TL; DR: If you’re looking for an easy way to manage your server resources, the Hostwinds Cloud Platform may be just the ticket. Launched December 2017, the easy-to-navigate, centralized management solution allows users to spin up multiple server instances, create complete backups, and store data in a flash. Whether you’re a tech novice or a seasoned website developer, the platform provides users exceptional control.
When attempting to determine the usefulness of a product, you only need to ask one thing of the company manufacturing it: “Do you drink your own champagne?” The question, often used to gauge whether a company has enough confidence in its goods to put them to use internally, can reveal a lot when it comes to product quality.
In the case of Hostwinds’ cloud platform, Founder Peter Holden told us the answer is a resounding “yes.”
“The platform we built for distributing computing resources across datacenters is used across the board within our company,” Peter said. “The fact that we consume our own cloud platform for internal use cases speaks to how much we like it.”
The platform, an intuitive centralized management solution for all resources within the Hostwinds portfolio, enables users to easily control networks. Just purchase an instance of a server, choose from a range of operating system and cloud applications options, and you’re done.
“It’s a true, complete experience in that if you go and buy WordPress hosting, you’re going to get an actual WordPress site set up, installed, and ready to go on a cloud server,” Peter said. “It’s all 100% set up, instantly, from the second you select your server.”
What’s more, the platform makes it possible to create multiple server instances quickly and easily, produce instant server backups, and affordably store data — all without the prerequisite of advanced technical knowledge.
Spin Up Countless Server Instances in Minutes From a Baseline Template
Looking for a painless way to set up 100 WordPress sites? With the Hostwinds Cloud Platform, you can spin up cloud instances in just a few clicks and customize them for almost any purpose. All you need to do is launch a cloud server using the WordPress template, log in to WordPress, and install plugins as desired — configuring the perfect base environment for mass deployment. Once you choose how many servers you’d like, click “Go.”
“If you’re launching 500 servers, it might take 10 or 15 minutes to launch them all, but then you’ll have 500 WordPress servers configured identically to the one that you originally configured as your baseline template — all 100% ready to go with fully qualified host names,” Peter said. “It’s everything you need to get started.”
All cloud offerings come with an hourly billing option perfect for those who aren’t sure how long they’ll need a server instance or are looking to perform a quick test. Billing stops after the user terminates an instance, ensuring charges apply to actual usage.
“You can spin up a thousand servers, do a quick test with them, and then destroy them all an hour later — and it’s only going to cost you a couple of dollars,” Peter said.
Secure Instant Server Backups with the Global Image Storage Service
The Hostwinds Cloud Platform also includes methods of saving information in case of an emergency. From the cloud server menu, simply choose to take a snapshot of the server.
“It copies all the data from within your server, all the changes you’ve made, onto our Global Image Storage Service, providing a full backup of your server,” Peter said. “If you were to go and delete your server, you could recreate it from the snapshot.”
The process can take mere seconds, depending on the size of your server. “If it’s a 500GB server, it’s going to take a bit longer to launch because I’d have to transfer the data off of the snapshot, but you’d still have an instant backup,” Peter said.
Better yet, the server can remain online, and no configuration is necessary. “You just click the button, and it takes a snapshot of your entire server,” Peter said.
An Adaptable Volume Storage Service for as Low as $30 Per Month
In addition to backups, the Hostwinds Cloud Platform provides storage options through its Volume Storage Service, allowing users to store data while partitioning drives according to need.
Say, for example, that you’re an avid film buff looking to store 5TB of data on your server. The problem is, your server only has a 100GB hard drive, and SSD-backed instance storage can cost a pretty penny.
“Our Volume Storage Service allows you to attach raw block storage — essentially, for an end user, it would appear as a new external hard drive in your server,” Peter said. “You can do that in seconds.”
Peter told us it takes approximately five seconds to create the volume and 30 seconds to attach it to your instance. Then you’re ready to load your storage with data. If you choose to destroy your server instance down the line, but still want to keep your impressive movie collection, worry not.
“You can just detach the volume from your instance, destroy your instance, and your volume will still exist,” Peter said. “Then, if you launch a new instance in the future and attach that volume to it, all your data will be there, ready to go.”
Best of all, you won’t have to drain your wallet in the process. “Our price point is $30 per month per terabyte, and we charge that on an hourly basis,” Peter said. “If you had a 1TB drive for a whole month, I’m going to charge you $30 — and that’s way cheaper than anywhere else in terms of storage pricing.”
Manage and Control Networks Without Advanced Technical Knowledge
Since the platform’s initial launch in December 2017, the company’s goal has been to simplify adoption.
“There’s a lot that you can do from a technical standpoint in this day and age,” Peter said. “There are ways to deploy things that we have on our development pipeline for our cloud platform that will be awesome, but so many of these features and functionalities are highly technical to the point where you’d need to have years of experience and basically be a DevOps engineer to use them.”
The goal, Peter told us, is to provide these features in a format suitable for someone with zero Linux experience.
“The overall mission for the cloud platform, cloud dashboard, and everything we do is to provide an intuitive experience that’s self-explaining without associative documentation for 90% of users,” he said.
The idea is to build out the platform in a way that makes logical sense. “In case the user doesn’t know what something is, we intelligently place tips and additional information within the platform to provide instructions and tutelage,” he said.
To that end, Peter — who obviously doesn’t need a tutorial himself — is surpassing the “drink your own champagne” litmus test. Not only is the platform robust enough for his internal consumption, but it goes above and beyond to cater to even the most novice user.