I'd like to start learning the modern paradigm of IoT and Cloud. My first impression is that they are "empty words" without a precise meaning: you can fill the "word" as you want.
I want to start from a real simple application. I have some Internet-connected embedded boards that I want to control by remote with my smartphone connected to Internet.
At first I wanted to connect the smartphone directly to the remote node, but I think this isn't the good and modern approach. You need to implement a server in the node and you need to have a free channel to the server (usually the server running in the node can't be contacted from the outside, except you change configurations of network devices).
For sure it's simpler to have a client on the remote node that connects to a Cloud server. Even the smartphone connect to the Cloud server. I think most of those kind of systems use HTTP/HTTPS as the protocol to transfer data.
Now the big question. I know I can create myself the Cloud server, but I think there are many ready-to-use solutions. Do you suggest something? At the moment I want to experiment only, so I have only 1-10 nodes with just a few data. However I'd like to study flexible solutions that are ready to upgrade in the future to more nodes and more data.
Are there some Cloud services available for embedded platforms (IoT)? They should have a simple API to implement in the node.