(This is a repost, from a blog post I wrote in 2009)
Ever since Amazon launched its EC2 product the industry has been set abuzz. Rackspace, Google, Microsoft, everyone is trying to get in on the game. Rackspace has been vocal lately that their cloud has caught up with Amazon’s EC2 product. It takes a lot of effort to really understand both enough to compare them and I will be doing that here.
First of all, cloud computing is a fairly generic term. It can mean a variety of things which of course may lead to misunderstanding of the services provided.
According to wikipedia:
Cloud computing is Internet- (”cloud-”) based development and use of computer technology (”computing”). In concept, it is a paradigm shift whereby details are abstracted from the users who no longer need knowledge of, expertise in, or control over the technology infrastructure “in the cloud” that supports them. It typically involves the provision of dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources as a service over the Internet.
Wikipedia Article on Cloud Computing
The definition here is not very specific. Any abstraction from the actual infrastructure could be considered a cloud. There lies the problem with comparing cloud implementations. You could have two vastly different cloud products that are virtually polar opposites aside from the fact that you’re abstracted from the hardware yet everyone will want to compare them. Apples and Oranges might both be fruit but comparing them just doesn’t work. Amazon and Rackspace have different products for wildly different types of users. Comparing them head to head isn’t really fair but we’ll give it a go.
After being asked “How is the Rackspace Cloud compared to Amazon?” over and over here is my breakdown on how they are the same, how they are different and what types of users should use which cloud.
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