cloud computing (and python)?

Discussion in 'Python' started by Aaron Watters, Jan 1, 2008.

  1. So, in between skiing runs I noticed
    a Business Week cover story on
    "cloud computing". The article had
    lots of interesting information in it like
    about how somebody's mom used to
    be an airline stewardess and the
    interior decor of various office spaces.
    It was a truly excellent piece of
    journalism.

    However it gave me no idea what
    "cloud computing" is and how it
    could be used to solve a computational
    problem.

    Could anyone on this list
    which usually has highly informed
    readers give me a clue at some
    level of technical detail what cloud
    computing is about and how it could
    be used. Bonus points if you mention
    Python in the response!

    An actual example would be great,
    if it's not web scraping and searching.

    - Aaron Watters

    ==
    http://www.xfeedme.com/nucular/pydistro.py/go?FREETEXT=snow
     
    Aaron Watters, Jan 1, 2008
    #1
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  2. On Jan 1, 3:26 pm, Aaron Watters <> wrote:
    > So, in between skiing runs I noticed
    > a Business Week cover story on
    > "cloud computing". The article had
    > lots of interesting information in it like
    > about how somebody's mom used to
    > be an airline stewardess and the
    > interior decor of various office spaces.
    > It was a truly excellent piece of
    > journalism.
    >
    > However it gave me no idea what
    > "cloud computing" is and how it
    > could be used to solve a computational
    > problem.
    >
    > Could anyone on this list
    > which usually has highly informed
    > readers give me a clue at some
    > level of technical detail what cloud
    > computing is about and how it could
    > be used. Bonus points if you mention
    > Python in the response!
    >
    > An actual example would be great,
    > if it's not web scraping and searching.
    >
    > - Aaron Watters
    >
    > ==http://www.xfeedme.com/nucular/pydistro.py/go?FREETEXT=snow


    Examples of applications in the cloud: Google apps, Zoho.com

    Examples of cloud storage and bandwidth: Amazon's S3 for scalable
    storage, Amazon's EC2 for scalable serving

    The idea is that your data and applications are on the net, rather
    than your local hard drive.
     
    PatrickMinnesota, Jan 1, 2008
    #2
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  3. On Jan 1, 3:26 pm, Aaron Watters <> wrote:
    > So, in between skiing runs I noticed
    > a Business Week cover story on
    > "cloud computing". The article had
    > lots of interesting information in it like
    > about how somebody's mom used to
    > be an airline stewardess and the
    > interior decor of various office spaces.
    > It was a truly excellent piece of
    > journalism.
    >
    > However it gave me no idea what
    > "cloud computing" is and how it
    > could be used to solve a computational
    > problem.
    >
    > Could anyone on this list
    > which usually has highly informed
    > readers give me a clue at some
    > level of technical detail what cloud
    > computing is about and how it could
    > be used. Bonus points if you mention
    > Python in the response!
    >
    > An actual example would be great,
    > if it's not web scraping and searching.
    >
    > - Aaron Watters
    >
    > ==http://www.xfeedme.com/nucular/pydistro.py/go?FREETEXT=snow


    Oh, and I forgot to mention Python for points.

    Python combined with a framework like Django is used with Amazon's
    cloud services in various applications. www.Pownce.com is an example.
     
    PatrickMinnesota, Jan 1, 2008
    #3
  4. On Tue, 01 Jan 2008 13:55:10 -0800, PatrickMinnesota wrote:

    > The idea is that your data and applications are on the net, rather than
    > your local hard drive.


    Or, to put it another way, your data and applications are controlled by
    another company rather than you.

    Not that I wish to be cynical or anything like that.


    --
    Steven
     
    Steven D'Aprano, Jan 1, 2008
    #4
  5. On Jan 1, 5:05 pm, Steven D'Aprano <st...@REMOVE-THIS-
    cybersource.com.au> wrote:
    > On Tue, 01 Jan 2008 13:55:10 -0800, PatrickMinnesota wrote:
    > > The idea is that your data and applications are on the net, rather than
    > > your local hard drive.

    >
    > Or, to put it another way, your data and applications are controlled by
    > another company rather than you.
    >
    > Not that I wish to be cynical or anything like that.
    >
    > --
    > Steven


    I see. So cloud computing is
    java dickless^H^H^H^H^H^Hskless
    workstations warmed over but less
    flexible? I'm having trouble
    understanding why people would want
    to buy in to this. For example at
    the amazon site I see things like
    "it might take a couple minutes
    to load your image..." Are they
    joking?

    hmmm. -- Aaron Watters

    ===
    http://www.xfeedme.com/nucular/pydistro.py/go?FREETEXT=try not to allocate too many objects okay
     
    Aaron Watters, Jan 2, 2008
    #5
  6. In article <>,
    Aaron Watters <> wrote:
    >So, in between skiing runs I noticed
    >a Business Week cover story on
    >"cloud computing". The article had
    >lots of interesting information in it like
    >about how somebody's mom used to
    >be an airline stewardess and the
    >interior decor of various office spaces.
    >It was a truly excellent piece of
    >journalism.
    >
    >However it gave me no idea what
    >"cloud computing" is and how it
    >could be used to solve a computational
    >problem.
    >
    >Could anyone on this list
    >which usually has highly informed
    >readers give me a clue at some
    >level of technical detail what cloud
    >computing is about and how it could
    >be used. Bonus points if you mention
    >Python in the response!
    >
    >An actual example would be great,
    >if it's not web scraping and searching.

