cloud computing (and python)?

Michael Sparks ms at
Wed Jan 2 16:06:22 CET 2008

Aaron Watters wrote: (from a gmail account)
> So cloud computing is java diskless workstations warmed over but less
> flexible?
> I'm having trouble understanding why people would want
> to buy in to this.

Why do you like gmail - since you appear to use it? (I can think of several
possibilities) The reason I ask Gmail is a an example of computing in the
cloud. Specifically it's an application in the cloud.

You get several classes of things "in the cloud" - one possible break up:
   * Applications - gmail, amazon, hotmail, facebook widgets, writely,
     blogger, flickr, etc.
   * Components - YUI, EC2, S3
   * Frameworks - open social, facebook 

etc. Each has benefits. Some examples:
   * gmail, hotmail, yahoomail - spam filtering, access your mail anywhere.
     You rent the application by paying with attention (or paying money - I
     think hotmail still do that)
   * S3 - scalable storage in the cloud WITH scalable serving. The trade off
     here is "how much does it cost you to run a colo box or dedicated
     server" vs "how much to rent the space". You rent capacity on demand.
     (a bit like "why buy storage at a self-storage place rather than buy a
     garage?" - there are good reasons both ways round :-)
   * EC2 - Similar, but to do with computing capacity.
     EC2 & S3 allow you to scale for example in line _and in time_ with the
     size of your userbase - assuming your business model (if you have
     one :-) matches
   * open social, facebook - rather than build your own social graph, you
     can attach yourself to an existing one to simplify take-up.

I must admit I feel a hint of amusement though at your comment above, when
it's sent from precisely the sort of setup you appear bemused by - since
you appear to have already bought into it without realising ! :-D

Have fun :-)


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