What is CloudLinux?

Discussion in 'Website Development & Design' started by GeekGhost, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. GeekGhost

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    Oct 4, 2012
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    Many Web hosts that offer shared hosting solutions are switching to CloudLinux. While the Web hosts and system administrators understand this technology, the end-user (customer) who may not be very tech inclined will not fully understand the benefits that CloudLinux brings to the table. I'm going to try and explain as simply as possible what this technology does and how it works for the common Web hosting user.

    The Old Days
    To fully appreciate what CloudLinux does, you have to consider the old days of administering a shared server environment. Typically, you would have 100 or so accounts on a server and all of a sudden you're alerted to HTTP timeouts, or mySql timeouts, named timeouts...you name it. You log in to the server and see the server load pushing 100 or so and everything is dragging. Now, on an already sluggish system which is getting increasingly slower in responding to commands, you have to dig for the process that is causing this load spike and in turn, find the user. Once you find the user, you would typically suspend the account and wait for the load to stabilize. Then you would have to shoot an email out to the culprit explaining why his account was suspended and shoot another email off to all of the clients on the affected server explaining what happened and the steps taken to prevent this user form doing this again. This was a very time consuming process that would cause unnecessary support delays and unneeded down time.

    Bear in mind, all hosts have acceptable resource usage policies in their TOS, but until now, those were very hard to automatically enforce on a shared hosting environment.

    Enter CloudLinux
    CloudLinux avoids all of that by creating a virtual environment for every account on the server. This in turn allows the Web host to limit the amount of CPU and Memory that a single domain can use. If a user is trying to utilize more than the standard allocation for a shared account, their site slows down without affecting any other users on the shared server. It stops the chase and assures that sites that are within the allowed resource usage policy are not affected by those that are not. If a user complains that their Web site is running slow and you confirm in the CloudLinux logs that they are triggering the resource cap, the host can then easily explain and show proof of such resource usage and offer a solution better suited for their individual Hosting needs such as a VPS or Dedicated Server.

    The user user can see a display from within their control panel that reports their allowed CPU and the current usage as well as their max concurrent connections and the current number of connections. In terms of Cloudlinux, concurrent connections are described as cron jobs, PHP processes, perl processes, etc. If the end user notices that their needs are growing and they need a more robust solution, they can upgrade to an appropriate plan before they start to encounter issues.

    In a nutshell
    Cloudlinux uses a kernel level technology called LVE (Lightweight Virtual Environment) to handle resource usage monitoring. More details for the truly geeky can be found at http://cloudlinux.com/docs/index.php

    CloudLinux allows a Web hosting provider to offer their clients a more stable shared hosting environment. It cuts down on support requests caused by server spikes and lagging Web sites which in turn allows the Web host to offer faster support. You, as the end user following the resource usage limitations, benefit by not having your site taken down by an account not playing by the rules. If you happen to be a user that is being limited by CloudLinux, then you know you need a more robust hosting solution that isn't on a shared server. It's win-win-win for all involved.

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