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Adopt the Cloud, Kill Your IT Career 241

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-my-problem dept.
snydeq writes "IT professionals jumping into the cloud with both feet beware: It's irresponsible to think that just because you push a problem outside your office, it ceases to be your problem. It's not just the possibility of empty promises and integration issues that dog the cloud decision; it's also the upgrade to the new devil, the one you don't know. You might be eager to relinquish responsibility of a cranky infrastructure component and push the headaches to a cloud vendor, but in reality you aren't doing that at all. Instead, you're adding another avenue for the blame to follow. The end result of a catastrophic failure or data loss event is exactly the same whether you own the service or contract it out.'"
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Adopt the Cloud, Kill Your IT Career

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  • oh please (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, 2012 @03:31PM (#40287595)

    no one even knows what the cloud is. It's everything, it's nothing, it's cheaper, it's not.

    run your IT shop like everything else, with common sense. Can external hosting work sometimes? sure, if so, do it and stop worrying about it.

    • by Flyerman (1728812) on Monday June 11, 2012 @05:25PM (#40289109) Journal

      Ohhhh, and when you can't use external hosting, put it on your "private cloud."

    • Re:oh please (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MrBigInThePants (624986) on Monday June 11, 2012 @06:34PM (#40289805)

      NB: Ironically I am probably going to be unfairly labeled a troll for this comment but this is NOT my intention. But it needs to be said because there is too much group think going on here and I have karma to burn so here goes...

      Many people DO know what the cloud is - just not that many people here it seems?!
      I am surprised at the number of vitriolic comments on all this topic and all "cloud" articles on /.. It is out of whack with the typical thoughtful discourse here.

      The main accusation is that the "cloud" has no meaning and/or that it is the rehashing of things that used to exist and has no value.

      Well I think I disagree to a large extent - but please hear me out. I have not drunk the kool aid I have just read and discussed it a lot.
      There certainly is a lot of hype and BS around this issue but that is expected as we have just crossed the "hype part" of the hype cycle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hype_cycle) and are now on the downward slope into reality. I think people are attacking the hype and missing the "reality" to come. Short sighted I think?

      But am not really surprised by the comments or the very negative reaction as this "movement" as it is a major threat to many IT people. One of the main, explicit goals of the "cloud" is to fire many of the readers on slashdot! (NB: How well this nefarious plan works out is besides the point.)

      This NEW definition of cloud (who cares what used to be on network diagrams) for me is intertwined with SaaS/PaaS/IaaS and to be fair you cannot talk about one with out the other. You don't always use both together but they are interrelated.
      And yes it IS a "just form of outsourcing" and yes it rarely uses ground breaking technologies of the type we have never seen the likes of before. (possibly why a lot of people on this site don't seem to get it)
      However none of that means it is a load of old tosh and not worth anything. This is not directly about IT people or technology, this is about USERS and their perspective and a model that enables them to do things they have never been able to do before this easily. Specifically this is a service delivery model and it is making chunks of old-school IT services a commodity and will continue to do so. How effective it will be in the future at achieving its aims is up for discussion and prediction but, again, none of it means the definition is not worthwhile! And it is early days yet so don't poo poo the idea just yet - it has only just begun.

      These cloud services are easy to sign up and purchase, integrate easily and are bought on a "as needed" basis with a very easy ability to upgrade and scale with your business without the typical budget blowouts etc. (theoretically - there are of course many bad implementations at the moment as there are with anything)
      And many of the major cloud providers HAVE achieved this. When you bundle it up with the (S/I/P)aaS models things get very interesting for users.

      Just look at what it has done for SalesForce which is a great example of how things should be done.
      I have talked to marketing people who initially turned down Salesforce because of the huge licensing costs to buy, install and maintain it on their own hardware. The buy-in costs were ridiculous for an SME so they would typically settle for some cheap crappy alternative they were never happy with.
      Now it is not even a consideration. They just rent it as they need it and really don't have to worry about upgrades or budgetary surprises or upgrading hardware or up-skilling new IT staff for the product. For marketing people this is a best case scenario and a revelation. And they typically still use IT people to set it up - specialist 3rd party managed service providers who charge them a lot less than having IT people on staff and take care of the details. (no disrespect as I am an IT person - this is just the perspective of a marketing department)
      In short: they just don't want adopting Saleforce to be a hideously expensive and time consuming project with large on

      • But we have seen it's like before- the time share mainframe. The only difference is that the processor cost on a modern server is cheaper.

