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Old 11-23-2017, 03:36 PM   #1
des_a
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What is a Cloud in Non-Abstract Terms?


What is the cloud? I have been considering whether what I've been creating with some of my servers is cloud applications or not. Plus some of my file servers and stuff. But I can't find cloud explained in the right way to understand.

My file servers are basically SMB and FTP. Are they "in the cloud"?

My application servers are servers that are built to run applications. They are normal applications, that either run on an windows desktop, or Linux desktop or command line, or in some special cases, even the Linux command line. They have normal server software on them, such as VNC for remote access. However, they are just made mainly to run Apps on.

Are my App servers "in the cloud"?

Both remote access protocols and the FTP servers are available outside of my network, assuming you have the right passwords and everything. These are available to the Internet. Are some or all of these services, "in the cloud"? Or are they just considered servers? Please explain the cloud to me. Thanks!
 
Old 11-23-2017, 04:44 PM   #2
sundialsvcs
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To my way of thinking, "the cloud™" is a form of commercial time-sharing. Companies are in the business of provided hosting services, and/or "software as a service" (e.g. [Sales]Force.com), on a subscription basis.

There is, of course, a bona fide "economy of scale" at work here. These companies purchase very beefy computers, and subdivide them. Some services allow you to "scale up" and "scale down" in a matter of seconds, or automagically. They put these beefy machines in secure data centers with redundant-everything that are located on Internet backbones. They amortize the very-considerable costs of doing this across many subscribers. You pay for your share, and it's a share of something that you could not have justified alone.

As long as the cloud provider actually makes good on their contract – and I have dealt with a few who very simply didn't – it happens to be a compelling business proposition in many cases. If you actually do get what you pay for, you get a lot of "bang for your buck."

Technologies used here include "containers," "virtual machines," and "federated computing." (The best-known example of the latter is [Sales]Force.com.)

However, like any term that is used in advertising, the term is ambiguous.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 11-23-2017 at 04:55 PM.
 
Old 11-23-2017, 04:56 PM   #3
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The cloud is a somewhat fuzzy abstraction for network services. Really, a buzzword with wings.
 
Old 11-23-2017, 07:18 PM   #4
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Virtual machines on a shared host.
 
Old 11-23-2017, 09:06 PM   #5
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Somebody else's server.
 
Old 11-24-2017, 12:32 AM   #6
des_a
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Quote:
They put these beefy machines in secure data centers with redundant-everything that are located on Internet backbones.
There's another term I don't understand yet. "Internet backbones". "Backbone(s)", is the term I do not understand. I'm very aware of what the Internet is. Lol...
 
Old 11-24-2017, 12:33 AM   #7
des_a
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The cloud is a somewhat fuzzy abstraction for network services. Really, a buzzword with wings.
Huh?
 
Old 11-24-2017, 12:40 AM   #8
des_a
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Virtual machines on a shared host.
If that's true...

...Then it is possible that I have several clouds...
 
Old 11-24-2017, 12:40 AM   #9
des_a
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So far as to what is built, I have 2 physical machines (hosts). I have 6 virtual machines spread out over those two machines. They are:

* vmain
* vwinxpsrv
* vwinxp
* vweb
* vmail
* vmandrivalinux

vmain contains basic services to make the rest of the virtual servers work, and is also required for full functionality of the network as a whole.

vwinxpsrv contains server programs running on Windows XP (yes, I know it's old). I specifically use Windows XP for a reason. Some of these such programs are simple TCP/IP services.

vwinxp is an application server that is designed to be a client. However, it is also a server, in that I log onto it remotely to actually use those programs and client features.

vweb is a web server, basically.

vmail is a mail server, basically.

vmandrivalinux is an application server with a different OS, that is designed to be a client. It is also a server in the same since. It's two remote access protocols are VNC and SSH.
 
Old 11-24-2017, 12:41 AM   #10
des_a
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Somebody else's server.
...If that's true...

...Then none of these are clouds, because they are all my server.
 
Old 11-24-2017, 12:44 AM   #11
des_a
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Is the term cloud, really that abstract that you can just claim to be "in the cloud" and you are? As long as you have a server? You all seem to disagree about what it is. But I got some good opinions for sure, or explanations. Let's keep this open for awhile longer and see what other responses I get. None of these are 100% clear on what the cloud is. But I understand more about it than I did before now.
 
Old 11-24-2017, 04:39 AM   #12
brianL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dugan View Post
Virtual machines on a shared host.
I'm far from being an expert, but that comes nearest to what I've always thought it was. I suppose if you've got several virtual machines on one host, with communication possible between all of them, you've got your own cloud.
 
Old 11-24-2017, 06:53 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by des_a View Post
There's another term I don't understand yet. "Internet backbones". "Backbone(s)", is the term I do not understand. I'm very aware of what the Internet is. Lol...
Generally these would be the high capacity transits, for example the shared cross-ocean fibre infrastructure projects, or the large interconnect/peering hubs, cf. MAE-East and MAE-West.
 
Old 11-24-2017, 07:02 AM   #14
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"The Cloud" is a nebulous term (see what I did there?) and covers a multitude of marketing buzzwords.

To the layman it may be as simple as "iCloud/Dropbox/etc." where their stuff is stored somewhere other than on their device - "I keep my music in the cloud" In this case "The Cloud" is abstracted storage.

"My server is "in the cloud"" - In this case it's generally accepted that the server is a virtual server on shared hosting.

"We sell our SaS which is hosted on a highly resilient combination of private and public cloud infrastructure" - Yeah, we've a website and we do some of it on our own servers and stick some of it on AWS (see "My server is "in the cloud"" above).

So basically take your pick. If you do your stuff on it and can't kick it or trip over it then say "it's in the cloud", nobody will question you!
 
Old 11-24-2017, 08:44 AM   #15
sundialsvcs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpeckham View Post
Really, a buzzword with wings.
ROTFL ... I'll have to remember that one!
 
  


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