer this question, we need to go a little back and see how this word entered the technology world.

How did “Cloud” enter the technology world?

A network engineer is in charge of making sure that a network is up and running. For this matter, they need to spend their time checking which devices exist in that network and how are they connected to each other. However, every network is also connected to other networks such as the Internet. At the time of sketching the network and analyzing it, they didn’t spend their time describing the other networks. They just drew those other networks by some closed curvy shapes. These curvy shapes became more like a cloud after a while. So this cloud shape was a symbol for any network that its details were unknown and became a metaphor for the Internet and they explained “cloud computing” as using data from a long distance.

To explain what exactly this technology is, we can say that “cloud” is a platform for providing services. These services can be categorized into three main categories:

  1. SaaS: This stands for software as a service and it means a software that gives services based on cloud infrastructure and its features.
  2. PaaS: This one stands for Platform as a service. This is a perfect solution for running software without needing the platform.
  3. IaaS: IaaS stands for Infrastructure as a service. Before this, they used to make and keep the needed infrastructure locally for every company.
What are SaaS, PaaS and IaaS?

In our future posts, we will explain each of these fully.

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How did the experts come up with Cloud Hosting idea?

In our earlier post we have explained about 3 kinds of web hosting services. These kinds are “Dedicated Server“, “VPS” and “Shared Hosting“. Now we are going to explain about a new technology which is “Cloud hosting”.

In order to explain about cloud hosting technology, we explain shortly that what happed that made experts to come up with this idea.

The problems with other web hosting services

Here are some of the problems that you might have with the first three services that we have explained before:

Benefits of cloud hosting

Imagine you have a VPS but you need more resources (CPu,RAM,…). According to our earlier posts you might think that the best solution for this is to buy a dedicated server. But, this may cost lot of money when all you need was just another core or just some more hard disk space. This is when you wish there were a service in which you could upgrade your resources and pay for the amount that you are using.

the second problem is about backup and data loss. Redundancy means having data in 2 places at the same time so that you get data from the other one if one has problems. This option can be a bit weak in other servers. This is because server uses options like RAID (Redundant Array Independant Disks) which has its own problems and errors. It is also not safe to have the backup on the same server. because if something happens to your server, you can’t even use your backup. Also, servers need down time for backup migration because they mostly do not have the Live migration option.

Another problem is that the existing security problems in servers, have difficult or expensive solutions. So, the client might not be able to take care of their server’s security on their own. Wouldn’t it be better if there was a service that had some default security solutions?

All of these problems and more made experts to think about a new technology. This technology is “cloud hosting”.

Now we know how the cloud hosting idea was created. In our future posts we are going to explain everything about it.

Dedicated Server

In earlier posts, we explained “shared hosting” and “VPS“. These two are two types of services that a web hosting company (like AiroServer.com) provides. In this post, we are going to explain dedicated server.

Remember the example we said about VPS and shared hosting in the “what is VPS?” post? Let’s refresh your memory, we said that having a shared hosting is like sharing a room with other people and VPS is like all of you are living in one apartment but each person has its own unit. According to this example, dedicated server is like having the whole apartment to yourself.

Dedicated server is the most efficient service for big organizations and clients that need lots of hardware resources. Basically having a dedicated server means having the whole server to yourself. You can use all of the resources (bandwidth, disk space, CPU, RAM,etc.) however you want. A client can buy a server for a website that has lots of views and it needs more resources than a VPS for any reasons. Or they can also buy a server to create some VPS on them and use each VPS separately. This list can go on because as we said, you can use it however you want but obviously the usage must match the provider’s terms.

When a client gets a dedicated server, the provider gives them root access for the server. After setting up a dedicated server the provider usually gives the client these information: the server’s IP, login information (to log into your server), DNS configuration, and etc.