      • Re:oh please (Score:5, Informative)

        by batkiwi (137781) on Monday June 11, 2012 @08:19PM (#40290613)

        Cloud != outsourcing even.

        Cloud is an easy description for where some layer is abstracted away to the level that it doesn't matter to implementers.

        At work we now have a "private cloud." What this comprises is simply a VERY large VM infrastrcture with automated deployment and full time monitoring.

        In the old world we would check a large chart of what apps were deployed on what servers, then place new apps on the least loaded servers. As loads changed our apps didn't move, we just were hosed unless we wanted people constantly installing and uninstalling apps on shared servers. Some servers were 2003R2, some 2008, some 2008R2, some 64bit, some 32 bit, etc. Some had shared components which one app upgrading might break, others didn't even have those components so you couldn't install new apps on it.

        Now we simply say "we want instances of this app running." Our infrastructure (vmware + SCCM) spins up 3 default VMs and autodeploys the software. One will be in our backup datacenter, two in the primary. If load is too high we request more resources (more nodes, more ram, more cores). The entire systems management side of things is abstracted away.

        • This is very true.

          This is a great example because the "private cloud" is one of the things that has been mercilessly beaten up on the most here!

          Summary of reasoning:

          Premise 1) Cloud computing is just "outsourcing" or like a "mainframe"
          Premise 2) Private cloud is using those resources/systems/etc in-house
          Conclusion 1) Therefore the term is ridiculous
          Conclusion 2) This is conclusive proof of cloud computing term being ridiculous

          The problem is with the P1 premise: you just don't get it if you think that is tru

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      I know what the cloud is. it's a mainframe.

      • I replied to a similar comment above.

        Nice metaphor. But it being a good metaphor does not make it the same.

        There is a lot more to this and IT would be wise to at least understand it beyond "its a mainframe" or "its outsourcing".

  • I.T. curse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Monday June 11, 2012 @03:33PM (#40287631) Homepage Journal

    Since you "know computers" it will still be your problem.

    If I had a dime for every time I got blamed or was asked to fix something that was clearly outside of my sphere of influence...
    well, I probably wouldn't be reading slashdot right now.

    • I hate the stuff I get blamed for and its not my fault because they decided to use the cloud.
      • Re:I.T. curse (Score:5, Interesting)

        by SomePgmr (2021234) on Monday June 11, 2012 @04:10PM (#40288219) Homepage

        I've never had a big problem with that for the (very few) services we do outsource.

        "Salesforce is really slow!" *
        "Hold... I've checked everything on our end, from your workstation out, and we're 100%. It's Salesforce."
        "Those fuckers."

        The real trick is in keeping an eye on how often you're actually hearing things like that and how often it's the outside provider's fault. Because, believe me, your coworkers would be doing the same for your internally hosted solution.

        * Random example I get pretty rarely. We haven't had SF go down outside of scheduled maintenance in the last four years.

    • Re:I.T. curse (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Monday June 11, 2012 @04:00PM (#40288037) Journal
      And rightly so. Some IT managers like outsourcing because they think they're outsourcing accountability as well. Wrong: when you make the decision to outsource or move stuff to the cloud, it is your responsibility to do some due diligence on the vendor, make sure there's a sensible SLA, and have contingency plans just like you had when the servers were still under your control. Regarding the latter point: a lot of managers forget that when disaster strikes in their own data center, they are in control, and they can allocate resources and extra funds towards getting the most important servers back up first. But when disaster strikes your cloud provider, what priority will you get, when there's thousands of angry clients (including a number of fortune 500 companies) all shouting to get their service restored first?

