UK server, storage and infrastructure cloud providers

Learning Guide

UK server, storage and infrastructure cloud providers

Server hosting has become popular as businesses look to cloud computing for cheaper, easily scalable storage. Cloud providers in this area offer infrastructure for customers who want to move data into the cloud but retain control over management and provisioning of servers. Users can generally host servers through these providers using physical or virtual hosts.

Amazon
Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is part of Amazon Web Services. Amazon has an EU presence in Ireland for EC2. The service provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud and lets users retain control over their computing resources. Customers use a Web service interface to launch server image templates, then configure security and network access and choose their operating system. Security includes firewall settings and access control. Amazon Web Services also offers storage, computing and query processing through its Simple Storage Service (S3), SimpleDB and Simple Queue Service (SQS). They also offer the Virtual Private Cloud (VPC).

Commensus PLC
Phone: 44 (0)208 661 4650
Commensus's main product is V-Cloud Enterprise; they use VMware and operate three secure data centres in the UK for customers to use their virtual private servers. Their product is designed for 10 to 1,000 users, with in-built disaster recovery. The V-Cloud Professional is for small and medium businesses (SMBs) without established in-house IT. It is a Platform as a Service (PaaS), price per user product. Clients can add services and apps like email, customer relationship management (CRM) and more. The technology behind V-Cloud is Commstor for online data backups, which is a disk-to-disk solution that encrypts data before sending to a secure data centre.
Also, find Commensus in Managed services cloud providers and Data backup and security cloud providers.

Elastic Hosts
Phone: 44 (0)845 686 8642
Elastic Hosts provides server cloud hosting. They operate using monthly subscriptions or prepaid "burst" use for cloudbursting during peak times. Try their server design site for customisation. They operate three independent data centres, two in London and one in the U.S. Customers use their hosted, independent virtual servers however they like, which operate with Linux KVM virtualisation. Customers have operating system access and can run any software, and have the ability to resize servers and do automatic reboots for data protection and storage.

FastHosts
Phone: 44 (0)844 583 0777
FastHosts provide Web and email domains and hosting, including Microsoft Exchange hosting, and have recently moved into hosting virtual servers for any use. They use Windows servers, CentOS, Red Hat and virtual private servers for a "data centre on demand." Their products include analytics to monitor server usage, and email and SMS alerts. Offerings are based on clustered servers with RAID SANs. They offer dedicated servers too, using a range of operating systems. Data protection policies are supported with SSL certificates. Online storage can be accessed through drive mapping, an FTP client or Web browser. They further ensure data security with automatic failover and RAID and resource monitoring.

Flexiant
Phone: 0870 050 0080
Flexiant offers utility computing, or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Their public platform is Flexiscale, plus they provide a licensed product, Extility, for data centers. End users as well as service providers use Flexiant's products. Extility can ramp virtual servers up and down and resize storage and memory, and uses clustering. Flexiscale works as pay-as-you-go dedicated virtual servers. Access is via the Web-based interface or comprehensive application programming interface (API).

Memset
Phone: 44 1483 608010
Memset uses server virtualisation technology as the basis for their cloud computing services. They provide business Web and IT hosting with dedicated servers. Servers can be self-managed or fully managed by Memset, and include storage servers and server clusters, for both pure storage and high-performance needs. Cloud computing and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) are offered with partner SEM Solutions. Memset operates using monthly contracts. They own and operate all servers, offering scalability, a 100% network uptime guarantee and 45 minute hardware replacement guarantee.
Also, find Memset in Data backup and security cloud providers.

Rackspace
Phone: 44 (0)20 8734 2600
Rackspace provides managed hosting systems for Windows and Red Hat Linux platforms, with guaranteed 100% network uptime and one-hour hardware replacement. They also offer managed private hosting for customers to use dedicated virtual servers behind a firewall. Other hosting options include the public cloud, where servers can be added or removed quickly and easily. Their hybrid option combines cloud and managed hosting. It's a U.S.-based company that maintains two UK data centres.
Also, find Rackspace in Managed services cloud providers.

VMHosts
Phone: 020 3397 1233
VMHosts' present offerings grew out of their free email system. They now provide four levels of cloud hosting with virtual servers and only sell dedicated memory. Build your own appliance or use one found at VMware. VMHosts offer full remote access, down to the bios level. For data protection, they use an external-facing virtual machine (VM) as a firewall, and an internal VM on its own switch for data security. Users can host any appliance that's compatible with VMware.

Christine Cignoli is a Boston-based technology writer/editor and a contributor to SearchVirtualDataCentre.co.UK.

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This was first published in November 2010

 

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