ASUnix Cloud Computing Services
Cloud computing is an all encompassing buzzword for any form of computing that occurs remotely and transparently across a network to a client. More specifically, and differing slightly from the traditional client-server model, cloud services are usually accessed via web browsers instead of dedicated client applications. This moves most computation, other than the rendering done by browsers, off of the local computer and into the cloud. This is in opposition to the client-server model in which servers would provide data to clients and clients would process data locally.
Cloud computing services are often associated with a similar set of related support technologies: Virtualization, Distributed Computing and Software as a Service (SaaS). Virtualization and cloud computing share similar concepts of abstraction and indeed virtualization was vital to the rise of cloud computing. In both virtualization and cloud computing, the underlying hardware implementation is hidden from the user and replaced by an abstract platform. A prime example of virtualization in cloud computing is Amazon's EC2 service, which allows users to run virtual computers on their servers i.e. in the cloud. While virtualization is not novel, Amazon's infrastructure and interface to these resources is; all machines are created, modified and managed using Amazon's website. In addition the virtual machines ('instances' in Amazon's nomenclature) can be accessed like any other remote computer running natively on dedicated hardware.
ASUnix provides training and support for members of the Tufts community who would like to gain access to Amazon's many web resources. In addition to the EC2 service, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has resources for distributed content delivery, databases and storage. To request training or support for Amazon Web Services, or to find out more information, fill out the Cloud Computing Request Form.