      That doesn't mean that outsourcing and the cloud are bad per se. It means that when you make that decision, you should apply the more or less similar skills and considerations as you did when you still ran your own data center. You as an IT manager are still end responsible for delivering services to the business, and you cannot assume the cloud is a black box that always works. Plan accordingly.
      • Re:I.T. curse (Score:5, Insightful)

        by vlm (69642) on Monday June 11, 2012 @04:13PM (#40288251)

        Regarding the latter point: a lot of managers forget that when disaster strikes in their own data center, they are in control, and they can allocate resources and extra funds towards getting the most important servers back up first.

        I've been involved in virtualization and outsourcing on both sides buyer and seller for a bit more than 20 years. This aspect is always forgotten by the PHBs.

        If the email server explodes, I have $$$$$ high five figures per year of motivation to fix it ASAP. If an outsourced email provider explodes they have
        $49.95/month or whatever of motivation to fix it. I have seen some very sad sights over the decades. If the cost of repair/support exceeds the cost of sales for a similar commission, too bad so sad. Oh your whole multi-million dollar business relies on working, email, oh well. It doesn't matter if we're talking about mainframe service bureau processing, or outsourced email/DNS/webhosting from the 90s/00s, or an online cloud provider, your uptime is not worth a penny more than you're paying for the service. You might, at best, get your provider to B.S. you a sense of urgency... but watch what they do, not what they say.

        • If an outsourced email provider explodes they have $49.95/month or whatever times all of their customers of motivation to fix it.

          • If it's only one customer upset enough about the problem then the $49.95 applies.
            Even when it's as you've written above - that multiplied by all the customers on that server for instance, the care factor can still be close to zero. I've seen that with hotmail and a DNS configuration typo that put the email out of commission for a medium sized University among other customers, yet it was nearly a week before the problem came up in the queue to be fixed. The hosting provider didn't think it was likely that
      • by roc97007 (608802)

        > Wrong: when you make the decision to outsource or move stuff to the cloud, it is your responsibility to do some due diligence on the vendor, make sure there's a sensible SLA, and have contingency plans just like you had when the servers were still under your control.

        Mod up. I recently saw a CIO make an, um, sudden change in career because outsourcing blew their hands off when they flipped the switch. It can be done sensibly in some situations, but that depends on sensible decisions made by sensible p

      • by Shadow99_1 (86250)

        I've actually been accused of trying to protect my job by insisting on a server and software setup in house rather than a questionable cloud service to do the same thing before. The fact that they have less up time than in house solutions and didn't really care about our data didn't mean squat to the business manager or the CAO. The only thing that decided them in the end was that it was illegal for them to do it with our 'client' data, because we were a school district and our clients were underage. Any re

  • I think that if we adopt the cloud model for our internal networks (i.e. a private cloud) that would help improve manageability of the network.
    Rather then outsource to someone else's cloud, create your own.

    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Monday June 11, 2012 @03:36PM (#40287675)
      I guess "cloud" at this point means, "Running your programs on a computer with a network connection."
      • by Bigby (659157)

        I don't think this is just about a network connection. This goes into the costs of administration of outsourcing traditionally internal components. Now you need to rely on that external entity for service...whether that be a vendor dealing with the hardware or a vendor that supplies the service itself.

        • Except that the post I was replying to referred to a "private cloud," i.e. hosting things internally. If "cloud" no longer refers to outsourcing your computation, then it pretty much lost whatever semblance of meaning it might have had.
          • "If "cloud" no longer refers to outsourcing your computation, then it pretty much lost whatever semblance of meaning it might have had."

            Maybe for you. Tap water is a commodity -even if you happen to be the owner of your local water supply company.

            If it allows for spawning new systems on demand, out of a GUI and/or and API and the act of triggering a new instance is not locality-bounded, then it is cloud.

            No matter if the provider is an internal party from your own company or a third party provider.

      • by physburn (1095481)
        No the cloud is about getting you job as IT man in the local office moved to IT man at Some Corp, who is current pay is subsubsized by there book shop profits, later local IT man will disappear, and Some Corp will hike up the prices.
      • by Torinaga-Sama (189890) on Monday June 11, 2012 @04:03PM (#40288099) Homepage

        I have started substituting the phrase " The Fog" for "The Cloud". It's starting to get kind of thick.

