[Chicago] What is cloud computing good for?

Ed Leafe ed at leafe.com
Mon Aug 9 20:44:21 CEST 2010

On Aug 9, 2010, at 2:00 PM, skip at pobox.com wrote:

> The discussion about colocation and cloud servers got me to wondering about
> that technology (again).  Is cloud computing useful for compute-intensive
> tasks or is it designed more to address the slashdot phenomenon (quickly
> increase the number of outward facing servers as needs arise)?

	Those are all valid uses of cloud technology; a better, less buzzword-y term might be 'virtualization'. Servers can be spun up as needed for heavy computation; this is the EC2/NASA model. They can also be provisioned as permanent devices as a replacement for physical servers; that is the Rackspace model. And, of course, you can have everything in between.

	I was talking with some of the NASA developers at the OpenStack conference; a common request for them was to spin up 10,000 servers with a particular image for a particular task, and these servers would exist only a couple of hours until the analysis was done, after which they would be deleted. This would then be repeated for the next scientist who needed to crunch data. 

-- Ed Leafe

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