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Can someone explain to me what does it mean to "install Ubuntu in the cloud"?

How does that differ from signing up with a VPS with any hosting company?

Really trying to understand what this means and how it's different from normal web hosting.

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Where are you seeing that phrase? If you're referring to the "cloud" option in the server install for 10.04, that's meant to install the infrastructure needed to build your own private/local "cloud". –  gbroiles Jul 24 '10 at 7:33
    
Yep, that's where I saw it. So I guess I don't quite understand what a private/local cloud is. Do I need hardware, just software, what exactly is it? I also keep coming across Amazon EC2 in this context, so this is all confusing me. What I understand is a server at home or at some hosting company where they installed Ubuntu on it for me and I can log in as root and do my stuff. Can't quite wrap my head around "ubuntu in the cloud". –  damian Jul 24 '10 at 7:53

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

The "Ubuntu in the cloud" server install option will install Eucalyptus and Walrus and other software necessary for you to build your own local version of Amazon's EC2/S3 compute/storage farm.

This might be helpful if you need to support a lot of virtual machines - maybe for students to learn system administration, or to keep different applications separated from one another.

Ubuntu's cloud system uses the same API that Amazon does - so if you write software that uses one, it can use the other pretty easily.

The server installation disk is pretty much unrelated to using Amazon EC2 instances with Ubuntu - if you want a Ubuntu EC2, use one of the pre-existing machine images and don't worry about the installer CD.

Here is a walkthrough of a local Ubuntu private/local cloud installation, if you want to see what would happen if you chose that option.

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