I’m not sure what it means. Cloud Sites themselves come with their own database, so what’s different about a Cloud Site with a Cloud Database? And if you combine those two, what’s the difference between that combination and just having a Cloud Server? What you are seeing now is served by a regular old Cloud Site, obviously a WordPress installation, aided by a free edition of CloudFlare. Most times, it’s pretty good on Pingdom, coming in at below 4 seconds load time. Every once in a while it screams at below a second, and I about have my own nerd orgasm. But what would happen if the Database were a “Cloud” Database?
As I’ll no longer be able to run RackspaceReseller.com, (that was a dumb name anyway! I had just merely thought of it on a whim a couple years ago) because it uses the Rackspace trademarked name, I’ll be consolidating all my blogging on the subject here, which, you know, for my personality, may be a better thing. I get to feeling fragmented when I have my different interests sort of “sprayed” around on different domains. Then those domains get neglected, etc. etc.
So today, I had a question come in from India about Cloud Sites. I get these questions often as I’m reselling what are now called “Sub-Accounts” within Cloud Sites (They used to be referred to as “Clients”)
Anyway, as is typical, there is a great confusion in the marketplace between Cloud Sites and “Cloud Servers.”
The question I had today was concerning RAM, random access memory, and this particular potential client was talking about 1.5-2GB of RAM. Well, immediately I knew that he should or probably would need “Cloud Servers” because I knew that the approximate or equivalent amount of RAM in Cloud Sites defaults to only 128MB (Although it can be raised to up to 512MB using the .htaccess file)
Now, on Cloud Sites, this really refers to the amount of memory that PHP can access. But from my understanding with the live chat I just had with Rackspace, it’s a pretty close approximation to the amount of overall RAM that one might say a Cloud Site has access to.
This has been on my mind for some time, as I am a customer and reseller of Cloud Sites. I think the simple explanation is like how Steve Jobs explained the difference between Desktops and tablets: “Trucks vs. Cars.”
Cloud Sites, while being very powerful and very scalable, are more for serving content. This blog post you are reading is being served by Cloud Sites, running WordPress. WordPress and other “CMSs” (Content Management Systems) are perfect for Cloud Sites, being astonishingly easy to use, while being powerful enough to handle all the traffic you can send to it, without crashing.
Cloud Servers is more for websites that are designed as services. While being perfectly capable of running WordPress and content, for that type of application, Cloud Servers may be overkill, as well as being more technically difficult to set up and maintain (One of the many benefits of Cloud Sites is that all of the technical stuff is actively maintained and managed 100% for you). A services type website (Think Twitter, Facebook, an Online Photo Editor) is a destination people go to do some type of application in the “Cloud” as it were as opposed to running it on their own computer. Yes, I know, Twitter and Facebook are places where you consume content, but they are also services where you create content (in these cases to share). So simply put, “Services” websites are like computers in the Cloud, where a lot of computation power is needed to provide a computational “service” and then output into and from the Cloud.
So if you have a website designed to inform or display content, go Cloud Sites. If you are planning a computational intensive website, that’s designed to be more of a service to your visitors, Cloud Servers is probably your best bet.
Since this blog post was originally written and published on RackspaceReseller.com/blog which was a domain I originally ran, but had to take down, I made a photo copy of the one comment that was originally on it before I moved the post over here. Here the photo of the comment:
And as you can see from the photo to the right, you sometimes even get Millisecond loads! And keep in mind that is all the way from Amsterdam to Dallas/Ft. Worth.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention CloudFlare here too. I use CloudFlare connected to my Cloud Sites account. And they are at least partially if not the majority reason one gets such fast load times. They do a lot of things to optimize every aspect of your site as well as protecting it from botnets, scrapers, hackers, and email harvesters.
Oh, and did I mention CloudFlare is free? I mean they do have a paid version, but the free version, which I’m using, gives you all these advantages I’m talking about. Never has a company built up such good will in my brain. I’ll probably end up paying for the “Pro” version just because of the amount of “Goodwill” they’ve built up in my brain.
This company should be one of Seth Godin’s “Case Studies.”
Anyway, the advantage of Cloud Sites is simply that you get the best in managed hosting, best equipment, facilities, data center, Cloud Technologies, 24×7 fanatical maintenance. The “best in class” nature of the facilities combined with Cloud Technology, allows for two additional things: Superior Uptime and the ability to handle all the traffic that can be thrown at it.
