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Cage Match: Cloud vs Virtual vs Hosted

To me the term “cloud computing” itself is so vague as be just about meaningless, yet it carries with it all kinds of connotations.

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now,
From up and down, and still somehow,
It’s cloud illusions I recall,
I really don’t know clouds, at all.
– Joni Mitchell

I have so many questions.

  • Does “cloud” imply virtualised?
  • What’s the difference between a cloud host and a virtual host?
  • What advantages are offered by cloud hosts vs physical hosts?
  • Or a cloud host vs a VPS?
  • How do cloud architectures differ?
  • How does cloud hosting differ as applications scale up to very large?
  • Or down to very small?
  • Are there applications that should not be run on cloud services? Why?
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