Why Cloud Computing?
Facing some of the challenges in technology such as aging hardware, higher power consumption, and increased data center costs, we developed our own cloud platform allowing us to gain efficiencies and manage our data center more effectively. ActiveServe’s ActivCloud™ platform was born.
When designing our proprietary cloud platform, we performed extensive research and testing across various hardware, software, and network configurations. Our testing led us to select the Hyper-V hypervisor in Windows Server 2008 for our host servers and Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager for management. Our team of experts customized the platform and integrated operational processes and procedures to further enhance management of the cloud.
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:: Cloud Computing Defined
Cloud – Infrastructure composed of a combination of hardware and software that enables the abstraction of server operating systems from the underlying hardware layer. This allows for hardware resources in the cloud to be managed more efficiently and allocated on-the-fly by the administrator. A cloud’s capabilities are maximized when hosted at a remote data center, such as ActiveServe, with redundant power, high-speed connectivity, and proper cooling.
Host Server – A physical server running Hyper-V (or other hypervisor such as VMWare) making it capable of sharing its resources between multiple guest servers. A host is equipped with high-performance hardware components allowing it to handle the load of many guest servers. This is possible due to the significant cost savings and efficiencies gained by using the cloud model as opposed to traditional dedicated servers. Hosts can be highly available when used in conjunction with a SAN (Storage Area Network) for data storage.
Guest Server – A dedicated operating system running on a cloud which is allocated hardware resources dynamically from a host server. Functionality is similar to a traditional dedicated server where the user has full control over the operating system, applications, and services via Remote Desktop Connection or other client software.
Burst – The ability for a guest server to use available hardware resources on its host server on a temporary basis. This allows for a guest server to process data more quickly when other guest servers are idle. In a traditional dedicated server model, these unused hardware resources would be wasted and not made available to other physical servers.
Private Cloud – A private cloud or “dedicated cloud” is only used by a single customer or organization. The hardware layer is dedicated to only guest servers within the particular cloud. It may start with a single host server or multiple host servers. The cloud can scale easily by adding new guest servers or expanding to additional host servers. As the organization grows, guest servers can be added or expanded dynamically to handle higher loads. Unlike traditional dedicated servers, expansion will not require the re-provisioning or re-installation of guest server operating systems or applications.
Cloud Management – Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager is recommended for managing clouds consisting of multiple Hyper-V hosts. It simplifies the process of importing both physical and virtual servers, provisioning new servers, monitoring hosts and servers, moving servers seamlessly between hosts, and other management tasks.