Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cloud computing with Linux

Cloud computing and storage convert physical resources (like processors and storage) into scalable and shareable resources over the Internet (computing and storage “as a service”).

Although not a new concept, virtualization makes this much more scalable and efficient through the sharing of physical systems through server virtualization. Cloud computing gives users access to massive computing and storage resources without their having to know where those resources are or how they’re configured. As you might expect, Linux® plays a huge role. Discover cloud computing, and learn why there’s a penguin behind that silver lining.

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You can’t read a technical Web site these days without some mention of so-called cloud computing. Cloud computing is really nothing more than the provisioning of computing resources (computers and storage) as a service. Along with that comes the ability to dynamically scale the service to additional computers and storage in a simple and transparent way. All this is similar to the ideas behind utility computing, in which computing resources were viewed as a metered service, as is the case for more traditional utilities (such as electricity or water). What’s different is not the goal behind these ideas but the existing technologies that have come together to make them a reality.

One of the most important ideas behind cloud computing is scalability, and the key technology that makes that possible is virtualization. Virtualization allows better use of a server by aggregating multiple operating systems and applications on a single shared computer. Virtualization also permits online migration so that if a server becomes overloaded, an instance of an operating system (and its applications) can be migrated to a new, less cluttered server. From an external view, cloud computing is simply the migration of computing and storage outside an enterprise and into the cloud. The user defines the resource requirements (such as computing and wide area network, or WAN, bandwidth needs), and the cloud provider virtually assembles these components within its infrastructure, as shown in Figure 1.    Continue….

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