My name is David A Robertson, I am 52 and still code 10+ hour days, albeit in an increasingly relaxed way.
To the non I.T. person this must be a mystery. The term Cloud has been getting bandied around for quite some time without many people really knowing what it is. The name conjures up a place high above us which, stores for retrieval in many differing formats, information, huge in nature.
The I.T. person on the other hand has more to go on. They, for instance know that the Cloud is made up of many computers connected in a scalable network which may be described as a series of resources when consumed.
Some people who have built Cloud Servers know yet more. As an interested party, an article presented itself on screen one day suggesting a recipe for building a Cloud Server, Google “how to build a cloud server”, to find out more.
There are many articles describing how to do this. There was little surprise when the ingredients to the aforementioned recipe turned out as below:
1 x Computer running then Windows Server 2008 R2.
1 x DB (SQL Server)
1 x Storage
1 x Internet connection (8Mb Down 0.37Mb up)
1 x Web Server (IIS)
1 x Virtual Machine* (VM) Manager
4 x Licenses for Windows VM’s
A virtual machine is a way of having a, or several, machines within the host operating system – This allows the owner of the Cloud Server to be more efficient in accepting customers into their computing environment.
After putting all this together, the realisation struck that what was built was a type of computer I had seen many times before the word Cloud was mentioned.
So, you put many of these computers into a network and call it a specialised type of Distributed Computing = The Cloud.
Distributed computing as it suggests is a mechanism for passing the requirement for resources around multiple computers. As opposed to Centralised computing which is where one computer handles all the requests for resources, such as a mainframe.
It is not hard for me to imagine that these Cloud Network Servers have software which can increase Cores, Memory (both volatile (RAM) and non-volatile (HD)), etc, thus making it easy for the resource consumer to adjust their server to suit the through traffic. For instance, in a Cloud management portal or dashboard it is possible to slide the number of cores, the amount of memory, and Hard Disk (HD) space upwards to suit speed and delivery of information from the server. By information I mean serving web pages with information retrieved from the Database.
So, in conclusion, I would say that the Cloud superseded what came before which was possibly more ramshackle and held together by cello tape. This means we are concerned about the internet and how it is held together.
David A Robertson