Now you can step up to a dedicated server, or even a Cloud Server, but the performance you get with Cloud Sites + CloudFlare for the price and the level of management, I believe, is unmatched.
To me, Cloud Sites is like the Apple of hosting. You know you’re getting the ‘best’ but it’s also easy to use. You feel safe, and you don’t feel like you have to be a geek to use it. Although if you are a geek, and there’s nothing wrong with that (I’m at least part geek), it’s still a lot of fun to work with.
Also, I learned something from Josh that I didn’t know about Cloud Sites. As he is an ASP.NET developer he was able to inform me that Rackspace Cloud Sites could be enabled to run ASP.NET or as the Tech from Rackspace put it, whom I chatted with, I guess it’s also known simply as .NET 4.0.
I always knew that Cloud Sites could be enabled to run either Linux/PHP or Windows/.NET or actually have both technologies enabled on the same site, but I didn’t know that there was a special ‘flavor’ of .NET called ASP and that it could be enabled, upon special request, as a technology for your Rackspace Cloud Site.
Cool too know. And great to learn something new. Thanks again, Josh.
UPLOAD YOUR SITE TO THE CLOUD
You can create a new Rackspace Cloud powered site in less than five minutes. Load balancing, clustering, and redundant storage are all inherited by your application automatically, without any effort.
SCALING HAPPENS AUTOMATICALLY
Right from the second you upload your websites to Rackspace Cloud Sites™, your sites are hosted on advanced clustered cloud computing technology designed for high-performance. When your site outgrows what’s included, you pay inexpensive scale pricing for exactly what you use on the cloud and nothing more.
You’d be getting a slot on the full $149 Rackspace Cloud Site offering. This is all certified by Rackspace itself. They make it easy for owners of the full $149 Cloud Site to resell smaller portions of it. The customer is an official customer and enjoys a secure username and password to the control panel to configure his or her site/database. One can have unlimited domains on Cloud Sites, and the Control Panel makes it easy to provision a new site almost instantly. Call me or go to the sign up page to get started today!
Want your site on a scalable “cloud” architecture? We can have your site up and running, harnessing the power of server “clustering” like Google does. And at a price that’s not much higher than a shared hosting plan. Instead of your site having to fight for resources when they are most needed, an army of resources are always on standby ready to fight for it.
The main benefit of hosting your blog or website on the cloud instead of a dedicated server, or even worse a managed host in which you are having to share access to the RAM with many other sites that they are cramming you on with? Elasticity. If your traffic spikes, your server will expand to 1, 3, 10 or however many servers are needed to handle it. This is true of even the $9.95 package. It’s the same technology as the $149/mo full cloud site. And if for some reason you use more bandwith (remember only outbound bandwidth is counted, meaning hits to your site) than the package includes (nice problem to have) it’s only 50 cents per GB of overage. That’s the most efficient way possible to grow as well as getting the elasticity that always running for you in the background.
Call or text me on my Google Voice (501)291-1375, email me at [email protected], or hit me up on Twitter if you are interested or have anymore questions.
Compute cycles measure how much processing time your applications require on the Rackspace Cloud. Using 10,000 compute cycles in a month is roughly equivalent to running a server with a 2.8 GHz modern processor for the same period of time.
How many compute cycles will my applications use?
Since web applications vary so greatly, it’s hard to make a perfect guess. However, there are some guidelines that can help. First, you can think of 10,000 compute cycles as being about the same processing power as you’d get from a decent dedicated server or Amazon EC2 instance. For example 10,000 compute cycles would power:
about 2.1 million page views using a database-driven content management system
about 11 million page views of rackspacecloud.com
about 25 million requests for a static 15KB image
How do I track my compute cycle usage?
The compute cycles you use are presented in your control panel in near real time.
What goes in to calculating a compute cycle?
Mostly, CPU processing time. However, compute cycles also account for the disk I/O your application’s operations consume. For example, a page with heavy database queries will consume more compute cycles in part due to the larger volume of disk I/O it requires.
I’ve already got a Rackspacecloud Site provisioned. All I have to do is add your site to it and you’ll be able to create a username and password for your own secure access to the Cloud Site’s control panel. Just contact me or go directly to the sign up page to see the information I need to get you going, and fill it out and submit it if you have decided to purchase.