View Full Version : Playing with the cloud (Cloud computing Q's)

The Error Guy
24-04-2011, 08:04 PM
The "Design Breif" For one of many current projects is to sort out the mayhem of our schools hopeless network and the fact that our school collaborates with another school who's work is contained off site. There is also issues with boarders (and day students) with accessing their files whilst offsite.

My idea was to create a cloud server, hosted on the schools existing file server. This would most likely replace (or exist alongside) the existing setup of having a students folder mapped as a network drive. Every school machine would have the cloud app client running (probably as a service) that would sync at logon and every time a file was changed. At the end of each day the Cloud server would sync the appropriate files with the other school, and if changes were made overnight, again in the morning.

Students could get remote access via the cloud app on their laptop/desktop computers at home OR via a web UI.

Now, to run this lot! I had a small peek into the world of cloud, thinking it would be similar to setting up web servers or FTP. Perhaps it isn't. As far as I know there is no simple application you can install to run a simple cloud server.
I am currently installing ubuntu cloud enterprise (scrub that it failed on VM, will wait until I get some proper hardware) As this seems to be the simplest path to cloud however in the interim does anyone know an easy way into cloud servers (and clients) that are decent? Don't say drop box either, its not what i'm after. It does (almost) what I want but we want to be able to manage the server side of things among others.


Alex B
24-04-2011, 08:57 PM
Keep existing setup - use citrix remote access gateway/sharepoint etc

24-04-2011, 09:04 PM
You need to be careful with your definition of "cloud". A lot of large IT companies are now fudging the meaning of that word, to the point that it has become meaningless.

For something that's really in the "cloud", take a look at Live@Edu for example: http://www.microsoft.com/liveatedu/free-email-accounts.aspx There's no need to re-invent the wheel. Remember part of having a "cloud" solution is to reduce the amount of server management you need to do.

If you want to play with "cloud servers", I'd experiement with Amazon EC2. I've spent the last few days mucking around with various enterprise applications in EC2, allocating myself as much as 7.5GB RAM per instance (with as many as half a dozen instances running at any one time). It's cost me a grand total of US$28.51 - there's no way I could have borrowed/leased regular server hardware for that sort of cost, with that sort of flexibility. If you want to have a play but not spend any money, look at: http://aws.amazon.com/free/

The Error Guy
24-04-2011, 10:04 PM
Wheel reinventing postponed :D

Will have a look at the info you guys posted and get back to you.

At the moment i'm looking at live edu... it just refuses to work in chrome :angry

Sigh, i'll load up ye olde IE9