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  1. #1

    How to set up your own cloud?

    Has anyone set up a cloud before? What OS do you use?

    I read Ubuntu Server now comes with cloud capabilities and RHEL has had clustering for a long time. How do you data center gurus set up clouds?

  2. #2
    It consists of more than pressing a few buttons, I'll tell you that. It also depends what you understand by "cloud" and what you want to do with it.
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    In a very simple summary:

    You need to concentrate on the hardware, an array of high end machines connecting to back end SAN storage devices using fiber channel connections. All with a ton of redundancy and great network connections.You then virtualize the entire platform using something like vmware or xen. The OS doesn't really matter , as you can then set-up whatever OS you want.

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    Well my take is this, quite the opposite of sposs

    1. Low spec backend machines, but lots of them.
    2. Iscsi or cluster files system storage
    3. Ubuntu, as 9.10 karmic koala will be brilliant for setting up and managing clouds.
    4. Control panel for frontend/backend management
    5. KVM

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    Is there any detailed guide available to setup Windows and Linux cloud? I need to start selling cloud hosting.
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    I don't think anyone is going to spoon feed you the instructions here, as most are all figuring it out for themselves still. I could be wrong.

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    i'd go with someone like 3tera - or honestly - unless you have very deep pockets just resell another cloud hosting provider.

    In any case I'd forget about coding your own.


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    I set up an "old fashioned" cloud for the web app my company created.

    2x Ubuntu Servers running heartbeat for IP failover between them, both running HAProxy to load balance traffic to the web servers.
    3x FreeBSD web servers running apache serving the application
    2x FreeBSD database servers running MySQL in Master <-> Master replication for the back end of the application.




    It all depends on what you want to have floating on the "cloud". In our case, the cloud simply is the infrastructure that hosts our web app. In other cases, you can set up the "cloud" to host full operating systems, but then you'll need heavy duty hardware, and a reliable virtualization engine (like Xen or VMWare)

  9. #9
    See: Eucalyptus

    There is also an Ubuntu HOWTO for setting it up

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Eucalyptus

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    I think the better question would be:

    What is your definition of a cloud? What are you trying to achieve?

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    i'd go with someone like 3tera - or honestly - unless you have very deep pockets just resell another cloud hosting provider.

    In any case I'd forget about coding your own.
    I'm definitely up for the challenge of coding one, see you on the other side

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    Quote Originally Posted by prashant1979 View Post
    Is there any detailed guide available to setup Windows and Linux cloud? I need to start selling cloud hosting.
    Why sell something you don't know how to make?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RackPoint-Morgan View Post
    I think the better question would be:

    What is your definition of a cloud? What are you trying to achieve?
    Exactly. "Cloud" is about as generic of a description as you can get these days and depending on who you talk to (or what vendor) it can mean just about anything.

    What are the goals or problems of your customer base that you're trying to provide solutions for?

    Quote Originally Posted by tshen83 View Post
    Why sell something you don't know how to make?
    Because it's the #1 marketing buzz word right now. It's sort of like the very early days of the dot com era. Everyone wanted to have something on the "web" and throw money every direction to get there, but most had no reason why other than everyone else was doing it.

    There's simply a rush to have a "cloud" product rather than a focus as to why and what customer problem they are attempting to solve and provide an appropriate solution for.
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    I hate this crap. The word cloud needs to be banned. Half the time, it's being used to describe platforms and products that have existed for YEARS. Suddenly you call it cloud and everybody wants a piece. Not because the thing is new or exciting - mostly because they're sheep and half the time because they don't even know what it is (and once they figure it out, they quietly walk away).

    The other half the time it is describing innovative new technology that is often accessible only via an API or requires you write your own code a specific way or run your programs this new special way (and nobody tells you that until after they've convinced you it's the best thing ever, of course - assuming they even know, the sales guys rarely do), making it completely useless to 90% of the people running around calling out 'I want cloud!' because they read some random article by a journalist who ALSO did not understand what they were talking about at all.

    Argh. Cloud. Argh.

    Oh and the THIRD half (heh) of the time? It's slow. It may be infinitely scalable in whatever ways this particular 'cloud' is, but you pay for it with half-ass access methods that have ridiculous latency or horrendous throughput or computing power you'd be embarrassed to see in a pocket watch. 9 times out of 10, a non-'cloud' setup would have met your needs (because despite what you think, NOTHING you or your company does needs infinite anything) at a lower total cost and been much more efficient. Not to mention fast.

