Is every remote server a cloud server?


Is every remote server a cloud server?

In: 4

No. A cloud server is one generally accessible over the Internet and typically located in an environment where multiple servers are hosted. Cloud can be be public, private or hybrid. This refers not so much to where it is physically located but to how it is exposed (made visible for access) and accessed.

You can connect to another server by means other than connecting over the Internet.

Alternatively, you can connect to a server via an Internet connection but then the connections breaks out from the Internet to private connections to a server located away from a typical shared hosting environment.

For example, you could have a friend install your Raspberry Pi setup as a web server in their home connected to their Internet connection. You could connect remotely to that computer both with a web browser and also with software that would let you have a terminal session on it as if it was next to you. You’d do both of these over the Internet. The Raspberry Pi wouldn’t be in the cloud.

You might make that Pi available over the Internet offering web services. To most people it will look like it is in the cloud. Arguably it is in the cloud at this point as long as it is relatively easy and transparent for people to connect to it. There’s no definitive definition.

You could connect to your friends house by other means. Perhaps they are close enough to have overlapping wifi. Or you put a mobile signal connection on it. Or you install a cheap lora radio connection.

No, but it could be.

What confuses people about “the cloud” is that it doesn’t describe a technology or a kind of device, but is more of an abstract classification for organizational reasons. Imagine that you are in a company meeting and you are trying to plan out the infrastructure for some computer system you want to create. All this is getting diagrammed on a whiteboard. You need to do billing for example which means you need to figure out what things you need to buy, what rooms you need to dedicate to hardware, what wires you need to run in your buildings, what workstations need to go on desks, etc. A lot of that is stuff you need to work out the specifics on, like you need 30 workstations with certain specifications, etc.

Other stuff though you might want to not need to handle. You expect to have 200 gigabytes of billing information which you need to be accessible somehow but instead of building out a server room and all the associated hardware, hiring one or more people to manage it, etc… Instead you just plan to pay some service to do it for you. There are plenty of companies that build massive server farms and will rent you out some space on their server racks for whatever you need to run or store, and you can even scale it up or down as needed without all the cost of doing it yourself. All those details get put into a big lumpy bubble on your whiteboard to sum it all up. 200 gigs goes into “the cloud” where the service handles all the details of making it available for your use.

So you see it isn’t really appropriate to run around trying to point at a specific device and say “I found it, this is the cloud!” Instead “the cloud” is a way of describing a service taking the place of a section of infrastructure. For the provider of that service what is “the cloud” to their customers is infrastructure they need to build out and manage which means to them it is not “the cloud”.

No. Cloud servers are remote but not all remote servers belong to a “cloud”. You can set up a server remotely – say in an office and access it via the internet. This merely makes it remote.

Cloud services are typically very large third party providers. In essence, the person utilizing the service does not own or operate the hardware. They rent it or lease it from a third party. This third party can scale up or down these services based on the service agreement and typically operates very large servers or storage networks – typically called a warehouse.

Not every server, but yes, most.

The big appeal of cloud is that designed well it’s rapidly scalable. If you need 100 servers to do something then you need 1000 later on in the afternoon because of peak use everything scales automatically if it’s setup right. During non peak use that hardware can be used to do something else like run simulations for people willing to wait a bit for a discount.

Even if you rent out a dedicated server for some reason like needing the security of not having other stuff running on your hardware the software that picks out what you get and sets it up is all effectively cloud based.

But there are still situations that you wouldn’t be using cloud stuff. The first one that comes to mind is high security stuff. You don’t want other people putting their mitts on your hardware, so that kindof precludes shuffling data around to random computer you don’t own. Past a certain point you are going to have enough hardware that running your own private cloud makes more sense from a maintainability standpoint, but if you only have like 100 employees a couple secure e-mail and file servers is probably fine. Even if security isn’t necessary plenty of places will run local servers and the like in their buildings that people can remote into to get stuff done.

On a smaller scale something like a private Minecraft server your friend is hosting on a computer in his basement would also very much not be cloud based.