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With all the amount of data storage (images, software developed, etc.) I'm thinking about switching my PC to make it a "thin client" and hosting my actual computer somewhere in a VM in a cloud.

In this case, I would use any PC or thin client to connect, and host all my files, software, etc. on a cloud solution -- the primary benefit being that it won't suffer "hardware failure," since the cloud hosting will have it moving. And I can get scalable HD size, at least.

Is this something feasible? Do companies offer this service? Is it scalable (I can get upgraded hardware if need be)?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Several conceptual problems here:

1) System vs Data -- People want to have lots of storage because of their data, not their system. One can use a cloud-based storage (umm... Amazon S3 comes to mind) for that, but the easiest remains on-system RAID with periodic offsite backups.

2) Cloud computing is not necessarily fast, and latency is a big, big concern if you will manipulate your images. For enterprise purposes, cloud computing is an attractive concept, but for home users/personal uses, it is still expensive, relatively less responsive and all in all not bang-for-bucks.

3) For scalable harddisk size, I think harddisk is just dirt cheap nowadays compared with anything remotely like cloud computing solutions...

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The problem with scaling out your harddisk is dealing with failure. Cloud computing is "no worry" since it becomes the vendor's problem. Some companies already do this for dev machines (I think Amazon S2 is the platform). – ashes999 May 26 '11 at 13:06
@ashes999 i think you are talking about amazon s3 (storage) and ec2 (computation).. as i said you deal with partial failure with raid array and total failure with offsite backups. separating the developmental machine from file server is another option. – bubu May 26 '11 at 15:15

It is doable but often costly. What kind of applications would you use on the VM

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Mostly development stuff (C#/.NET dev). – ashes999 May 26 '11 at 11:37

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