We started with terminal servers that allowed dozens of terminals to connect to a mainframe. The terminal back then did not have computing abilities of their own, and were hence termed ‘dumb’ terminals. Terminal serves were deployed mostly in banks and other companies where a plethora of computer users was nestled. At present, such server might seem very outdated, and why wouldn’t it look so; but – the moment of truth – they were pretty advanced for their age.
Sooner or later, these mainframes incorporated another layer of security, through usernames and passwords – something you can easily relate to, today.
A savvy user then integrated printers with these machines, further simplifying clerks’ work at the bank. Somebody then added a whole lot of devices – file alarms, mobiles, computers, printers, sensors, and so on – and led us where we are at present.
A server (meaning somebody who server) not only serves a computer but anything (moreover everything) that can connect to the internet or any network. Who would have thought a couple of decades back that tech shall so flawlessly integrate into our lives as though it were a part of it?
Technology has moved faster than the age. It is like growing up with a kid who turned 20 years old when you only turned 8. Notice the change; a few years back there were bulky, antenna phones that dropped signals every now and then, only to be replaced by modern smartphones with hundred times the processing power, and unquantifiable times the convenience.
For the moment, we leap back to our subject of discussion (servers) where we left. So, people kept adding devices to servers making it more and more sophisticated and simplifying lives in the process.
What’s the cause of buzz among servers these days is Cloud. Yes, Clouds. No, not the one that showers before dawn; the one that powers weather-forecasting widget to pre-warn you on the upcoming rain.
From government agencies to private businesses and from big companies to home-dwelling individuals, all eyes are set on clouds. This state-of-the-art technology is being looked upon as the technology of the future.
Not many of us are familiar with the concept of IoT (Internet of Things) though it has been some time since its inception. An IoT is a system, or a network, of interconnected devices capable enough to interact with each other and work without human indulgence. To simplify, IoT is a group of machines working on their own.
Humans communicate by talking, signalling, and to some extent, through expressions. Machines, on the other hand, need a common platform to store, share, and process the data to converse with each other. For these devices, this platform takes the form of a server and is tantamount to sensory organs in humans. The concept of IoT that we have embraced has been tenaciously kept alive by cloud servers. Cloud facilitates easy data sharing and collaboration and is thus the ideal platform for envisioning IoT.
The dependence on smart gadgets that we are envisioning today will also increase our reliance on the storage devices. Eventually, running out of server space would mean life grinding to a halt at one point. Our current servers have been stereotyped as being one which is not easily scalable, which can afflict lives spun around devices working on these servers. The need for an easily scalable server will become inevitable at one point.
The eased-scalability, besides enhanced collaboration, comes as a feather in a cap with Cloud servers. Running out of space for IoT based device network? Upscale clouds in a few clicks.
Traditional servers are robust, no doubt, but upscaling such servers can be a painfully slow process, and at the top of that it requires extensive capital.
Clouds ameliorate the scalability concerns associated with conventional cheap dedicated servers that organizations have long mourned.
Easy on vault
Another added advantage that comes with clouds is that it relieves the burden that organizations have faced linked to funds. A cloud is usually rented on a third-party’s premise, but that does not rule out the option of renting it over an organization’s own infrastructure.
It’s a no brainer that rented real-estate comes at a cheaper cost. Thus, cloud servers are generally lighter on you bank’s vault, and does not empty your coffers.
There are no ramifications (undesired consequences) associated with the low budget cloud solutions, and the services offered are par to other renowned servers. Cloud is a novel concept that has antiquated our current storage techniques.
Shared servers are entry-level servers, great for admins who have only recently started into hosting. A VPS hosting lies a step above the shared server and demands some technical know-how to be able to run the server smoothly. Unless you are technically very sound, a dedicated server hosting will give you troubles starting day one. Only the experienced and the proficient administrators get to work on dedicated servers.
When it comes to admin skills, clouds are an antithesis to dedicated servers. The cheapest email hosting providers have confided cloud servers as their background machines.
Multiple servers for a reliable environment
Dedicated servers are cool, but have a single point of failure. One hardware crash could bring down the entire system and steer a complete outage. Cloud servers do not rely on a single bare metal server and eliminate the problem by replicating data to several other servers. So, even if one of the machines undergoes a failure, there are multiple other servers to cater to access requests. Even the cheap cloud hosting service is backed by multiple servers at the background.
As with any other technology, the Cloud, too, has its downsides. Dependency on the internet is a supreme example. And more such disadvantages shall surface as we increasingly adopt cloud services. However, a cloud server is a significant improvement on what exists today, and undoubtedly a future-ready technology.