AWS – Cloud computing with Amazon

I recently started looking at cloud computing by looking at OpenStack.  OpenStack allows you to take a lot of common hardware and create your own cloud server on your own hardware.  Once the software is setup it is easy for the user to setup his or her own little server or network.

The only problem is that I don’t have a bunch of intel I7 multi core servers full with ram sitting around for creating such a cloud.  I did have a five year old AMD 8 core server but unfortunately creating your own cloud server is very resource intensive.  Much more intensive than my poor old computer could handle.

I actually didn’t finish the tutorials because working with OpenStack was too slow with the equipment that I had available to me – yet it wasn’t their fault.  I wanted to do more with cloud computing so I decided to give Amazon Web Services a chance.  My thought was that Amazon has some amazing infrastructure around the world and so I should be able to use theirs without waiting an excessive amount of time.

Wikapedia says this about Cloud computing

Cloud computing is an information technology (IT) paradigm, a model for enabling ubiquitous access to shared pools of configurable resources (such as computer networks, servers, storage, applications and services), which can be rapidly provisioned with minimal management effort, often over the Internet.

Cloud computing

Cloud computing is a pretty big topic.  Cloud computing is almost like virtual computing except that clould computing takes a disparate resources and makes them available.  However, in addition to making them available it is done so by letting the user allocate what he or she wants rather than wait for IT to create the VM.

Yet that isn’t really cloud computing.  When a user can allocate their own “servers” from a pool of resources that is really only bordering on the edge of cloud computing as that is simply virtual computing – ie. take a server and run it on virtual hardware.

Clould computing is one step further.  It allows you to configure the setup so that multiple servers can be automatically brought on line up as the demand requires it but they can also be automatically shutdown when they are no longer needed. Additionally cloud computing can be configured to be smart enough to replace servers that are no longer responding and or even virtualize away the networking away from the physical hardware.

To create your own cloud based VM you need a network (VPC) and the computer (EC2).  In the next series articles I will create the network and then a virtual machines to run on it.  I will also discuss about setting up auto scaling and adding a load balancer as well as touching on some of the interesting services that Amazon web services offers.

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