CloudLinux is an operating system based on CentOS and OpenVZ bringing a more secure, out of the box, operating system which allows a shared hosting environment to mimic a VPS-like environment for each hosting customer.
if you could imagine a refrigerator whose contents were a complete mess or even a room that was an organizational disaster, then open the door, throw in a magic ball of yarn, close the door, and then open the door again… only to be amazed about how well everything is organized and clutter free, you would get a visual of the what CloudLinux allows you to do on the server level.
If you’ve read previous articles I’ve written, you may get the hint I like dancing, and dancing like concepts such as when I wrote a two part series dealing with The Security Dance (part 1), and Taking Charge of the Security Dance (part 2).
CloudLinux is the same as you have two primary dance partners — visitors to Web sites hosted on servers running CloudLinux, and the hosting provider making use of CloudLinux.
Hosting providers who set up and use CloudLinux, when push comes to shove, have two choices for how they will use CloudLinux as part of their hosting infrastructure:
- As a means to provide an extremely stable and reliable environment where CloudLinux will only trigger if there is outright malicious abuse.
- As a means to cram as many web sites onto the server to achieve what is called in the industry, site / server density, as possible. In this area, CloudLinux can increase the capacity of a server anywhere from two to ten fold.
The visitor perspective on these two choices come down to what I’ll refer to as “light handed throttling” where the touch is so light real visitors with zero malicious intent will not know the server is being monitored in real time; and, “heavy handed throttling” where visitors may see growing delays in browsing through pages, be told the site is under maintenance (when it is not), or get a variety of errors ranging from time outs to internal server errors 403 and 500.
I’ve written about the impact of heavy handed throttling in an article titled, Does cheap web hosting lead to lost revenue?
Yet, just as CloudLinux can be used by cheap hosting providers to focus on continuing to be cheap, CloudLinux can also be used by value hosting providers to increase the stability of their environment.
Picture a small business steward who wants to learn rock climbing in an area known for dangerous birds to swoop in and potentially startle the new climber causing them to fall. Now imagine an environment where they still have the ambiance and yet no worries as such malicious activity is kept at bay.
That’s the focus we take with utilizing CloudLinux on our fully managed shared hosting servers. Light handed throttling that valid visitors never see, feel, or sense; and only coming out when a malicious bird would want to swoop in to cause someone to fall or stumble.
As a visitor to Web sites which would you prefer? The hosting provider who is using heavy handed throttling so they can cram as many sites onto a server as possible so they can justify very low prices? Or the high value provider who always wants the visitor to have a fast, reliable experience? Let us know in the comments below.
Please contact us if you have an interest in either using CloudLinux on servers you host through SoftLayer or other data centers, or about becoming one of our satisfied small to medium business customers.