      • by camperslo (704715)

        I guess "cloud" at this point means, "Running your programs on a computer with a network connection."

        Of course performance may fluctuate with the net. But volunteers may help to smooth things out and perform other tasks such as backups, like the folks at Mitmbs. (Man in the middle buffer service) Just think of the possibilities!

        http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=249 [nationalde...gazine.org]

      • > I guess "cloud" at this point means, "Running your programs on a computer with a network connection."

        Here's a reasonable and widely-accepted definition from NIST:

        http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistpubs/800-145/SP800-145.pdf [nist.gov]

        RS

    • by acoustix (123925) on Monday June 11, 2012 @03:50PM (#40287897) Homepage

      It's called the "cloud" because in network diagrams we used an image of a cloud to describe the part of a network that isn't managed by us or the contents of the hardware is unknown. So to call something a "private cloud" means that while it's 100% under your control you have no fucking clue what hardware is running or how it is configured.

      Congratulations. You just described yourself as being an admin of a network of which you have no clue.

      • Maybe he's a manager, in which case he's entitled to have no fucking clue, because that's what average managers do.

        • Could also be a developer or a tester. Most of our dev and testing images are VM's, as a senior developer I'm only intersed in the ability to create/manage my images within the system, I don't give a flying fuck as to where it is pysically located, how it's set up and maintained, or what phone company we use to connect to it. The sysadmins in our department are paid to worry about that. It's called 'division of labour' and means I also don't have to worry about office furniture, someone else in some other d
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The alternate usage of a cloud in the network diagram is to indicate "this part means a lot for us who do the work, but as far as you users know, it's all magic."

        It's part of the cycle of upgrade theory. Sysadmins alternate between trying to keep the other departments aware of how complicated IT is and trying to keep them ignorant of the details. Neither actually works to get approval to requisition new hardware, but admins haven't found a third option yet.

      • by afidel (530433)
        Actually, it has to do with the way that the end user or resource consumer deals with it. In a cloud setup the user doesn't know or care about how the pool of resource behind their machine runs, they just care that it does run and meets their SLA. Basically in larger organizations they just say we're going to pay for x CPU power, y hard disk space with features a,b,c and uptime of z. It's then up to the provisioning software to carve out those resources from the pool of available stuff.
      • by vlm (69642)

        So to call something a "private cloud" means that while it's 100% under your control you have no fucking clue what hardware is running or how it is configured.

        under your control in the very abstract sense of "We all work for the same company" but completely outside my control as in "Thats not my department".

        private cloud = corporate HQ gives me several images on their vsphere cluster located in another state, I donno what state, and some space on the NAS that they supposedly back up and the appropriate holes and routes in the firewall.

        None of us on either side "have admin". I have full admin control over my images, and they have no access to my images at all unl

      • We started out with a definition of "cloud" that was mostly marketing hype. I figured that it was all smoke and mirrors. But it turns out that the market wanted this thing so badly that it has actually come true, sort of an inversion of the "build it and they will come" mantra.

        Now that the concept is a bit more mature and is being treated with more architectural rigor, things are starting to get interesting. The cloud that shows up in network diagrams is now called "public cloud" and there is a struct
      • "So to call something a "private cloud" means that while it's 100% under your control you have no fucking clue what hardware is running or how it is configured."

        Exactly, right on the spot.

        I tell Tim, my department's resident IT guy, that I'll need three servers this evening for a new project and then, Tim, using the company's web interface, triggers out those three servers as I spec'ed. These servers happen to be 100% under my company's control but you can bet neither me nor Tim have no fucking clue what h

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      >>>I think that if we adopt the cloud model for our internal networks (i.e. a private cloud)

      Why are we inventing new words when the old word "network" was just fine?

      • by JWSmythe (446288)

        Because network isn't enough.

        Cloud storage is a hard drive on someone elses network.
        Cloud computer is a computer on someone elses network.
        Cloud web hosting is web hosting on someone elses computer on someone elses network.
        Private cloud is [something] on your network.

