As I strive to better understand these new emerging technologies such as “cloud computing”, I frequently find myself reading various blog articles, many professing to be the end-all definition related to the topic. It is not very often that I actually come across an article that is informative, understandable and compelling enough to warrant note.
The post by Alex Iskold is a perfect example of one of these excellent articles. An important definition from his post:
The idea behind cloud computing is simple – scale your application by deploying it on a large grid of commodity hardware boxes. Each box has exactly the same system installed and behaves like all other boxes. The load balancer forwards a request to any one box and it is processed in a stateless manner – meaning the request is followed by an immediate response and no state is held by the system. The beauty of the cloud is in its scalability – you scale by simply adding more boxes.
Some may say that this article is a bit “heavy” on Amazon as the “killer service.” But I believe his point is that Amazon has put a lot of weight behind and person-hours into their products and they will be hard to duplicate, at least for players developing “cloud” products. But some of his general comments hold true regardless of the product: “Free from the need to solve the scalability problems, startups are able to focus on the specific problems their product or service is trying to solve.”
I recommend this as a good read on what Cloud Computing is, a la Amazon, and for people really trying to make heads or tails of grid, utility, cloud and distributed computing.