Heads in the CLOUD

I have been pondering this post for quite some time. It literally has been floating around in the back of my mind. CLOUD, it has been everywhere for many years now. Vendors started popping up and businesses rushed to adopt the CLOUD craze, like other IT and Tech crazes past, present, and most assuredly future.

Many have fallen prey over the years to these buzzword riddled crazes as they propagate throughout the Tech Industry. Blindly diving in without firmly grasping the technology, the full implications, and costs involved, but solely because everyone else is doing it and having a fancy new term to float around to impress their friends, co-workers, bosses, and the like.

AI is the big craze of late, but I digress as the topic is CLOUD, or is it. What exactly is CLOUD the uninitiated may inquire, yet others don’t care. They just know everyone else is doing it, it sounds cool, and they have an incessant need that tells them they must be doing it too!

What is CLOUD, really? CLOUD is hardware, the full Tech Stack, that is owned and hosted in someone else’s DataCenter, many times presented to the customer via virtualization. The auspicious capability of spinning up environments at the tip of one’s fingertip is mind numbingly powerful and easy. Does it fit your business and your solution? Maybe not.

Is CLOUD cheap? This is an easy sell. A business no longer has to maintain their own data centers and do technology refreshes every 3 to 5 years. A business no longer needs to have specialized technical staff to do these refreshes. No more patching and security updates as it is all migrated to the cloud along with one’s product or service. This has to be cheaper, correct? Maybe not.

What is the biggest benefit of CLOUD, really? The failover capability, depending on one’s CLOUD provider, is a hard to beat. This is the illustrious crowning achievement of CLOUD in that no matter what kind of catastrophe one’s product or service will migrate around the globe to always be available. Huge benefit, correct? Maybe not.

In business or government, where highly sensitive data requires the utmost protection, what does it mean to have one’s data virtually everywhere, multiple redundant copies spread across the globe, and not having full access control, both physical and digital. There are some huge implications here that cannot be overlooked.

Moving this data into CLOUD means that one no longer has control over that data. One no longer has control over the physical location, the underlying architecture, or the Tech folks employed by the vendor with access. The one thing CLOUD does greatly is to remove accountability. Maybe not.

Accountability, nobody wants it. It isn’t your fault if your data gets stolen, it was in CLOUD, so obviously it is the CLOUD provider’s fault. An outage isn’t your fault, it’s the CLOUD provider. A failed security audit, not our fault. Here we have discovered yet another benefit of CLOUD, reduced and deferred accountability.

Will the customer understand when their data is exploited in the CLOUD? Maybe we can ask CapitalOne, but I can tell you it’s not what’s in my wallet! A breach impacting over 100 million cardholders at a cost expected to be over 100 million dollars, hosted on AWS.

This blog entry is certainly not anti-CLOUD, however it is anti-buzzword and anti-adoption of the latest craze; specifically without fully exploring the solution and understanding the implications as it relates to one’s product, service, or business. With as long as CLOUD has been around those who bought into it early and corrected their trajectory should be an example laying the framework. Maybe not.

Many of the early adopters of CLOUD are pulling their resources back into having their own data centers and leveraging CLOUD in a way that suits their business. Hybrid solutions with co-location capabilities is the name of the game in many instances.

Did they save money by going to CLOUD? Was it cheaper for them going to CLOUD? They gave up their physical data centers, in some cases this means negotiation of new leases, purchase of all new hardware, full data center build-outs, and of course hiring all of the highly skilled Tech Experts to make it happen.

Interpret this as you will, however if the .gov starts moving Top Secret information into the CLOUD we should all be worried, the implications will surely outweigh Hillary’s email server.

In the meantime, AI will solve it all, we won’t have to worry about buzzwords and the latest crazes impacting large swaths of the Tech Sector. Maybe it will be AgileDevSecNetDbOpsInfrIoT that will save us all. Maybe not…

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