Ahh, I remember it like it was yesterday. Whenever we wanted to setup a new server and expand capacity for our web properties we would have to order a supermicro 1U server, order the ram, the cpu(s), and whatever components were necessary. Then we’d have to rip the server open and then install the components ourselves. After that was complete (which took about an hour per server), we’d have to get on with installing the operating system, which was typically Redhat or Fedora or whichever Linux flavor of the day was popular. Once the operating system was installed, we’d have to manually go through and install all of the software we needed to have the system functional, and it doesn’t stop there! We then had to configure it and make sure everything was running according to spec.
Yeah you can only guess how much time in total this would take. Now multiply that by 100 machines and yes you’ve got yourself a very serious problem and if you manage to actually get through it.. guess what? It’s surely going to happen again once more people have been telling everyone else about what a joy your web application is to use. And then, you’re in for another repeat. Now don’t get me wrong, this is one of those problems that is WAYY better to have than NOT have.. but the process can be much simplier, take much less time, and save many many of your hairs from falling out.
Amazon being the brilliantly inventive company that it is decided that there was to be a much simplier way and they decided to create a system to automate everything (and of course they needed to because of the sheer size of their entire fleet of machines). Thus Amazon AWS EC2 was born and was the first service to offer virtual instances instead of physical machines, which created the whole serverless movement. Now you don’t have to own any hardware whatsoever, you just have to build your product and launch it into the cloud and now you don’t worry about any kind of manual configuration, everything is setup in a little gui where you can configure everything automatically.
Now as you see it, everything is heading (or already there) to the cloud, cloud computing as we know it is completely revolutionizing data centers and most software startups are utilizing cloud computing services such as Amazon EC2 or Google’s Cloud Platform or even Microsoft’s Azure. If you have not heard of it yet, you can also try Spandexx which is an innovative elastic cloud platform.
As technology progresses, more and more of the internet will be completely hosted on the cloud and using automated means of deploying, orchestrating and configuring their hardware resources until the old way as we know it becomes simply a staple of the past.
Cloud computing is here to stay and will change the world!