Someone posted to the Fedora-Join list this week with questions about Fedora Cloud, and cloud in general (see: https://lists.fedoraproject.org/pipermail/fedora-join/2015-May/000333.html). Mattdm, Fedora Project Lead, wrote a *fantastic* response that I think warrants resharing below.

Your confusion is understandable, because "cloud" has become a
marketing buzzword and is often applied to the things you've described.
But that's not quite what we mean here.

"Cloud computing" is the idea of providing the fundamental compute
resources — cpu cycles, storage, and memory — as a service. In this
model, rather than having these things on-site in a server room, you
pay a metered price to a utility company. "The cloud" in this sense is
like the grid from which we draw electric power.

Instead of energy companies, the providers are Amazon (EC2), Google
(Compute Engine), Microsoft (Azure), Digital Ocean, and others. And
this isn't science fiction — if you have a startup (especially one
where you want to try new things and may need to scale up (_and down_!)
quickly, this is how things are done now. And, it's appealing to large
companies as well, where an on-premises cloud based on something like
(open source!) OpenStack lets your IT department become an in-house
utility provider to your developers.

So: Fedora Cloud is simply an instance of Fedora optimized to run in
this environment. If you go to https://getfedora.org/en/cloud/download/
and click on one of the Amazon EC2 images at the bottom of the page,
you can launch a new remote Fedora system in minutes. And, you can use
this as a sort of self-service hosting provider, if you like, but the
important thing is that you can actually also access all control of the
machine via an API, which means you can build systems that
automatically scale up (and again, down) as needed.

But, at this point, Fedora Cloud is just that basic building block, and
doesn't actually provide any cloud-based _services_. For that, one
approach is to use popular container technology Docker on top of Fedora
Cloud — read more in this recent Fedora Magazine article:

and take a look at 
for practical examples, which includes among other things OwnCloud (a
remote storage solution) and Wordpress (the blogging software, of

Matthew Miller

Fedora Project Leader


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