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I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask but I had this idea. Since the cloud can be used for storing memory, would it be possible to use it for RAM too?

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    $\begingroup$ Why do you have register: because they are faster than RAM. Why do you have ram, instead of using just the disk? ... Try to think and answer your own question. $\endgroup$ – babou May 28 '15 at 17:53
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    $\begingroup$ Also, I don't think you "store memory", but instead you use memory to store data. $\endgroup$ – Juho May 28 '15 at 19:16
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    $\begingroup$ Recently covered on SuperUser. $\endgroup$ – David Richerby May 28 '15 at 22:20
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Network latency is orders of magnitude too high for a remote server to usefully share its RAM directly, even if you could cobble together a virtualization layer to make it work. However, today's network speeds are high enough that remote RAM based key/value stores like memcached can compete favorably with hammering a local database due to insufficient local memory for caching.

Since this question has the virtual-memory tag, I'll also point out that network servers (which is what "cloud computing" is the latest name for) have been used for virtual memory (also known as "swap") since the diskless workstations of the late 1980's. These machines are called "thin clients" today.

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  • $\begingroup$ Your second paragraph is inaccurate:1980s diskless workstations didn't use the server for swap. The application ran on the server and the workstation was used as a display and to receive user input. "Swap" would imply that the workstation was using the server to store infrequently used memory pages for it but that wasn't what was going on: the workstation had plenty enough memory to perform the functions assigned to it. $\endgroup$ – David Richerby May 28 '15 at 21:59
  • $\begingroup$ X terminals worked that way for sure, but I remember Sun's diskless workstations netbooted SunOS, and had a net-based root partition and swap. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Jones May 28 '15 at 22:11
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidRicherby Indeed diskless Sun workstations did swap across the local network. I would know, I had one. $\endgroup$ – babou May 28 '15 at 23:24

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