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Cloud IT

Adopt the Cloud, Kill Your IT Career 241

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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

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

    by MickyTheIdiot ( 1032226 ) on Monday June 11, 2012 @03:40PM (#40287733) Homepage Journal

    Of course not. However, it's not my fault because my boss bought a shit cell phone that can't sink up with whatever before talking to me about it. By the very same (lack of) logic it is going to be my fault when the "cloud" explodes and goes down for three days. Many people are just not knowledgeable enough to understand where one sphere of influence begins and another ends. And it doesn't matter if the decision was made as a group; it's still YOUR fault.

    I help in every way possible, but no one knows everything when it's a subject as big as "computer."

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

    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.

  • 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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, 2012 @04:01PM (#40288071)

    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 betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Monday June 11, 2012 @04:05PM (#40288135)

    A cloud model is heavily relying on network resources for your computing needs, no?

    I guess that's the meaning today. Yesterday, it meant outsourcing your computation, which is the more typical context, but even then it refers to anything that involves outsourcing computation (storage included).

    Besides, in the "traditional" enterprise network server-client model, we already rely heavily on networked printing and networked file systems.

    Which is one of the reasons "cloud computing" is a pointless and meaningless term. It is nothing more than marketing, designed to convey a sense that there is something new under the sun when it comes to networked computers, when in fact people have been outsourcing computation and relying on networks since the 1960s.

  • 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.

  • Re:another... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sortius_nod ( 1080919 ) on Monday June 11, 2012 @05:09PM (#40288939) Homepage

    I have to agree. This summary is, well, crap. Anyone trying to "push problems" to somewhere/someone else rather than resolving the problem shouldn't be working in IT for a start.

    This is another "fear the cloud, it eats babies" post, which are becoming more frequent recently. I know I'd never make a decision of how/where to host apps/services purely on one criteria, eg: getting rid of my local headache.

    Yet another failure of an IDG article.

  • 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.

  • 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 ( 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

  • Re:oh please (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Marxist Hacker 42 ( 638312 ) * <> on Monday June 11, 2012 @06:55PM (#40289983) Homepage Journal

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

  • Re:another... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NotSanguine ( 1917456 ) on Monday June 11, 2012 @07:34PM (#40290259) Journal
    The text below is part of an email I sent my brother the other day when he suggested that my organization move our IT onto hosted servers (I refuse to use the 'c' word because it's just marketing bullshit). It details some of the reasons why using a hosting provider won't work for my organization. This is the case for my organization -- YMMV. Some of the text has been obfuscated to protect identities:

    Why don't we use hosted servers?

    Think about it like this, a [industry] business is based on information, confidentiality and good reputation.

    How would you like it if you were involved in a [transaction] with, say, a [business] who mishandled funds related to [your stuff]. Your [representative] puts all his files on a hosted EC3 or Azure server and there's a breach. Those documents could well include confidential communications, financial information, etc., etc., etc., Now your confidential information is out in the wild.

    What would that say about the trustworthiness of your [representative] and his/her processes?

    We employ multi-layered security to ensure that doesn't happen. We control who has physical access to our VM infrastructure as well as network access. Those who have administrative access are all employees of [business]. They're not employees of a third party who has no stake (other than retaining the revenue stream) in the success of the [business].

    And I haven't even touched on the network bandwidth issues -- we have to manage and process huge amounts of data, much of which comes from our customers.. If I send you a couple dozen DVDs, will [your hosting provider] load them up onto the server? No? Then we have to transfer huge datasets of customer data across the internet So then we need to increase the size of our network pipes. What's the latency between [provider's] data centers and Europe? Asia?

    We get anywhere from sub-millisecond to 10-15ms latency between our offices and our virtual infrastructure. Unless we move our offices into the [provider's] data centers, we won't get anything close to that.

    I could go on and on and on.

    Bottom line, hosted servers are great. 95% of our servers are VMs. We just host them on our own virtualization infrastructure. If you're a start up or a small company like [other person], it *may* make sense. For medium and large businesses, not so much.

    It's all about fitting the infrastructure to the business model.

  • 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.

Did you hear that two rabbits escaped from the zoo and so far they have only recaptured 116 of them?