    Oh and the FOURTH half of the time? It turns on and off. And you never turn it off. Because you're growing, or because you cannot be actually bothered to build your application to be capable of knowing when it can and to access their API's to shut down systems/turn off stuff/delete files. Or you got it because it could turn ON really fast and lots at a time - and then you grew at a rate any third-rate hosting company could have easily kept up with.

    Cloud. Argh. Cloud.
    Last edited by Nex7; 09-16-2009 at 09:02 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nex7 View Post
    I hate this crap. The word cloud needs to be banned. Half the time, it's being used to describe platforms and products that have existed for YEARS. Suddenly you call it cloud and everybody wants a piece. Not because the thing is new or exciting - mostly because they're sheep and half the time because they don't even know what it is (and once they figure it out, they quietly walk away).
    Amen, brother. Amen!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nex7 View Post
    I hate this crap. The word cloud needs to be banned. Half the time, it's being used to describe platforms and products that have existed for YEARS. Suddenly you call it cloud and everybody wants a piece. Not because the thing is new or exciting - mostly because they're sheep and half the time because they don't even know what it is (and once they figure it out, they quietly walk away).

    The other half the time it is describing innovative new technology that is often accessible only via an API or requires you write your own code a specific way or run your programs this new special way (and nobody tells you that until after they've convinced you it's the best thing ever, of course - assuming they even know, the sales guys rarely do), making it completely useless to 90% of the people running around calling out 'I want cloud!' because they read some random article by a journalist who ALSO did not understand what they were talking about at all.

    Argh. Cloud. Argh.

    Oh and the THIRD half (heh) of the time? It's slow. It may be infinitely scalable in whatever ways this particular 'cloud' is, but you pay for it with half-ass access methods that have ridiculous latency or horrendous throughput or computing power you'd be embarrassed to see in a pocket watch. 9 times out of 10, a non-'cloud' setup would have met your needs (because despite what you think, NOTHING you or your company does needs infinite anything) at a lower total cost and been much more efficient. Not to mention fast.

    Oh and the FOURTH half of the time? It turns on and off. And you never turn it off. Because you're growing, or because you cannot be actually bothered to build your application to be capable of knowing when it can and to access their API's to shut down systems/turn off stuff/delete files. Or you got it because it could turn ON really fast and lots at a time - and then you grew at a rate any third-rate hosting company could have easily kept up with.

    Cloud. Argh. Cloud.
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    I could never understand what defines cloud computing, and what it is really, in tangible terms, supposed to achieve such that it is an advantage over say, a regular VPS.
    Why would you want to have the memory which your OS is using to be split between mutiple machines? Or when would the cloud know that a certain app you're running needs more computing power? Even if it does, when does it kick it? 20% into execution? Halfway? Would it even function better seeing how the processes would need to exchange info/instructions with other machines when the latency is exponentially slower than a regular multi-processor machine?

    IT's the only industry in which you can call smokescreen a synonym of cloud.
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    Lets try to explain things in simple terms, not 100% accurate in all cases that way, but more simple to understand what we talk about.
    Actually you can call a proper cloud the exact opposite of a VPS - as we know it.

    A VPS is one small slice of a Server. For example you 'cut' the server in 10 'pieces' of VPS and rent out the resources of that VPS (1/10th server). Not exactly right in all cases, since there are overselling possibilities, but to keep it simple, lets explain it like that.

    A Cloud is a virtualization platform that can utilize the resources of multiple servers. So for example i take 100 servers and create a cloud with it. Then i start to rent out resources on that 'cloud'. I could either, like a VPS, limit the resources per customer or even better track the resources a customer used, and bill them on CPU cycles, bandwidth, memory and/or storage a customer used or is using on my cloud.
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    No offence, but that still looks like the same old literature regurgitated everywhere else.
    I guess it's the lack of control over resources that gives me uneasiness. Sure seems to me that it is possible for an app running in cloud to be running on one server, and its memory allocated from another server. This means the process and the memory has to communicate over the network (not necessarily LAN but any form of interconnection). That cannot be faster than running on a single server or non-oversold VPS, even if the server/VPS has to incur swap activity.
    I still think it would take very niche applications to really need or make good use of a well implemented cloud. Perhaps perfect for encoding a 40GB video and streaming it on the fly etc. And probably not necessary (or even desirable) at all for your regular forums site.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ConceptLane View Post
    Sure seems to me that it is possible for an app running in cloud to be running on one server, and its memory allocated from another server. This means the process and the memory has to communicate over the network
    I'm pretty sure this isn't the case. Whilst servers can be moved between 'nodes' in the cloud virtually instantaneously, as you say, it wouldn't work to have the memory and CPU separated over a network connection for many reasons.