        I agree though, we really didn't need a buzz word. I just got laid off from a place, where the new owners mantra was "cloud, cloud, cloud". so our mail was moved to a "cloud" provider. They're just a provider for email. That was a nightmar

  • I sort of agree with the blurb that started this thread.

    Instead of being a skilled professional with power to change things and work on a problem, when you go to the cloud you demote yourself to a gopher who can only make complaints via a phone call when things don't work.

    Aside from making yourself much more dispensable ( "Well, gee, *I* can call and complain too") you get the frustration of feeling powerless. At least with your own systems you can go in, take readings and try things.

    • by sticks_us (150624)

      Agreed. What's worse is that your skillset gradually atrophies away until you're barely able to do anything of value, other than manage "Sales Force" passwords, or write throwaway scripts to use against someone's proprietary API.

      The hard stuff? Well, that's why we have consultants!

  • by MrEricSir (398214) on Monday June 11, 2012 @03:37PM (#40287683) Homepage

    This has nothing specifically to do with "the cloud" at all. It's the same problem you have when you outsource anything -- the company you hired might not provide the quality you were expecting.

    Can we please stop the re-hash of old ideas with buzzwords attached? This is a site for engineers, not MBA idiots.

    • > Can we please stop the re-hash of old ideas with buzzwords attached? This is a site for engineers, not MBA idiots.

      Outsourcing and cloud computing are different concepts.

      Outsourcing usually refers to the practice of having someone else host and administer your IT infrastructure for you.

      Cloud computing includes the practice of rental of infrastructure from others, whilst the administration of that infrastructure remains under your control.

      Cloud computing is not just a buzzword. Try reading O'Reilly's "Cl

      • by MrEricSir (398214)

        Cloud computing is not just a buzzword.

        When everything from hosted email to renting CPU time is described as "cloud computing," I'm not sure how you're able to say with a straight face that it's not a buzzword.

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday June 11, 2012 @03:41PM (#40287741)

    Campus decided to outsource our e-mail to Microsoft BOPS, rather than just do Exchange (or something else) on campus. Problem was that doesn't mean that suddenly campus IT just gets to say "e-mail isn't our problem, call MS!" No, rather IT still hast o do front line support but now when there's a problem you have to call someone else, get the runaround, finger pointing, slow response, and so on.

    Net result? We now have an Exchange server on campus and do e-mail that way.

    It isn't like outsourcing something magically makes all problems go away, particularly user problems. So you still end up needing support for that, but then you get to deal with another layer of support, one that doesn't really give a shit if your stuff works or not.

    Basically people need to STFU about the "cloud" and realize that it is what it always has been: outsourcing and evaluate if it makes sense on those merits. Basically outsourcing is a reasonable idea if you are too small to do something yourself, or if someone does a much better job because they are specialized at it. If neither of those are true, probably best not to outsource.

    • by Proteus (1926)
      In other words, as it has been since time immemorial, IT decisions are being made without completing full due diligence. Including understanding and planning for support, training, and related costs.
    • by Bryansix (761547)
      Ya but you get Powershell access so if your campus IT knew their stuff they could just fix 90% of problems without even calling Microsoft.
    • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Monday June 11, 2012 @05:11PM (#40288965) Journal
      You don't get it.

      You out source when the out sourcing provider comes in and takes your IT chief and the CEO out on a nice golfing trip and gives all the members of the IT teams ball point pens with their logo on it.

      Then, after a while, the in-house software provider sales manager comes around and takes CXOs for nice island get away. And you get baseball caps with the company logo. Then they undo all the out sourced services and implement it in house.

      Then comes Accenture and Infosys and Wipro. They tell the CXO, "look, some of you are into golf, some into island vacations. We don't want to force you. Just take our cold hard cash. We are from India. We know how important it is to make direct cash payments instead of the indirect in kind payments". They get thrown out.

      Then the McKenzies and Price Waterhouses etc come in. They speak in obtuse languages, take the cold hard cash from Accenture, Wipro and Infosys, skim something off the top and pass the rest to CXO in a perfectly legal way. Of course you will get your token appreciation trinket. Probably a bamboo drink coaster for your coffee mug.

