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Programming Elastic MapReduce by Christopher Phillips, Kevin Schmidt

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Appendix B. Cloud Computing, Amazon Web Services, and Their Impacts

Though cloud computing was originally conceived in the 1960s by pioneering thinkers like J.C.R. Licklider—who thought computing resources would become a public utility like electricity-—it has only been recently with the start of AWS in 2006 and Windows Azure in 2008 that we have seen businesses seriously moving many of their core services outside of private data centers. There have been many discussions and descriptions about what cloud computing is and its value to businesses. However, in general we characterize it as a set of computing resources, CPU, memory, disk, and the like that is available to an end user and the interactions that user has with these resources.

AWS Service Delivery Models

There are a number of delivery models for cloud services and how the end user accesses these resources in the cloud. We will focus on the delivery methods specific to AWS and the resources used in this book for Elastic MapReduce.

Platform as a Service

Platform as a Service (PaaS) allows the deployment of custom-built applications within the cloud provider’s infrastructure. Elastic MapReduce is an example of an Amazon cloud service that is delivered as a PaaS. As a user, you can deploy a number of preconfigured Amazon EC2 instances with the EMR software preinstalled. You can specify the compute capacity and memory for these instances, and have access to make configuration changes to the EMR software. Amazon takes care of much ...

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