    There are lots of reasons to go with a "cloud" provider. For many people, a well specified VPS on a good quality node is suitable, but for others, they need to know that there is plenty of headroom for their application to scale both vertically (within a single node; e.g. to 16GB of RAM) and horizontally (across dozens of nodes, e.g. for load-balancing virtual web servers or clustering a database).

    "Cloud" is a buzzword but to bury your head in the sand (not pointing at anyone, but i've seen people do it) and to not understand the implications (both advantages and disadvantages) for your business and for your client's business of a cloud based solution, you're going to be left behind. You guys seem to be primarily talking about Infrastructure as a Service - but that is just one facet to cloud hosting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ConceptLane View Post
    No offence, but that still looks like the same old literature regurgitated everywhere else.
    I guess it's the lack of control over resources that gives me uneasiness. Sure seems to me that it is possible for an app running in cloud to be running on one server, and its memory allocated from another server. This means the process and the memory has to communicate over the network (not necessarily LAN but any form of interconnection). That cannot be faster than running on a single server or non-oversold VPS, even if the server/VPS has to incur swap activity.
    I still think it would take very niche applications to really need or make good use of a well implemented cloud. Perhaps perfect for encoding a 40GB video and streaming it on the fly etc. And probably not necessary (or even desirable) at all for your regular forums site.
    I hear this sort of thing constantly - oh yeah, in the cloud, your app can be using the CPU's from 3 boxes, RAM on 12, HD on 3.. this is not the case. I'm not even aware of a cloud like this. The products that can do things KIND OF like this almost all require that your application be written specifically for them, sometimes in a specific language.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nex7 View Post
    I hear this sort of thing constantly - oh yeah, in the cloud, your app can be using the CPU's from 3 boxes, RAM on 12, HD on 3.. this is not the case. I'm not even aware of a cloud like this. The products that can do things KIND OF like this almost all require that your application be written specifically for them, sometimes in a specific language.
    Check out my rant in the cloud section: http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=884211

    I personally think it's a glimpse of the real cloud not the one marketing folks get so excited about.

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    We don't use ubuntu.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nex7 View Post
    I hear this sort of thing constantly - oh yeah, in the cloud, your app can be using the CPU's from 3 boxes, RAM on 12, HD on 3.. this is not the case. I'm not even aware of a cloud like this. The products that can do things KIND OF like this almost all require that your application be written specifically for them, sometimes in a specific language.
    Systems like that are really more parallel processing platforms, and require a ton of custom integration, programming and hard work. Cloud, to me, is nothing more than a large virtualized installation with some nice API's and the ability to shuffle around instances without much more than a slight hiccup to the end user(s).

    It's convenient, its cost effective AND it's better for the environment, but seriously, it's not THAT great. That being said, it is the buzz word and it's what all the venture capitalists are interested in right now. I would say the root technology that is taking off right now and is piggy-backing on cloud technology is SaaS, or software as a service. That's where its at if you ask me -- and thats where a lot of cloud stuff comes into play.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nex7 View Post
    I hear this sort of thing constantly - oh yeah, in the cloud, your app can be using the CPU's from 3 boxes, RAM on 12, HD on 3.. this is not the case. I'm not even aware of a cloud like this.
    What do you think 'Cloud Sites' etc are?

    Out of the box load balancing and clustering are available right here right now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dazmanultra View Post
    What do you think 'Cloud Sites' etc are?

    Out of the box load balancing and clustering are available right here right now.
    Loud balancing and clustering is not the same as what he was describing..that stuff was and has been available for years...hell, so has "cloud" technology to an extent.

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    It has been available for a long time... but not with a shared hosting interface or at shared hosting prices.

    You can definitely put load balancing and database clustering into the parallel computing pigeon hole though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dazmanultra View Post
    It has been available for a long time... but not with a shared hosting interface or at shared hosting prices.

    You can definitely put load balancing and database clustering into the parallel computing pigeon hole though.
    Shared hosting prices? Have you looked at a shared hosting price lately? It's in the neighborhood of $5-$10 a month at most. Paying for compute, memory, and storage in clouds is astronomical in comparison. It's my contention that the only businesses who are buying cloud resources by the month are those that are truly clueless on how to run it themselves - or they only need the resources for a very short period of time. Setting up a standard server cluster ("cloud" of yesteryear) isn't brain science - and when you buy those boxes up front, you save crazy amounts of money in the long term.

