Cloud: Technology or Operations Model?

Peter Robinson pbrobinson at
Wed Jan 20 22:24:15 UTC 2010

> There can be little doubt that "getting Fedora images to work on other
> public clouds" also falls under cloud, and one hopes that the processes
> bear some resemblance to one another.
> There can be little doubt that "moving a workload from this public cloud
> to that public cloud" falls under cloud, since that's largely the
> point of Deltacloud -- although there is some doubt about how many people
> will be keen on that particular use case.
> There's all kinds of doubt about "private cloud", and where that separates
> from plain ol' "managing a bunch of VMs" -- which is why, I think, we
> start with the public cloud cases.  Because (a) we really *need* to get
> those squared away so that Fedora doesn't end up with lots of crappy
> images floating around the public cloud providers, and (b) getting those
> use cases straightened out will give us some insights (I hope) about how
> private clouds work, and the differences between "private cloud" and
> "plain ol' VM management".  Which may be vanishingly few, and dependent
> largely upon context.

The definitions of "cloud" is very fuzzy. At work (enterprise hosting)
there's constant debate and no consensus! The way I see it and the way cloud
services differ from "managing a bunch of VMs" (and hell I do a LOT of that)
is predominately to do with the management of the VM. Things like automatic
provisioning (creation, configuration and tear down). Most of cloud style
things are designed to be for short term style stuff whether it be for a
short period to cover a peak period or medium term for the developer to
create the "cool app". The idea is that either through a web interface or an
automated deployment system something requests a "App server" and then gets
provided an IP of the service, it generally doesn't matter where it is etc
it just is. The Managed VMs are much more specific, generally permanent and
are managed in terms of location, access, QoS etc.

The other component of "cloud" is obviously storage, probably needs to be
added to the discussion list too.

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