[ubuntu-cloud] introduction to the cloud

Elliot Murphy elliot at canonical.com
Mon Dec 14 03:22:15 GMT 2009

The idea with cloud computing is that instead of purchasing discrete  
physical servers for compute and storage, you allocate virtual compute  
nodes to run software, varying the number of compute nodes as load or  
other factors change.

In Amazon Web Services, you might run a number of web application  
servers behind a load balancer, and run 2 nodes during light traffic  
and 30 nodes during a big announcement or busy season. UEC allows you  
to build your own private clouds rather than using Amazon. This may be  
useful for prototyping, or to comply with data privacy laws, or to let  
you share existing hardware pools more efficiently between  
departments, or to overflow to amazon when you need extra capacity,  
the varieties are endless.

Cloud just means that you design your application to run on a set of  
compute and storage primitives. There are also cloud platforms that  
provide primitives at the applicaion framework level (app engine) and  
others at the application level (salesforce).

This book is a decent introduction to the concepts - nothing  
revolutionary, but some neat things are possible with a little  
creativity: http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596156374

Elliot Murphy

On Dec 13, 2009, at 5:07 PM, Jose Colmenares <jbcolmenares at gmail.com>  

> Hi all:
> I'm a geoscientist, working in numericall analysis. I say this so  
> you know I'm not a computer scientist or expert programmer.
> I'm deeply interested in cloud computing, in particular in offering  
> software as a service with a public cloud. I've been surfing the web  
> for some time now, but cannot find the answer to some questions. For  
> example:
> - Say I build a cluster, an offer it's power to perform certain  
> tasks. What's the difference between letting the user manage the  
> application via a webpage, and using Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud? what  
> does exactly a software like this let me do? things like "Deploy  
> workloads and have them running immediately. Grow or shrink  
> computing capacity to meet the needs of your application" don't  
> really tell me anything specific like:
> - One someone conects to my cloud, does he/she uses a webpage or ssh  
> or what? should I make an application to be used on a cloud with QT  
> or gtk?
> that's the kind of questions that I have. I'm sorry if this is not  
> the place for such questions, but could someone please direct me to  
> where those answers are? again, sorry if I misplaced the question.
> Best regards,
> Jose
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