Cloud seems to mean different things to different people so instead of me defining what a cloud is to you, I want to take you on how this thing came about. If you have done architecture before, you might remember the days when your diagrams contained many different known components and resources and somewhere in the middle, you had a cartoon-like cloud shape. That basically referred to something “out there” that you do not control or even care to control. Knowing that it is reliably there was good enough. Guess what my friend, that premise has evolved to much more than communication lines – yes, way much more.
So, a side from the technical details (at least in this post), I would like you to think big, think like a manager, a VP, or even a CEO who does not want to bother with the “details” knowing for sure that someone in the org chart is “taking care of business” on their behalf and therefore are able to focus on the business. With cloud services, we are closing to a similar concept and analogy. You focus on your core business and let “someone else” focus on the important but not directly relevant competencies – the technical plumbing/details of IT. It is almost like me wanting to drive a powerful and safe vehicle but do not necessarily wanted to think about how the automaker designs and builds the powertrain or anything else for that matter – my part is to only know how drive the car well and safely – I love the idea.
When it comes to computing, we are getting into an era of options where you can reliably and securely consume computing resources and take it for granted that they will be available for you – picking the right cloud service is a factor of your business needs and what makes sense to – so it is not a silver bullet. I am sure you have heard about SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS which make up the main offering categories for cloud services and each of which has its own menu of options. If you stick with me in the days and weeks to come, I will dive into these options for interesting thoughts and discussions.
For now, think like a CEO whose job is to lead, delegate, and empower his staff in order to succeed. The question of staying with an on premise data center, have a hybrid environment, or go completely to the cloud is one that requires lots of diligence to answer. Part of the answer is to not take that holistically (it does NOT have to be all or nothing) and instead be selective on which workloads are possible candidates and which ones are not. There is a lot more to come but one thing for sure is that the cloud is becoming part of our IT life style and it pays to learn it and to leverage it when it makes sense.