I haven't posted in a long while because I've been busy moving into a new place. Things have settled a bit and I'm starting to write again. This time I'm talking about the two cloud services I've been using: Google App Engine(GAE) and DigitalOcean(DO).
GAE is a platform. Think of folder where you put files and have a specific API to use to interact with your data store. The data store here is Google's. Of course, you could use other ones external from Google like mongolab if you into the whole NoSQL thing. The upside to this is you don't have to worry about maintaining servers, binaries and such. It makes you focus on your app. The downside though is that the "folder" is a sandbox. You are limited to what the API has.
DO is a VM. Think server. You can start off with a bare bones Linux server - there are Debian and Redhat variants - or if you could start off with a complete configured LAMP server. Either way, you will manage this via an SSH connection. The downside, will you have to manage that VM and if you happen to be a sucky (or worst lazy) administrator you might end up screwing up a lot. The upside is you have full control.