    Sorry, but until "cloud" becomes pennies and nickels for huge quantities of things, it's not going to be taking over dedi or colo business for a long time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ObjectZone View Post
    Shared hosting prices? Have you looked at a shared hosting price lately? It's in the neighborhood of $5-$10 a month at most. Paying for compute, memory, and storage in clouds is astronomical in comparison. It's my contention that the only businesses who are buying cloud resources by the month are those that are truly clueless on how to run it themselves - or they only need the resources for a very short period of time. Setting up a standard server cluster ("cloud" of yesteryear) isn't brain science - and when you buy those boxes up front, you save crazy amounts of money in the long term.

    Sorry, but until "cloud" becomes pennies and nickels for huge quantities of things, it's not going to be taking over dedi or colo business for a long time.

    --Chris
    or if you really need those compute/memory and storage that you buy?
    Chances are the the $5/1000gb accounts are not really able to give you much the resources needed to run a professional website. The speed of your site would be dependant on how busy your neighbours on the server are, and the uptime of your service dependent on how stabile the hardware you reside on is...

    On most clouds you only pay for what you use, when you use it, all resources are dedicated to you and non-oversold, and fail over systems are in place to ensure you against hardware issues.


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    Quote Originally Posted by eming View Post
    or if you really need those compute/memory and storage that you buy?
    Chances are the the $5/1000gb accounts are not really able to give you much the resources needed to run a professional website. The speed of your site would be dependant on how busy your neighbours on the server are, and the uptime of your service dependent on how stabile the hardware you reside on is...
    I was only making a comparison to what the previous poster used - shared hosting. Anyone who's serious about running a dedicated website will immediately bypass shared hosting with so many VPS options available - you should know that better than anyone being a VPS reseller using SoftLayer's network. VPS eliminates the stability and unfairness suffered by other customers.

    Just about a week ago, I got a VPS node with 256MB RAM, 80GB of disk space, and access to two threads of an Intel Core i7. The disk space and RAM is dedicated, and the CPU is obviously shared. Cost monthly is $20. From SoftLayer, iSCSI disk space (what you pay for their cloud solution) for JUST the disk space is $60 a month - add on top of that pennies per cycle or whatever they're charging for and you're brochureware website will be costing $100+ a month very easily. That's one and a half 80GB hard drives per month that you could have just bought yourself at current market value. Heck, buy a RAID card and in two months you can upgrade to dual drive RAID. Colo the box for $50 a month. You're still less expensive per month and you've got your own compute, memory and bandwidth resources all inclusive.

    Cloud is crazy expensive when you compare to build your own. It has to be - you're really paying for smart people at the other end that know how to make it 100% redundant. If you already know how then you're setting up your own clusters and clouds. If you have absolutely nobody but perhaps an entry level programmer, then you have to pay the price. My case is arrested.

    On most clouds you only pay for what you use, when you use it, all resources are dedicated to you and non-oversold, and fail over systems are in place to ensure you against hardware issues.
    When the cost per GB or cost per cycles are so high, then it don't matter. 99% of businesses will say that they can't live with downtime, but when shown the price of putting it into an elastic compute environment, I bet that less than 5% of them will actually consider the cloud and instead opt for the possibility of a little downtime to save nearly half the cost per month.

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    i agree with you to an extend:

    1) The pricing for most clouds out there is way way too complicated - simply not transparent for the avg. user...Heck, I've been in the industry for a decade, and I have no idea how many compute/cpu cycles...

    2) When you add the whole thing up the price might or might not be more expensive than what you would pay for a normal VPS or shared hosting account....

    Point is though - this is not a normal VPS or shared hosting account.

    Seen from a provider perspective the cost of running a cloud infrastructure is way higher as we are forced to 'undersell' and 'overprovide' - something we've found extremely challenging coming from a traditional shared/dedicated market. The business model has been turned up side down...

    On top of that you, as a user, get a totally different product, you get a lot more flexibility, scalability and a bunch of new features that you just wont find elsewhere. In terms of redundancy your system would stronger as well.


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    Quote Originally Posted by eming View Post
    (...)
    Seen from a provider perspective the cost of running a cloud infrastructure is way higher as we are forced to 'undersell' and 'overprovide' - something we've found extremely challenging coming from a traditional shared/dedicated market. The business model has been turned up side down...
    (...)
    I think it would be fair to explain a bit more here...

