I started this a a response to a post on Sean Corfield's blog; but decided the topic was worthy enough to write my own post about.
I've heard people speak about wanting to run an application server in the cloud. I gotta admit; I just don't get it.
How would one run an application server in the cloud? Why would one want to run an application server in the cloud? Perhaps better a question is how do we define 'cloud'?
When we talk about storage in the cloud--such as Amazon.com S3--the files are still sitting on some storage device that is remote to me. I can use APIs or [more commonly I suspect] a program to access that data.
How exactly does an application server fit into that model? My web server is a physical machine somewhere on the west coast. It routinely backs itself up to the development server in my office; a physical machine on the east coast. Does that make my dev server a part of the cloud?
It seems to me that any instance of ColdFusion running a CFC w/ a remote method call could be construed as part of the cloud. But, that instance of CF is still running on some physical server somewhere. Why should this have/need different licensing rules?
Can someone enlighten me to what people want exactly? What exactly is the use case for something like this; and how is it different than the 'traditional' hosting model which includes renting server space?