      • by Wolfrider (856)

        God, if I had mod points today... Although I can't decide whether to give you +2 Funny, or +5 Insightful ;-)

      • by rrohbeck (944847)

        You forgot the CXO's sudden interest to pursue other opportunities a few months later, coupled with a big golden handshake.
        I've seen it happen and we're still stuck with the crap software.

  • It doesn't matter if the processes that create the output are in your office, your server room or even your building. You're providing the services that produce the output the business needs and the business management wants. If I.T. has made the transition in your workplace to service provider you will always have a place as the person making sure the desired output is delivered. If management still sees I.T. as the people who take care of the computers then yes you'd have something to worry about.

  • I imagine that the MBAs realize it simply outsources the problems. From their perspective this is better. If the IT guys screw up then all they can do is fire them. If the Cloud has a problem, then they have a breach of contract with [Amazon/Microsoft/etc].

    Whether or not they could recover any significant damages doesn't matter. Or the probability of failure. They have someone outside the organization to hold accountable. Someone who can be sued.

    • by vlm (69642)

      Someone who can be sued.

      ha ha ha ha thats the funniest thing I've read on /. in awhile. Sure, you can sue... and lose!

      We used to call "cloud" by the name "outsourced" or buying a "service". Back in the 90s and 00s I worked for some providers in various fields and all my employers had legendary legal contracts. I could pretty much do anything non-criminal and you'd have no recourse, at best you could request binding arbitration with a arbiter of my choice at my jurisdiction on my terms. LOL. You have to realize we were selling

    • by sjames (1099)

      No, they have a worthless 'contract' that reads in the fine print: "too bad, so sad".

  • I have never ever met a co-worker with an IT title or job description who pushed for "Cloud" "Workflow" "CRM" "Near Sourcing" "Off Shoring" or whatever other new name for old tech that might fly across executive management's desk. That is for CEOs and people who don't know what the fuck they are talking about to chase, and for us to implement.
  • Are we talking about IT professionals or managers? Since outsourcing became a dirty word with a proven track record of job losses in exchange for questionable gains it was re-badged as the "cloud".

    IT professionals by and large recognize in function that the cloud is just today's shiny version of a main frame and dumb terminals. IT Managers see the "Cloud" as a way to outsource services and reduce costs. We saw the same thing when everyone thought you could outsource all the IT jobs to India.

    I'm at a place n

    • IT professionals by and large recognize in function that the cloud is just today's shiny version of a main frame and dumb terminals.

      I have been shouting this from the rooftops for the past two years. People still just don't get it.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        I have been shouting this from the rooftops for the past two years. People still just don't get it.

        That's not cloud hosting, that's just remote hosting, colocation, virtual server, whatever. Cloud services are where there's a pool of resources and you ask for resources as you need them and you are charged as you use them and you don't have to worry about anything other than submitting jobs and waiting for results. And your data is stored on their server and those pay-as-you-go instances can access it.

        A lot of stuff is called cloud that has no business being called cloud. It's only remote, or hosted.

    • by tompaulco (629533)
      Outsourcing is outsourcing, whether it's to India, a contract house, the cloud or your own user base.
      Many companies outsource internally all the time. For example, once upon a time, you turned in all your expenses to a $30,000 a year office assistant to compile and post the expenses. However, now they have "saved money" by eliminating this position, buying some fancy (and slow and unusable) third party web application, and instead of having someone inexpensive and familiar with expenses and expense polic
  • But it is Easier! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bobbied (2522392) on Monday June 11, 2012 @04:00PM (#40288043)

    Moving to the cloud is easier, which is why we keep considering it. It is easier to off load the work onto some cloud operator who is supposed to do it better and possibly cheaper, or at least it LOOKS easier. No more dealing with backup tapes, No more dealing with software licenses and the like, just pay your vendor of choice copy all your data onto the cloud and start tossing hardware and the people that managed it out the door.

    Problem here is that doing this job right, on a budget, and on time is FAR from easy. Plus, it is going to be very difficult to verify that your vendor is actually doing the job correctly, considering that the hardware isn't accessible, being located in some server room some distance away. Who knows if they actually do backups of anything, much less actually do off site storage of recovery media. My guess is that as competition in this area heats up, prices will fall with quality falling too. Costs will be trimmed by eliminating skilled labor and without skilled labor the whole house of cards will fall.