    .
    .
    .
    Aaron, while I make time for a more pertinent response,
    <URL: http://www.unixreview.com/documents/s=10125/ur0704l/ >
    might interest you.

    I owe you better examples, though.
     
    Cameron Laird, Jan 2, 2008
    #6
  7. Aaron Watters

    Neil Hodgson Guest

    Cloud computing is mostly about scalability. You do not need to be
    concerned so much about low level infrastructure details such as
    purchasing servers, configuring and maintaining them, hiring space in
    data centres, linking up data centres, etc. It converts a lot of fixed
    costs into lower recurring costs so makes it easier for a start up with
    limited capital to start operating.

    There are Python libraries for accessing some of the cloud computing
    services and you can also host Python application code on some services
    that allow code execution. This includes services that can run arbitrary
    code on virtual machines such as EC2 and more restricted computational
    services like Hadoop which can run Jython.

    Neil
     
    Neil Hodgson, Jan 2, 2008
    #7
  8. On Jan 1, 7:12 pm, Neil Hodgson <> wrote:
    > Cloud computing is mostly about scalability. You do not need to be
    > concerned so much about low level infrastructure details such as
    > purchasing servers, configuring and maintaining them, hiring space in
    > data centres, linking up data centres, etc. It converts a lot of fixed
    > costs into lower recurring costs so makes it easier for a start up with
    > limited capital to start operating.
    >
    > There are Python libraries for accessing some of the cloud computing
    > services and you can also host Python application code on some services
    > that allow code execution. This includes services that can run arbitrary
    > code on virtual machines such as EC2 and more restricted computational
    > services like Hadoop which can run Jython.
    >
    > Neil


    I would say that cloud computing to an implementor or company
    providing cloud
    computing is all about scalability and stuff like S3 and EC3. There
    are
    other options for this BTW.

    But to the end user, it's about having your data and applications on a
    disk
    served by a network and server that is somewhere out there on the net
    and
    accessible from anywhere that you have connectivity. You might travel
    with
    a laptop, but generally, when in Hong Kong, you'll be screwed if a
    chunk of
    data is sitting on a disk inside a desktop in your home office and
    isn't on
    your laptop. With the 'cloud' concept, it wouldn't matter where you
    are,
    as long as you have a connection to the internet, you can run the apps
    and
    access the data.

    Issues: and yes, they are big, who has control over the data, is it
    being
    backed up and protected, and is your private data being mined without
    your approval. Oh,
    and what happens if you use Zoho's system and they go out of
    business?
     
    PatrickMinnesota, Jan 2, 2008
    #8
  9. 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 :)


    Michael.
     
    Michael Sparks, Jan 2, 2008
    #9

  10. > 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


    Ok, so if we include yahoo mail and gmail in "cloud computing" then I
    guess
    usenet is also cloud computing. How about ftp? ssh? nfs? Oh I get
    it. It's
    another meaningless marketing buzz phrase.

    I mean, really, I've been using web-mail and various varieties of
    remote
    storage for over a decade. What is *new* about the concept? (I see
    some
    hints above, but it's mixed in with a lot of other stuff...)

    -- Aaron Watters

    ===
    http://www.xfeedme.com/nucular/pydistro.py/go?FREETEXT=fud
     
    Aaron Watters, Jan 2, 2008
    #10
  11. On Jan 2, 9:33 am, Aaron Watters <> wrote:
    > > 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

    >
    > Ok, so if we include yahoo mail and gmail in "cloud computing" then I
    > guess
    > usenet is also cloud computing. How about ftp? ssh? nfs? Oh I get
    > it. It's
    > another meaningless marketing buzz phrase.
    >
    > I mean, really, I've been using web-mail and various varieties of
    > remote
    > storage for over a decade. What is *new* about the concept? (I see
    > some
    > hints above, but it's mixed in with a lot of other stuff...)
    >
    > -- Aaron Watters
    >
    > ===http://www.xfeedme.com/nucular/pydistro.py/go?FREETEXT=fud


    Aaron -

    I would say that the biggest difference between what people have been
    doing
    for decades and what is now being referred to as 'cloud computing' is
    the applications.

