[IPython-dev] Thoughts on Cloud Services

Carl Smith carl.input at gmail.com
Mon Nov 5 16:14:10 EST 2012

Hi all

To cut a long story short, I've not been doing much on NotebookCloud
for a while now. I'm really happy with how things have gone so far,
but have reached the point where I've taken it pretty much as far as I
can. I will keep everything running so long as people still use it and
wanted to say thanks to everyone who's supported me with this, it's
been a lot of fun. I'm happy for anyone to take over nbcloud, or just
ransack it to create new stuff, and I'm happy to contribute to those

The thing is, as IPython's cloud features mature, the need for
something like NotebookCloud will continue to diminish. Besides, it
doesn't really solve many of the problems that users suffer with.

If I started again, I'd be more focussed on building a library that
wraps boto and StartCluster and includes the IPython code needed to
create IPython setups on AWS. You'd still need to publish and maintain
at least one core AMI for it to work, but users could use the library
to derive and share new AMIs from the core one, so that may take care
of itself before long.

The feature that's requested more than anything else is the ability to
create and share custom, self-configuring AMIs. That's the killer
feature going forward, and it should really be available within a
regular IPython session. It's nice to only need a browser to manage
servers, but that's way down the list of priorities for most users. If
IPython had a library that could manage IPython AWS instances, AMIs
and everything else, no doubt someone would wrap that in a web app
before too long anyway :)

Thanks again everyone


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