All servers are located in Data centers. Data center is a place that has been provided for holding servers. There are lots of racks in every Data Center. These racks hold servers in them. You might wonder how many racks can be held in one rack? To answer this, we should say that each server’s height can be 1U or 2U. U stands for Unit which is the measuring unit for server’s height. every full rack equals 42U so if it can hold 42 1U servers.

Dedicated server

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What is VPS?

In our last post, we talked about different types of servers in web hosting. The first category was “Shared hosting” which we have explained about it fully in that post. In this post, we are going to explain about the second category which is VPS.

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server and is a type of service that a web hosting company provides. The web hosting company (like AiroServer.com) installs a virtualization software like VMware on a server and by using that, they divide the server into multiple virtual machines. Let’s give you an example, imagine there is a server that has 100GB of hard disk, 32GB RAM and etc. You can divide this server into 4 (more or less) VPS and give each 25GB of disk and 8GB of RAM and etc.

In a virtualization software, you can choose and manage how much of the hardware each machine (VPS) can choose. So, this means that virtuals servers are customizable and all of the existing virtual servers in a server, might vary in the amount of hardware they use.

These virtual machines act as a small dedicated server. Each VPS has its own operating system and the client has full control over it like dedicated and can install any software on it or use it however they want. However, they are smaller than a dedicated server in hardware resources and they can be more affordable according to your usages. After a while and if you need more resources, it might be a better and more efficient idea to switch to dedicated services.

Shared hosting vs. VPS

In both shared hosting and VPS you are basically sharing one server with other clients. However, in shared hosting, as we have explained before, you are sharing all of the resources and there is no limit unless the provider warns you for using too much. In VPS you are all in one server but you have specific shares of resources and you have root access to your virtual server. Let’s explain this with an example: Shared hosting is like all clients are living in one room and they are sharing all of the resources and space. But for VPS, It’s like there is an apartment (server) and each client has their own unit with specified space and resources.

In our next post, we are going to explain about ” Dedicated servers”.

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Different types of Servers in Web hosting

In our earlier post, we explained about servers and types of them based on their usages. In this post, we are going to talk about different types of servers based on the services that a web hosting provider offers.

According to web hosting providers, Servers can mainly be categorized into three different types:

  1. Shared hosting
  2. Virtual Private Server (VPS)
  3. Dedicated Server

There are also other types of servers such as Cloud hosting which is kind of a new technology but we’ll get to that in our future posts. Now let’s see what are each of these three main categories.

Shared hosting

What is shared hosting?

Generally, a host is a space on a computer on which a webmaster can manage and host his website and its data so that it is accessible through the Internet. The second step of having a website (which comes after having a domain) is having a host. The type of this host can be a shared host.

Shared hosting is the best and the most efficient solution for anyone that is starting a website and doesn’t have a lot of views. The reason is that this solution is very affordable and you get enough resources to handle your visits. However, When the number of your website’s visits gets higher than a specific number and starts causing problems, you must switch to other solutions like VPS or dedicated services. Here is why:

As it is obvious from its name, a shared host doesn’t have dedicated resources. This means that there might be dozens of websites (hosts) on one server. Each of these servers can use all of the resources as much as they want. However, if one of the hosts gets lots of views, it is going to use lots of resources so it will have some effects on the speed of your website. The reason is that when a website’s visit goes higher, it needs to use more resources and using more resources in a shared hosting solution means fewer resources for other hosts. In this kind of situation, the provider will take some actions like warning the owner of the host that is using all the resources or suggest they switch from this solution to VPS or dedicated.

You might also wonder how does each of these hosts’ owners control and manage their websites? and can everybody access each other’s website files? the answer is that the provider gives you a control panel with limited access so that you can only access your website files and no one else’s.

In future posts, we are going to explain the other solutions which are VPS and Dedicated server.

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Everything about firewall

You might have heard about a firewall before but do you know what is it? in this post, we are going to explain everything about the firewall.

What is a firewall?

