The Next Generation Cloud: Behold the Rise of the Unikernel!

The First Generation Cloud Dealt with Orchestration; The Next Generation Will Deal with Applications

During the past decade, the world of the cloud has been consumed with orchestration: How can we make an infrastructure which can adapt to the needs of the enterprise?  Words like automation, flexibility, and control have ruled the world of the cloud to date.

But now that a number of cloud orchestration projects have begun to mature, it's time to take a look at the applications themselves.  Until now, the applications which dwell in clouds look suspiciously like the applications which inhabited the traditional datacenter.  And while they may function pretty well, they are not really designed with an agile infrastructure in mind.

Make It Small, Make It Fast

In the world of the cloud, it would make sense to have small applications which are lightweight and nimble.  They should be quick to start and stop.  They should do what they need to do and then get out of the way so that valuable compute resources can be focused on applications which require compute power -- like databases, for instance.

Docker has made inroads in this area by using container technology to share the operating system space between many applications.  Virtual machines contain a full operating system for each instance, which requires lots of disk space, lots of memory, and prolonged startup and shutdown times.  Docker-type solutions keep memory usage down, make startups and shutdowns lightning quick, and create application bundles which are easy to deploy.

But shared resources can mean that an exploit of the base operating system can cause the compromise of dozens or even hundreds of applications resident on that host.  It also means that multi-tenant situations are difficult to achieve, as shared resources could mean increased ability to see your neighbor's work. If you don't trust your neighbor, you want a wall between the two applications which makes them invisible to each other, just like the solutions already extant in the world of hypervisors.

A more efficient solution would be something even smaller which actually reduces the attack plane of malicious crackers.  It should provide the benefits of container technologies, while providing the isolation and security of hypervisors.

Behold the Unikernel

The solution to this situation could be the Unikernel.  Sometimes called, "library operating systems," these solutions generate applications which run on a traditional hypervisor, but omit the full, multi-user operating system for the VM. Instead, it replaces the guest OS with a bare-bones environment which contains just enough operating system functions to make the application run.  Unneeded functionality (like multi-user capabilities and an array of general utilities) are eliminated.

The result is a package which is incredibly lightweight -- many network devices come in at less than a megabyte in size -- and yet more secure than their traditional counterparts. With a very small attack surface and a lack of tools to exploit, these tiny applications are fit for use in that security-conscious world of the cloud.

Want to Know More?

There are several Unikernel talks coming up in the next 2 months, including conferences like O'Reilly Software Architecture (Boston, MA) and Linuxfest Northwest (Bellingham, WA).  There are also talks at the University of California Berkeley Swarm Lab and the East Bay Linux User's Group (San Francisco CA).

Can't make one of them? Watch the recorded session from SCALE 13x from February 2015 to hear about the world of unikernels:

Web Design - Choosing The Right Type Of Hosting For Your Needs

When you are searching for a good web hosting plan, you will come across a variety of plans such as cloud Linux hosting, traditional Linux hosting as well as Windows ASP hosting. Most people who are not aware of the technical details often get confused regarding the difference between difference types of web hosting technologies. So, this article will help you understand the difference between regular Linux hosting, cloud Linux hosting as well as Windows ASP hosting.

Regular Linux Hosting

As the name suggests, this is the most common type of web hosting you will come across. Linux is the operating system that powers the web server which in turn serves your website. Traditional Linux hosting is available in a variety of forms such as shared hosting, virtual private servers as well as dedicated hosting.

Shared Linux hosting allows hosting of hundreds of websites on a single server. Shared hosting is usually enough for small and medium-size businesses where webmasters do not expect too much traffic. Shared hosting is the most popular hosting plan as it allows webmasters to host their website at a really affordable price. It hosting is one of the most cost-efficient and low maintenance ways of hosting an application or website.

It is also important for you to know that there are some drawbacks to shared hosting. Sometimes, shared web hosting tends to be slow as a single server's resources are shared by hundreds of different websites. Similarly, scripts on other websites hosted on the same server may lead to security breaches as well as other kind of performance issues that may also affect your website.

Also, if there is a technical problem with this server, all the websites hosted on that server may be affected. Overall, shared hosting is usually enough for webmasters that do not expect too much traffic in the beginning.

Other types of regular Linux hosting is a virtual private server and a dedicated server. The dedicated server means the whole server is allocated to you and you can use the resources as per your needs. You can use a dedicated server to host multiple websites.

There is also the option of a virtual private server where a dedicated server is virtually partitioned into several different servers with fixed resources. A virtual private server behaves like a dedicated server but it is virtually separated from other servers. Virtual private server is a step up from shared hosting and it costs a bit more than shared hosting plans.

Cloud Linux Hosting

You must have heard of the term cloud hosting. In simple terms, cloud Linux hosting is similar to traditional Linux hosting but it offers a level of scalability that cannot be offered by traditional hosting. Cloud hosting companies provide resources on demand. In other words, when you host your website on a cloud hosting service, you are not paying for a single server but you are paying for the actual resources. A cluster of multiple servers is used to balance the load. Also, the applications as well as websites on these servers are mirrored across the cluster which results in less downtime. This redundancy makes cloud hosting much more resilient. Cloud Linux hosting is provided as resources as a service.

The biggest advantage of cloud hosting is that you can buy additional resources with just a few clicks. So, if your application or website starts getting a lot of traffic, you can just buy additional resources and the cloud hosting will handle the additional load without any issues. Once the uptick in the traffic dies down, you can scale down which means you won't need to continue to pay for the resources that you don't need.

Windows ASP Hosting

Windows is an operating system but this is a special type of operating system that has been designed to power web servers. The biggest difference between Linux and Windows operating systems in terms of web hosting is that they use different script and database languages.

You will need Windows ASP hosting if any your application requires, MS SQL or VBScript as these technologies only run on Windows ASP hosting. You will also need Windows hosting in case you want to use some conceptual frameworks, SharePoint framework.


Overall, the traditional Linux hosting and cloud Linux hosting use Linux operating system. The biggest difference between traditional hosting and cloud hosting is that cloud hosting allows you to scale up and down as per your needs in just a few clicks, this is beneficial for any reseller who wants to scale making things much easier.

The difference between Linux and Windows hosting is that these are different operating systems and different underlying technologies powering the web server. Analysing how a website behaves on these platforms is basically down to the quality of the hosting environment and the quality of the web host.

It is important for you to know that no operating system is better than the other. You will need to choose the type of operating system depending on the kind of technologies you want to use on your application. It is estimated that more than 70% of web servers are powered by various flavours of Linux operating system.

As far as choosing a web host is concerned, it is important for you to do your research and choose a web host based on their SLA based uptime guarantee as well as customer reviews.

Keep in mind that you shouldn't choose a web host on the basis of price. Instead, you should focus on their customer service as well as support so ensure that you get the necessary help when your web server goes down or experiences difficulty.

Can we recommend anyone for web hosting and web design in Chichester here you ask:

Well yes we can, apart from some of the main players like GoDaddy and Host Gator, please refer to our lists below:

Web Design


There is 2 of each for you, for anymore, you need to dig.

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