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the cloud hit me now as well. The more I look at offers, the more it looks like virtual OS-images beeing loaded on demand. Boring... Somewhere I read that this is a dead model, very true.

I am interested in running java software that uses normal socket connections, no web stuff or servlets, no REST and all that massive overengineering. It would be perfect if you have one ip adresse to talk to and say, here i've got a job for you. Then I access the same ip again and hand out the next job, but the cloud internally pushes the request to some other node. I think EC2 does that, if I understood their concept right. But do they work with full os images as well?

I want something were I can deploy some .jar file and say use 2 or up to 100 instances of that software. If intercommunication is needed it can be done over some shared files system cloud. Is that what the cloud can do?

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"Here's what the Cloud(tm) can do for you." – EEAA Jun 4 '11 at 22:25
Doesn't look like very much? :-) – Franz Kafka Jun 4 '11 at 22:27
Your question, as worded is quite nebulous and is difficult to follow. I'd suggest editing it to clarify with one or two direct questions. – EEAA Jun 4 '11 at 22:30
Who voted this as off topic? Sorry Franz, but it's pretty obvious you have no idea what the cloud does, how distributed systems work, programming for either of them, and don't know how to state what you want in a question. Please at least figure out what you want to accomplish and ask a question directly related to that. Asking 'nebulous' questions about the capabilities of a marketing buzzword isn't a real question at all. – Chris S Jun 5 '11 at 4:04
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I want something were I can deploy some .jar file

This is pretty much a no go for a "mass hoster". "Something where you can deploy a .jar file" ist a little vague.

EC2 (or any other cloud platform) is definitely what you want here. But you need to take care that submitting a job will do the right thing (whatever that means to you).

Wether it (Amazon in combination with your Management tool) will fire up another 5 servers and put "worker .jars" on them or not is really up to you.

All EC2 gives you is actually an environment where certain types of specifically prepared images can be deployed very fast.

Also you will need to take Security Groups into account. It sound like you're doing RMI and that allocates the ports it uses dynamically so be sure to have a Security Group (broadly speeking: firewall rules) according to your needs.

If you have software that runs locally and achieves that the next steps would be:

  • learn how to use EC2 :)
  • create AMI images suitable for your software
  • write some scripts/code that will manage how many instances are up (EC2 provides some autoscaling product - I always forget the name - that can help you with that)
  • make sure that your environment is porperly secured
  • keep an eye on your budget
  • keep another eye on your budget
  • run tests to find out wether what your management software does is actually what you want (not the worker part here, this is purely about deploying "new servers" - instances in EC2 terms)

Your question leaves a lot of space regarding the EC2 part. Just having the software that does the actual work is not enough for a cost effective usage of the cloud. You will want to have some kind of management (software) that takes care of firing up instances/destroying them again.

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Cloud is a buzzword nowdays - it really depends on what the provider is making out of it. For Java, I am only aware of CloudBees Platform as a Service solutions - never used them, just read about them. Might fit your bill.

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