There are different ways of securing your machines (PC or server) and having a firewall is definitely an important one. A firewall simply works as a border guard, it controls all of the outgoing and incoming data of a system or a network. So, It puts a barrier between two networks (network-based) or between the network and your machine (host-based).

Host-based and Network-based firewalls

We can categorize firewalls as host-based and network-based ones.

  • Host-based: It is a software that is installed on each machine and protects the incoming and outgoing traffic of it. With this, you can say what is allowed to go through your ports and what is not. For example, you can: restrict a program from sending from your machine, restrict some IP addresses from having access to your machine, block suspicious data from entering or etc.
  • Network-based: It controls the traffic that comes and goes between a secured LAN (Local Area Network) and the Internet. This means that it can filter the traffic and protect the LAN from attacks or harmful data. This doesn’t understand anything about the inside of the machines and only protects a network.

It is obvious now that having both of these means having more security. For example, if your machines are all in one network, you want that network to be secured and also you want each machine to be secured.

Hardware and software firewall

Hardware or Software firewalls

There is also another way of categorizing firewalls. A firewall can be hardware or software.

  • Hardware: It is a physical device that controls the incoming and outgoing traffic for a network.
  • Software: obviously it is a software and you should install it on an operating system. So as mentioned earlier, a host-based firewall is a software.

We should also mention that network-based firewalls can be both hardware or software. You can have hardware that has been specially built to be a firewall or you can have a device and install firewall software on it. Choosing one of them is completely up to your preferences and usage. The hardware one might be able to work better than basic devices with installed software or you can also have a strong device (that has a couple of network cards) with the software to work even better than the hardware type but You should consider that the second option might not be economical.

Software Firewall vs. Anti-virus

We should also shortly mention that firewalls and antiviruses are two completely different things. A firewall is only in charge of securing anything that is coming into or going out of a machine and doesn’t check the files or anything that is inside of the machine, however, antivirus is in charge of securing the files and data that are inside of a machine. So if a harmful file gets through and gets inside of a machine, it is antivirus’s responsibility to detect it and take care of it.

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What is a Server?

In this post, we are going to simply explain what a Server is. Technically speaking, in the world of IT, a Server can be a computer or a computer program that provides a special service for other computers. The computers that receive this service are called “Clients”.

It can be a normal PC that has Server programs on it. Also, there is another kind of Server that looks completely different. This Hardware is a type of computer and We put it in a rack in a data center.

Servers in Racks

Server Types:

There are different ways of categorizing servers and one of them is by their usages.

By their usages:

One way of categorizing them is by their usages and the kind of services they provide. Here are some examples:

  1. File server: This is used for file sharing. It means that all the needed files in a network are located on it and every user on that network can have access to these files. You can set different access levels for each user.
  2. Database Server: This is mainly used in organizations.It contains the database of a specific service or software that all users are using on their computers. So, we have all of our data in one place.
  3. Application Server: It is kind of the same as no.2 but the only difference is that in this kind, you don’t have to install the program on every user’s computer. The program is on the Application server and everyone can use it.
  4. Game Server: This is a kind of Application server but only used for games. The game is installed on a Game server and all users on that network can access the game and play. So now you might kind of figure how an online multiplayer game works.
  5. Print: All the printers on a network are on this and users can access their required printer there.
  6. Media: This kind is for when it has a video, Audio or any kind of media file is on it and users can access it from there.
  7. Communication: as it’s clear by its name, each user that connects to this, is an endpoint and is able to communicate with other users by sending texts and etc.
  8. Computing: When our computer’s processor is not enough for a specific process, we can connect to it to use its processors.
  9. Web server: This is used for web hosting and in our earlier posts we have explained completely about it.
  10. Proxy Server: This can help you as a middle man and we’ve explained about this in our earlier posts.
  11. Mail: This kind has webmail services on it and you use it for sending and receiving emails.
Mail server

Another way of categorizing is according to web hosting services. We have fully explained this in the “different types of servers in web hosting” post.

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