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  1. #1

    Trying to understand cloud

    Couple of days back, I had an occasion to find out about one of the "cloud" services that exist, but, really, my question is still pretty basic:

    Out of all these - PaaS, IaaS and SaaS's things that exist (and I'd be obliged if anyone tells me the exact difference between them), why exactly do I need a remote Operating System, if all I want to do is host a website? Surely I do that as has always been done, for the last 15-20 years or so? Apache has had no problems hosting multiple websites on 1 computer for some time now, so.... why, then?
    Also, if, for some reason, I do need an OS, then why not one of these User Mode Linux type of things? Or KVM? (just asking cause I've heard their name, no clue about what resides in their insides!) Why do I need an fscking hypervisor, and multiple OS's installed on top of it, to pull off the grand task of.... well, serving tiny little HTML files?

    Thanks, guys

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Sorry, I'm going to need a more technical doc than that - it basically repeats all the crap I heard at the seminar I went to. And it doesn't answer my fundamental question - why do I need cloud?

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  5. #4
    Cloud, being defined as a remote system made of multiple computing systems possibly in multiple locations with redundancy, is not needed unless you have a mission critical application or service that does not allow for downtime without loss of productivity our money.

    If you can afford downtime you don't need cloud.

  6. #5
    Define "multiple computing systems" - is the OS itself spread over multiple servers? How is that done?

    Why do I need a remote operating system? Of course I don't want downtime - but that goes for a single LAMP stack running on one server as well.....?

  7. #6
    By multiple computing systems I mean multiple servers, possibly in multiple locations, that can load balance or failover if there is an issue with server load or connectivity. The servers usually run multiple OSs in VMs with a component that can move a VM to another server in a matter of minutes or bring up a backup VM image.

    If all you want is to have a webpage, you can host it yourself. The difference between hosting it yourself and having it in the "cloud" is that you will probably have it on one PC and one internet connection whereas a cloud provider will have redundant internet connections for failover and/or load balancing and will have redundant servers with failover capability. If you want the safety of redundancy the cost is at least double. This is only viable if the business requires uptime to maintain reputation or SLA.

    The saying with networking and service providers is that two is one and one is none. That just means that if you have one and it fails, you are left with none. If you have two and one fails you still have one.

    If you have one server running a lamp stack with one internet connection and one service fails, internet or some component of the server, your server becomes inaccessible. That's why I said if you can afford downtime the cloud isn't needed. For a hobby site this probably isn't going to be an issue. If it is a business site you have to ask yourself, how much money am I going to lose if I have to wait three days for a replacement server or part. If you lose your internet connection you could be down for a matter of minutes or hours.

    That one got long. Let me know if that didn't clear it up for you.

  8. #7
    Thanks for your long post

    Quote Originally Posted by Monkadelicd View Post
    If all you want is to have a webpage, you can host it yourself.
    Right, what ELSE can be done with a remote OS? The people who are using it, what do they use it for besides hosting? i.e. to spit out tiny little HTML files?

  9. #8
    What does a web server offer?
    Access to a webpage from anywhere the internet is accessible.

    Any service that needs to be available to people from different geologic locations can benefit from being on a cloud provider's system. The benefit of cloud providers is the same benefit of any business that provides services to many other businesses. Most businesses would like to focus on their customer. If your business is to make widget A. You obviously would rather focus on making widget A the best possible quality at the highest margin the market will allow. You don't want to spend extra resources hiring people and buying equipment to host your webpage and/or maintain all sorts of computers that could be hosted off site and maintained by a business that specializes in owning and maintaining server farms at the highest quality possible for the highest margin the market will allow.

    Large enterprises are still justified in hosting their own data centers but small businesses are quick adopting cloud services.

  10. #9
    Right, so what's the difference between a cloud provider, and just a normal hosting provider?

  11. #10
    "Cloud" is over-used and often misused. Some hosting providers do use a cloud type infrastructure with ready-to-run backup servers to keep your site up if the server currently hosting your site goes down. I don't know any specifically offhand but I'm sure there are some budget hosting providers that do not have redundancy.

    Some people call anything that is remote "cloud". IMHO "cloud" is defined as I stated earlier in this thread. Cloud is the buzz word of the last couple of years so every company uses it all over their marketing material.

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