    The idea of the cloud is that the application, like a word processor
    for instance, is
    not running or installed on your computer. It's running on Google's
    servers, or
    Zoho's servers etc. Your data is also stored on their servers. So
    yeah, it's kind of
    like the old diskless X-Terminal setup and is totally contrary to how
    companies like
    Microsoft would like the world to work. The other main difference
    seems to be that
    'cloud computing' runs under a different revenue model than
    traditional applications
    like Microsoft Office. Google Apps, in it's most basic form is free
    and so are most
    of the others. They are monetizing in a different way than Microsoft
    does when it
    sells you Office for $500 or whatever.
     
    PatrickMinnesota, Jan 2, 2008
    #11
  12. Aaron Watters

    Terry Reedy Guest

    "PatrickMinnesota" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    | I would say that the biggest difference between what people have been
    | doing
    | for decades and what is now being referred to as 'cloud computing' is
    | the applications.

    Having welcomed the shift from timeshare to desktop computing, I see two
    important differences:

    1. 100% availability. The University mainframe had daily and weekly
    scheduled downtime (early morning) and rather frequent unscheduled crashes
    (midday). PCs were more reliable hardware and faster to reboot when the OS
    crashed. And spares or borrowed machines not too hard to come by.

    Web (cloud) services run on highly redundant PC servers farms. The main
    point of failure (for me, at least) is the ISP.

    | The idea of the cloud is that the application, like a word processor
    | for instance, is
    | not running or installed on your computer.

    That was true decades ago, when there was no 'your computer'. So nothing
    new here.

    | Your data is also stored on their servers.

    ditto.

    So
    | yeah, it's kind of
    | like the old diskless X-Terminal setup and is totally contrary to how
    | companies like
    | Microsoft would like the world to work. The other main difference
    | seems to be that
    | 'cloud computing' runs under a different revenue model than
    | traditional applications
    | like Microsoft Office. Google Apps, in it's most basic form is free
    | and so are most
    | of the others. They are monetizing in a different way than Microsoft
    | does when it
    | sells you Office for $500 or whatever.

    2. yes, cost. University mainframes cost $s/minute. I remember blowing
    about $200 due to a misplaced comma or something in a statistical analysis
    setup. So it was cost-effective (and rather liberating) to spend $10000 on
    a desktop Unix system for both statistics and text work.

    tjr
     
    Terry Reedy, Jan 2, 2008
    #12
  13. Aaron Watters

    Aahz Guest

    In article <>,
    Terry Reedy <> wrote:
    >
    >2. yes, cost. University mainframes cost $s/minute. I remember
    >blowing about $200 due to a misplaced comma or something in a
    >statistical analysis setup. So it was cost-effective (and rather
    >liberating) to spend $10000 on a desktop Unix system for both
    >statistics and text work.


    Same here, only it was not remembering that the filesystem disallowed
    names starting with digits.
    --
    Aahz () <*> http://www.pythoncraft.com/

    Weinberg's Second Law: If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote
    programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.
     
    Aahz, Jan 3, 2008
    #13
  14. Aaron Watters

    Aahz Guest

    In article <>,
    Aaron Watters <> wrote:
    >
    >Ok, so if we include yahoo mail and gmail in "cloud computing" then I
    >guess usenet is also cloud computing.


    Usenet actually is a good example of cloud computing, but only at the
    article distribution level. Netnews clients are *not* examples of cloud
    computing (except maybe Google Groups). The question is whether there
    exists an API and infrastructure that supports distributed computing and
    storage.
    --
    Aahz () <*> http://www.pythoncraft.com/

    Weinberg's Second Law: If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote
    programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.
     
    Aahz, Jan 3, 2008
    #14
  15. Aaron Watters

    Lie Guest

    > I mean, really, I've been using web-mail and various varieties of
    > remote
    > storage for over a decade.  What is *new* about the concept?  (I see
    > some
    > hints above, but it's mixed in with a lot of other stuff...)


    In essence, you're correct, this concept of cloud computing actually
    have existed for some time, but there is a difference between the
    "classic" cloud computing and "new" cloud computing. The classic cloud
    computing is rather limited emails, bbs, newsgroup, etc while the new
    cloud computing also refers to the newly available scope such as word
    processing, image processing, and even video editing.

    In essence they're the same, you store your files on their server, and
    you used a webbased tools to access your file, but nowadays people
    wouldn't consider the classic cloud computing a cloud computing
    anymore, as they've become too "normal".

    It's not a completely meaningless marketing buzz phrase, the concept
    has existed for some time, but the word is new.

    Another way to look at this is: "classic" cloud computing are cloud
    computing that is done because it can't be done the other way (what
    use is an email address if you could only receive emails if your
    desktop is always on, what use is a newsgroup if people could only
    post if they are physically in front of the computer hosting the
    newsgroup). While the "new" cloud computing refers to applications
    that previously exist as desktop applications, but now ported to
    become web-based applications, meaning the application could be usable
    without the "cloud", but some features like universal availability
    could not be used.
     
    Lie, Jan 5, 2008
    #15
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