What is CloudLinux and how does it help my hosting?

CloudLinux is a linux based operating system which is essentially a set of kernel modifications to the Linuz distribution that implements features to enable system administratores to take find grained control of their server's resource use, isolating users to that problems with one account don't degrade the service for others.  CloudLinux virtualises user accounts as LVE (Lightweight Virtual Environment).  Each LVE is allotted a certain amount of resources.

If a particular hosting account receives a sudden large amount of traffic or begins to use a lot of CPU or memory, rather than slowing the entire server, other websites and possibly causing a failure, it will slow only that particular LVE.

How does CloudLinux help shared hosting environments?

A shared hosting environment is where hundreds of website accounts are hosted on a single server sharing the server resources equally. However, the server admin has limited control over individual website accounts' server resource usage. If one website account is using an unfair amount of resources (e.g. due to being under a DDoS attack, poorly written script, increase in traffic etc.), the server would become slow or go down completely, affecting all other customers on the server. In traditional hosting we can not set a limit for RAM, CPU and other resource usage for a particular website account. Finding problematic websites is again a time consuming job and fixing such issues sometimes requires suspension of the website accounts creating the problems. This can al lead to a few unsatisfied customers which can adversely affect your business.

What happens when such issues occur in a Cloud Linux hosting environment?

In Cloud Linux based shared hosting environments, once a website account reaches the limit of set resources, the site will begin to slow down. The website account consuming too many resources will temporarily stop working until their resource usage returns to normal. Meanwhile, the other website accounts on the server will continue to run normally.

In cloud linux hosting environment the limits are put in place to protect against abusers and bad scripts, and not restrict normal usage of an account.

How does CloudLinux help fix these issues?

CloudLinux is a linux based operating system which is essentially a set of kernel modifications to the Linux distribution that implements features to enable system administrators to take fine grained control of their server’s resource use, isolating users so that problems with one account don’t degrade the service for others. CloudLinux virtualizes user accounts as LVEs ( LightWeight Virtual Environment ). Each LVE is allotted a certain amount of resources ( Memory , CPU etc..).

If a particular website account receives a sudden large amount of traffic or begins to use a lot of CPU or memory due to a malicious script , an exploit or a denial of service attack, it will slow only that particular LVE ( Website account ). So you still have the whole server with the other website accounts running without any possible issues such as slow websites , down issues, etc.

Lets take a look at how CloudLinux can improve a shared hosting environment.

Cloud linux Features - 

1) Personal set of server resources for each customer -

With the LVE ( lightweight virtualized environment ) technology in cloud linux , each customer's website account has a seperate set of allocated resources such as Memory , CPU etc.. The LVE technology makes sure that these resources are not shared with any other website accounts.

2) Stable Hosting Environment -

Sudden traffic spikes from other website accounts will never mean downtime for any website account or the server as a whole. Since every website account has its own allocated resources protected keeping the website running though there is a sudden spike in server resource usage from other websites hosted on the server.

3) Secured & Hardened Kernel -

CloudLinux’s hardened kernel helps prevent malicious users from attacking other website accounts hosted on the server.

4) Multiple version of PHP -

Cloud linux has a feature called PHP selector. It allows end users to select the specific version of PHP they need. It allows ultimate flexibility by offering all popular versions of PHP, with more than 120 PHP extensions to choose from. CloudLinux packages PHP versions 4.4, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, and 5.6. The convenient UI lets a customer switch between versions, select the extensions, and adjust PHP settings.

5) Stable Mysql Database Performance -

MySQL often becomes a major headache for system admins in shared hosting environments. Keeping MySQL stable might be difficult, and customer queries can easily slow everything down. The MySQL Governor Feature of Cloud linux helps system admins to pinpoint abusers and throttle them in real time. With support from the latest versions of MySQL and MariaDB, it is a must-have for any shared host. The MySQL Governor feature tracks CPU and disk IO usage for every website account in real time and throttles MySQL queries by using same-per-user LVE limits.

With such features and the advanced technolgies of CloudLinux, maintaining a shared hosting environment stable gets easier and clients stay happy.

Written by Javier Vidueria from HiVelocity - May 2015

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