When balenaMachine is deployed with a Cloud provider in a Virtual Machine Instance along with additional external services that it provides (Object Storage, Relational Database, In-memory Data Store), the interfaces can be connected with a few changes to some environment variables. The advantage of this is you get more ease, flexibility and capability with these services all being managed in the cloud. This doesn’t mean that balenaMachine has a hard requirement for these external services as there are services in the app that perform the functions by themselves (by default). Alternatively, you can provide similar services outside of the cloud provider as well. For example, running a database in another Intel NUC.