    Traditional hosting - both shared and VZbased VPS hosting (80% of the WHT market I guess) is based on overselling. Selling the same ram/cpu/storage/bandwidth many times, knowing that the avg. user's won't utilise it. So, it's like a 750 seats being sold on a 500 seat jumbo jet, knowing that 250 of the passengers would never turn up.

    Now, on cloud hosting this is totally different...
    • Resources are dedicated to clients, and not oversold - so, as a start, the seats in the jumbo jet would only be sold once...BUT
    • Clients on cloud systems expect to be able to scale up at any time, so we need hardware to be available for users at any given time. Clients only pay for the hardware they use, but we need to keep it idle there waiting anyway...We would have to pay for this hardware regardless though, the cost of hardware is the same if clients use it or not...I our case we keep 20-30% idle at any given time for scaling...AND
    • Redundancy - yeah, most cloud systems are build in a way so if a physical server has hardware issues the cloud servers would just boot on another server...and since storage is on centralized SAN's, downtime would be minimal - typically a minute or less. But that means we have to have idle servers sitting there waiting for servers to fail over to. In our case we keep 20% idle servers ready at any given time. Servers that we pay for, keep rackspace ready for and that we might even pay powercost for if they are partially utilised


    So -Now we are only packing 2-300 passangers in our 500 person jumbo jet...You see why this has to cost more?


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    Quote Originally Posted by eming View Post
    I think it would be fair to explain a bit more here...
    I don't think the jumbo jet analogy works here. The false assumption is that once the cloud is up and running (jet flying in mid-air) you can't add more blades to scale (seats). I guess one can oversell in the cloud but the resource usage has to be monitored closely. Not all cloud customers use up their allotted resources.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UNIXy View Post
    I don't think the jumbo jet analogy works here. The false assumption is that once the cloud is up and running (jet flying in mid-air) you can't add more blades to scale (seats). I guess one can oversell in the cloud but the resource usage has to be monitored closely. Not all cloud customers use up their allotted resources.

    Regards
    sure you can oversell anything - but given that you are already 'forced' to undersell by 30-40%, even 10-20% overselling would not change the business case a lot.

    Some clouds use auto-scaling-features ensuring that clients servers are automatically allocated the resources needed, other systems allow clients to schedule bursts of resources. All working against the overselling mechanisms.

    Like, one of our clients sends out newsletters every thursday, so he knows his site will be busier friday. He has asked our system to add more CPU/RAM to his server every friday, and take it away saturday...And we need to leave the room for that sort of thing 24/7...in a traditional system, be it shared or dedicated, the clients would be expected to pay for this 24/7 - even though he only needs it one day a week. With us he only pays for that one day usage... It's all turned around

    Last week we had a large encoding client signing up out of the blue turning on 250 nodes...He might decide to take those nodes down any time when his encoding is done - from a business perspective it is very hard to project that sort of behaviour...

    Additionally, most cloud system are XEN based, and while overselling is doable - it is not a build in 'given' like it is on your parallels container system powering 75% of the WHT VPS offerings.

    So, yes, you might be able to oversell on the cloud as well, but we - and most other cloud providers that I know of - have chosen not to...who knows, that might change in the future though.


    D
    Ditlev Bredahl. CEO,
    OnApp.com & SolusVM.com + Cloud.net & CDN.net

  36. #36
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by eming View Post
    So, yes, you might be able to oversell on the cloud as well, but we - and most other cloud providers that I know of - have chosen not to...who knows, that might change in the future though.
    A small correction. We don't oversell . Hence the slightly more expensive plans. I know shocker!

    Best
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by eming View Post
    .who knows, that might change in the future though.


    D

    I certainly hope not. I'm a real fan of the Xen model with no oversubscription being allowed. The minimum guarantees and the ability to use more resources than you've technically paid for tends to lead to unpredictability of server performance, and confusion for the customer.
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  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by RackPoint-Morgan View Post
    I think the better question would be:

    What is your definition of a cloud? What are you trying to achieve?
    I intend to use the cloud to sell virtual server.

    http://winzure.com/what-is-cloud-computing-used-for

    Trying to figure out how the hardware should be set up first. Features can come later.

  39. #39
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Santa Monica, CA
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    A cloud is one of two things:

    1) A development platform that reduces IT management costs or
    2) An overpriced, overhyped, VDS

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Collabora View Post
    A cloud is one of two things:

    1) A development platform that reduces IT management costs or
    2) An overpriced, overhyped, VDS
    You're wrong. An IaaS 'cloud' can be a fancy VPS, but that's just one specific type of cloud.
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