    Seems to me that the cloud may be a short term gain for most, but in the long run, dumping your infrastructure and the people that go with it is going to bite you eventually, unless the business is very small.

    Finally, the biggest messes I've had to clean up had very little to do with a hardware failure or some loss of data. The worst messes I've seen where caused by some administrative error.... Replacing the wrong disk in the RAID, causing the total data loss or not thinking though a command before hitting enter. I don't see how being on a cloud will fix this kind of thing.

    • Plus, your cloud vendor is in the IT business like everybody else. Like any IT business (or any business for that matter), they have a bottom line to watch and will choose to provide the minimal acceptable service to maximize profits, or they will charge a lot extra to exceed those standards. But, unlike your business, when they need to make business decisions that lead to cost reductions, you don't necessarily know about it until it is too late.

  • If you outsource most of your IT workload to the cloud, you'll be stuck with it, and it becomes very difficult to upgrade services/applications. I know some companies that outsource their email and regret it. They can't use addon features that some applications/databases require, service is painfully slow, archiving is a pain and expensive. It's just not worth it.
  • When the Cloud is a bunch a servers that sit in the US which are subject to laws that enable the US to snoop through your private data at will the answer has been, and will continue to be "no".

    Not to mention that more of those laws seem to be on the way. I would say that any business/government should find that it is unacceptable and unethical to potentially subject your clients to that (unless already subject to US law by residing there already in which case it doesn't really matter).

  • They didn't involve my office in the process at all. They knew they wanted to dump their big ERP for something else, but they chose a cloud based SaaS solution and we warned them that it was probably not a good idea considering their size. Now we get tech support calls almost every day complaining that the SaaS website is frozen, and all we can do is shrug and call the SaaS company's support line because we have no control over it. My boss didn't want to tell them "I told you so" but...
  • the "cloud" is the latest (in a long line) of over used buzz words

    are you running a few virtual machines on a couple of midlevel servers? probably not "cloud computing"

    are you considering virtualizing a large number of servers to achieve high performance/high availability/infrastructure as a service/or some other "as a service" buzzword? probably "cloud computing"

    where your "cloud configuration" exists is another issue. there was an article (Forbes maybe) that pointed out how much less money is requ

  • The end result of a catastrophic failure or data loss event is exactly the same whether you own the service or contract it out.

    This is MBA perspective, not in the trenches. In MBA-land a one day outage is a one day outage, doesn't much matter. In the trenches a one day cloud outage means you lay at the beach and occasionally dial into a conference call, whereas a one day non-cloud outage means you spend 24 hours in the office slinging hardware and backup tapes.

    • by Todd Knarr (15451)

      True, but the flip side is that I have the ability to keep a one-day non-cloud outage to one day by putting effort into it. I have control over what happens. If it's a non-cloud outage I have no control over how long it'll last. That all depends on the vendor and how much priority they put on fixing things, which leaves me in the unenviable position not of laying on the beach but of constantly being on conference calls having to tell upper management "No, we don't know what happened. No, we don't know when

  • All that stakeholders care about is results. If you have an infrastructure problem internally and push things to the cloud to solve it (as the summary discusses) and your cloud vendor is not 100%, your stakeholders are still going to come after you (meaning I.T.). After all, they really shouldn't have to worry about where data is stored or how it is accessed. That is your job (I.T.) not theirs. On the other hand, any problems with service affects their jobs and your department (I.T.) is at fault regardl

  • All a recipe for disaster IMO.


    Then again, I'm one of those infosec control-freak types who will corner a salesperson and brutally interrogate them over the crap their iPad has brought into my networks, or even better, the confidential documents they store in public, online data warehouses...

    "You put WHAT on Google Docs??!!"

    YMMV.


    Keep it in house. That way, when something inevitably gets fucked, you can actually do something about it.
  • Most of the cloud (IaaS, SaaS, whatever) services out there boils down to this: you are outsourcing some or all of your infrastructure (losing control) and are still saddled with all of the responsibility to make it work.

