The Cloud: The good, the bad and the ugly
It’s remarkable how people get carried away once they get convinced of something. In IT these tendencies are very strong. You see either that people go for old and trusted. New technologies they say are “Old wine in new bottles”.
Others have an endless curiosity for the latest and greatest. They want to live on the edge, and otherwise they get bored. Often these end up in long discussions about the trade-offs of various technologies. With cloud computing this is no different.
Meet the good, the bad and the ugly.
A lively discussion
The good: Hi, bad & the ugly. Great to have this discussion on cloud computing.
The ugly: Hi, you good-looking bastard.
The bad: Well, sorry I haven’t really prepared. Due to the lockdown I’m very busy teaching my kids. I have my heads in the cloud somewhere else…
The good: OK, then I’ll start. I think education during the pandemic is a great example of the benefits of the cloud. In some weeks there is a lockdown and kids go massively online in the morning. Because of clouds autoscaling it can serve all those kids, but when they go to sleep most servers can be turned off. When they go back to school it’s not a problem to scale up again.
The bad: Yes, from the kids' perspective it’s great. While working in IT I need to migrate all my programs to get that benefit. Unfortunately it doesn’t work one-on-one. Basically I need to rewrite my whole IT landscape. Very complex stuff. Learn everything about service discovery, container orchestration and service mesh. Things I didn’t need to care about before.
The good: But on the other hand you don’t need to care at all about hardware anymore. It’s serverless, baby.
I would advise you to work with the cloud, instead of against it. Then you are blown away. There are a lot of off-the-shelve applications which you get up and running in no time. After that it’s just pay per use.
The ugly: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six. Six. Perfect number, but that’s easy. The real difficulty is that I need the calculator and select everything like storage and computing power. The cloud structure is made fuzzy on purpose by the cloud vendors. And sometimes I even forget that I clicked on something and get a reprimand from my boss.
The bad: Personally, I don’t like off-the-shelve applications either. You have no control and when something is missing, who am I going to tell? AWS?
The ugly: Oh, you mean Autonomous Weapons Systems (AWS).
The good: Of course he means Amazon Web Services. Together with Microsoft Azure one of the most powerful cloud computing platforms.
The ugly: Well, AWS or Azure or whatever you always end up in some cloud vendor-lock. Especially with off-the-shelve applications. And this vendor-lock is way worse than buying SAP.
The good: Most cloud vendors support a lot of open standards. You can make a Docker container and deploy it on every cloud. Most support Kubernetes. Also, you can write cloud functions in about every language and run software on Windows or Linux. The vendors are really technology neutral, they don’t care if you run your software on Linux or Windows, C# or Java.
The ugly: As long as it's on their platform, yes of course.
The bad: Again, I’m more worried about the lack of control. That there is a maintenance break and I can’t do anything about it. That they changed the user interface and I can’t go back. That I miss a feature that’s available on the on premise version.
The good: Often the best thing is to call an API which are mostly available for cloud services. Then you can get the data, process it in a custom function and put it back in the cloud.
The ugly: There is no cloud, only someone else’s computer.
The bad: I totally agree with the ugly. The latency is terrible, the data is sometimes in countries I don’t support. And sometimes whole clouds are down. Then you’re out of business quickly.
The good: Cloud services are known to have the highest uptime of all hosted software.
The ugly: Don’t care, I would never use the cloud
The bad: Must agree.
The good: So, you don’t use Google?
The bad/the ugly: OK, we do use Google.
The good: But you don’t use Netflix?
The bad/the ugly: Yes, of course we do! How else can we watch “Breaking bad”.
The good: You mean you won’t use it for business purposes then.
The bad/the ugly: We also use it in our organization. Don’t want to be left behind.
The good: The sum up, there are a lot of catches in cloud computing. Let’s meet again for a session on cloud strategy. Then we can shoot for the stars.
The bad: When you have to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk.
The ugly: OK, you both, every gun makes its own tune.