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What is Cloud Linux?

We have had a number of clients ask us for more information about Cloud Linux.  More specifically the question usually asked is if there is any benefit to having it added to their server.  This prompted us to write this article explaining some of the benefits and technical specifications of Cloud Linux.

Why add Cloud Linux to your server?
If you have a dedicated server or Virtual Private Server (VPS) setup you may have already been asked if you are using Cloud Linux.  If you are unsure what Cloud Linux is and how it can be beneficial, we will try to explain it's potential benefits, as well as some technical information so that you can impress your team with your newly found knowledge.

What is Cloud Linux?
A dedicated or VPS server is built with basic combinations of resources, which include disk space, bandwidth, CPU.  These resources can be allocated on a per user basis or per package basis.  There are specific server resources you may want to control as well, such as CPU, disk I/O and bad MySQL queries.  This is where Cloud Linux benefits are seen, allowing you to set these specific limits on a per user basis by creating a virtual environment for each individual account.

Why bother implementing Cloud Linux?
There are a number of reasons why implementing these feature restrictions is important.  Utilizing Cloud Linux can:

1. improve the reliability of the hosting environment
2. reduce the amount of support inquiries, keeping customers happier
3. allow you to increase the number of accounts per server
4. allow you to confidently control server resources
5. decrease server load
6. increase server uptime
7. enable easy access and control through cPanel

Let's get technical.
So far we have given fairly general information about Cloud Linux and the benefits of adding it to your dedicated server or VPS.  On the technical side, there are a number of other points to mention.  Cloud Linux:

1. is interchangeable with CentOS and RHEL
2. is compatible with all major control panels
3. allows kernel based resource limits with no overhead
4. provides resource isolation on a per user basis

What drives Cloud Linux?
The core programming behind Cloud Linux is Lightweight Virtual Environment (LVE), which is what controls the resource isolation and monitoring.  The team at Cloud Linux has developed a plugin specifically for cPanel that allows server administrators easy access to manage the Cloud Linux settings per user and gives an up to the second report on resource usage.

There are also a number of tools available to system administrators called LVE Wrappers.  This allows for detailed control over system resources to specified programs, preventing any one program from using all of the server resources.  MySQL governors are also available to help manage MySQL connection issues, such as runaway PHP scripts.  This feature can also help reduce the amount of support related inquiries that your team receives, saving you time and money.

Available Add-ons
There are a number of add-ons available for Cloud Linux, making server administration even easier.  Here are a few of the available options:

1. CageFS - A selection of tools available for users to prevent hackers from scanning for vulnerable files, preventing users from viewing server configuration files, allowing the administrator to manage users easily and integrate seamlessly with cPanel.
2. PHP Selector - This allows you to select the version of PHP running on your server, plus the option to enable and disable specific PHP modules.
3. MySQL and I/O Governors - These give the server administrator more flexibility and control over CPU, RAM, MySQL, I/O with the ability to add throttles on a per server and per user basis.

What is the down side of Cloud Linux?
There always seems to be a downside to everything, but in this case it can be fairly minimal.  On average you will find there are issues on a individual user basis and not with the server itself.  Cloud Linux is designed to protect the server and your clients. If one site on the server is maximizing resources, everyone suffers, and Cloud Linux solves that problem.

In Conclusion...
There are a number of other benefits to adding Cloud Linux to your server, but it is difficult to cover them all as server requirements can vary drastically.  In our experience, clients and administrators are happier with Cloud Linux as apart of their servers software infrastructure.  Please feel free to contact us if you have any specific questions about adding Cloud Linux to your dedicated server or VPS.