    It is yet another way to hack away at the internal IT cost center. Can "cloud" be a good idea? Sure, if you are delivering metered services (Netflix, SaaS), or are entirely office-less.

    We outsourced our fax, CRM, and backup and it is "fine." Management thinks it's fantastic because it is so

  • by Zenin (266666) on Monday June 11, 2012 @06:23PM (#40289683) Homepage

    We're looking very seriously at the cloud for all new deployments and likely catching a few existing systems.

    Not generic things like email or whatever, but for our own company applications. Cost is a major consideration sure, but honestly the biggest win I'm looking for is being able to specify a deployment in code (XML, whatever) and actually see it executed correctly and timely. The ability to deploy an entire infrastructure with the same ease we currently have of typing "make all" to compile.

    Server allocations, network ACL settings, storage needs, all of it. All the stuff that currently takes 3-5 teams (DB operations, Sysadmins, Network Operations, etc, etc) a few weeks or months to do, screw up, screw up again, redo thrice, etc. None of this is particularly fancy or new, it's the same basic requests every time. Yet IT can never, ever deploy anything quickly, accurately, or efficiently.

    And it's not just this company's IT. It's most every company's IT department. I know, I know, there's a bazillion reasons why this or that can't happen in whatever way, etc. I don't give a flying fuck about the excuses, by bosses sure as hell don't, at the end of the day NOT ONE is ever valid.

    The cloud promises to replace all that repetitive deployment headache with the ability to simply specify what we need in a tidy little XML file and press Go. We're talking about taking a part of our SDLC that previously took weeks or months and doing it in seconds. Accurately. Reliably. Repetitively. Without complaints. Without obstacles. Without lost email. Without fat fingers.

    That is why your IT department should be incredibly scared of the cloud. Because you've been doing a shit job for decades and now someone has finally figured out how to literally replace yall with 5 lines of script code.

    This isn't a question of outsourcing ("internal" clouds are just fine), this is a question of obsolescence. Most of the human hands in a typical IT department are going to have all the modern relevance of a horse and buggy repairman.

  • I used to run regional ISP's for a living (~150k users in multiple states). As an ISP, we had "cloud" infrastructure before it was cool. Among other things we had high speed internet connections, PRI connections, and vendor outsourced dial-up pools. As the head of technology for these companies, I was unable to see anything past my router interface (except incoming traffic, of course). When the T-1 to a customer crashed, there was absolutely nothing I could do except make good and damn well sure it wasn

  • If you contact with a substantial company, and insure there are service agreements in the contract, with penalties for not meeting them, you will be no worse off than housing the data center on site.

    Go with some fly by night or 1/2 free service, well, might as well have your boxes ready, just in case.

  • by Relayman (1068986) on Monday June 11, 2012 @09:00PM (#40290881)
    The IT business loves its fads. Remember client/server? Remember when green screens were passe and everything had to be rewritten as a GUI? Remember when Novell Networking was all the rage? Remember when IBM's Systems Application Architecture (SAA) was hot stuff? Remember when COBOL then Java was going to be platform-independent and displace all other languages? Remember when everything was going to be outsourced to India, then Brazil? Remember when Unix then .NET was going to rule the world? Remember CompuServe, AOL and Prodigy, each ignoring the coming Internet?

    IT loves its fads, but then it gets tired and moves on to the newest shiny thing. Cloud computing is no different; this fad shall pass. But part of the fad will still be with us; after all, both Unix and .net are still here.
    • by jacobsm (661831)

      As an IT professional with 33 years experience you're 100% right. Another fine example of management by magazine, or in this case web site.

  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @01:49AM (#40292555) Homepage

    Get your company's lawyers involved in negotiating with "cloud" providers. Make sure all the things that the "cloud" provider can screw up result in substantial financial penalties. Lawyers are paid to prepare for contingencies like that. If a "cloud" provider won't agree to enforceable service agreements, price out business interruption insurance coverage for the cloud provider's failure. Now you have a backup plan and costing for it.

There has been a little distress selling on the stock exchange. -- Thomas W. Lamont, October 29, 1929 (Black Tuesday)

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