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What is CloudLinux?

Category: Getting Started
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You may have heard the term “CloudLinux” in a support ticket or in your own research into different webhosting related products and wondered what exactly is it? CloudLinux is a service that replaces your operating system. Essentially, CloudLinux becomes your new operating system. CloudLinux’s design to make shared web hosting environments more secure. It does this by providing various modifications to the kernel.

CloudLinux provides a comprehensive suite of tools through a management interface that allows systems administrators to have more granular control over the resources that web hosting accounts utilize. By providing this isolation, it helps prevent one account from causing trouble for the rest of your users.

Other benefits are events like high traffic where CloudLinux would throttle the account based on resource limitations. This results in slowing that specific website down where without CloudLinux the entire server could experience slower performance.

What are the benefits of CloudLinux?

One of the primary benefits of CloudLinux is what it brings to Shared Hosting environments. Stability, security and other enhanced protections allows for CloudLinux to become a solid product that helps reduce any unnecessary headaches as a result of the many accounts hosted.

In traditional environments, you’re not able to control things such as RAM, CPU, inodes, I/O limits, etc. With CloudLinux you can utilize packages to set these limits to restrict the resources of every account you place on a CloudLinux server.

CloudLinux Features

  • Isolation of users prevents disruption from neighboring accounts
  • Configuration of limits, such as CPU, RAM, Inodes and I/O usage.
  • Can utilize MySQL Governor to limit MySQL Abusers
  • Provides CageFS for isolation.
  • Can prevent symbolic attacks
  • Works with cPanel and DirectAdmin
  • Provides hardened PHP versions and configurations
  • Provides Python and Ruby selectors
  • Provides PRO mod_lsapi for Apache
  • Hardened Kernel

How does the isolation work?

CloudLinux provides the ability for isolated environments in two ways. The first is through the LVE design which allows the restriction of resources based on packages in a per-account fashion. This helps control how each website operates in perspective to the server they’re on. Website A may have high server resource allocations then Website B but should Website B suffer any sort of event, it won’t effect Website A.

To show how this works, we can refer to these two graphs.

traditional hosting

Traditional Setup

In traditional hosting everything that occurs and affects one website can negatively effect all the others. In this provided graph, we use ‘load spike’ as an example. If a large load spike occurs on one website then due to the lack of a unique environment per account all other websites on the server are effected.

cloudlinux setup

CloudLinux Setup

In CloudLinux, each website has its own environment. With this environment, if a website experiences the same ‘load spike’ then due to the LVE (LightWeight Virtual Environment) only that specific website is affected and all other websites continue to operate normally.

Though ‘load spikes’ can be one example used, the benefits of an isolated account help other scenarios too. Such as denial of service attacks, high traffic events, out of memory issues or un-optimized websites. The LVE setup will protect the accounts in these situations.

The second method is through what is called CageFS. They describe this as “a per-user file system that uniquely encapsulates each customer, preventing users from seeing each other and viewing sensitive information”. CageFS grants each account its own caged environment from other accounts.

Should an account suffer a website-based compromise in the form of malware, viruses, etc. An isolated account will ensure that during this compromise, only that website gets affected. In this day and age with the varying amounts of malware and website-based exploits out there, you want that protection.

Conclusion

As the product continues to grow, it can only stand to improve its offering in providing a secure and stable hosting environment. CloudLinux simply makes maintaining your shared server environment easier. Priced competitively, allowing you a little peace of mind knowing that one single user won’t disrupt your entire day. Check with our Billing & Sales department for more information on CloudLinux and see if your Cloud or Dedicated server is a good fit.