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Cost of the Cloud Expand / Collapse
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Posted Saturday, June 25, 2011 8:18 PM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Cost of the Cloud






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Post #1131724
Posted Monday, June 27, 2011 4:08 PM
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Is "cloud" the future? I am not qualified to decide that. My opinion however is based on history.

Lots of things have come to pass that I never thought would work. All of us are flawed in not being able to predict the future. Otherwise we would all be rich, as it would be simple to pick the right stocks.

On the other hand, business is selling the cloud. Previous sales pitches similar to this that failed include outsourcing (most companies now report that outsourcing costs more money than it saves), ASP software (Application Software Provider was the precursor to cloud, and failed miserably), Motorola's Irridium satellite phone, PDAs replacing PCs, cell phone replacing PCs, tablet PCs replacing PCs, network PCs replacing PCs. Now we have tablets (not the same thing as a tablet PC mind you) that actually are being accepted pretty well due to consumers thinking they are cool, but they aren't going to replace PCs either. Google is selling SAS in an attempt to take over for Microsoft. Apple is selling their version of the future, someone else will try next week.

There have been a lot of things that have worked well and sold enough units to be successful. Service companies are obviously doing well in this country since we really don't produce much of anything anymore. Still...

I for one am not a fan of the cloud. I think it is another marketing tool, like Web 2 and a million other things that some salesman decided he could make money on. There are too many risks for me to embrace it. What happens when my pipe to the Internet goes down? I can't control AT&T, but I can go into the data center and reboot a server. What happens when Cloud, LLC goes out of business? Where is my data now? The provider is gone, what recourse do I have? What happens when (not if, WHEN) they are hacked and my data is lost, and I get sued for losing credit card data, PII or PHI? I can control how I configure my network security, I can't control another company.

Will CEOs and CFOs embrace cloud? Yeah, a lot of them don't have the intelligence to understand the implications, and aren't savvy enough to ask the people they pay to know the risks. Will it eventually prove successful? Maybe. Will all of us be standing in line to sue when cloud companies cause us to have to deal with identity theft? Think about that before signing off on some initiative your boss is pressuring you into. Start thinking about how it will feel when you are the one affected by the lack of security at some other company.

Pessimistic view, yeah, I know. Reality tends to do that to you as you age and experience life.


Dave
Post #1132543
Posted Monday, June 27, 2011 5:57 PM


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Cloud in and of itself is perfectly fine and dandy and provides great flexibility, resiliency and decreases restore times (as opposed to hardware failure rebuilds or failed software updates).

What it doesnt do is guarantee to make things that much cheaper (varies on a case by case basis obviously), this is a common misconception.

The issue that I see is that people just say "cloud" without really thinking about what it is and the forms it can take.

I too am a little iffy re: the public cloud (for the reasons previously mentioned in another post), however, a private cloud offers a lot of productivity gains for a company. You still need to make an investment in hardware, software and skillsets, but the way in which you use that hardware suddenly becomes a lot more dynamic.

My 2 cents (disjointed sentences supplied free of charge)
Post #1132568
Posted Monday, June 27, 2011 6:10 PM


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There are definitely some areas that the cloud makes sense for. Small companies that can't afford large hardware and software outlays can definitely benefit or companies that need a lot of bandwidth. It can be difficult to get sufficient bandwidth to your office. As companies grow it makes sense to bring those servers in house. But there are businesses that absolutely would not exist if not for the cloud.

CEWII
Post #1132571
Posted Monday, June 27, 2011 7:22 PM
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Elliott Whitlow (6/27/2011)
There are definitely some areas that the cloud makes sense for. Small companies that can't afford large hardware and software outlays can definitely benefit or companies that need a lot of bandwidth. It can be difficult to get sufficient bandwidth to your office. As companies grow it makes sense to bring those servers in house. But there are businesses that absolutely would not exist if not for the cloud.

CEWII


I guess it depends on how you define cloud. Given it is new term, for new sales opportunities, to me it excludes things like hosting your servers somewhere where you still own the servers. A backup data center for example... There are companies today selling cloud as "you allow them to do everything", they own the servers, everything. There is a distinct difference between that and someone providing a web site for you.

As usual, marketing uses terms like cloud or web 2 whenever it serves them to make a sale.

I understand there may be companies that would not exist without what you term the "cloud". Quite possibly your definition is more correct than mine. If so, is it better to exist for a while than not to at all? Probably.

I just don't agree that your definition of cloud fits what marketing is selling. Cloud is about taking existing applications and services you use in house, and allowing someone else to manage them, data and all. At least that is what is being sold as cloud.

Again, it depends on how you define it.

And please don't read this as me being critical of you, not my intention, I am having some difficulty explaining what I am thinking. Probably because I need to stop working and go play some! COD anyone?


Dave
Post #1132585
Posted Monday, June 27, 2011 7:38 PM


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Again, it depends on how you define it.


Exactly right, and that is the problem. Sales people say "Cloud" as some kind of cureall.

"I need to make coffee. To the Cloud!"


Like any kind of IT solution, a GOOD sales person will ask what it is you wish to do, what problem it is you wish to fix, and so on and then see how or even if some form of a "cloud" will be of assistance.
In fact, if the sales person DOESN'T ask you that, if they just go "You will buy this, it will hyperstimulate the synergy of your Single Pane of Glass OSS/BSS application pool.", then tell them to take a hike as they clearly don't care about your business enough to find out anything about it.

Then of course any IT professional worth their salt should do a risk analysis to see if the benefits are there (including as you say: does this company look like they are a stayer).



It's the same discussion as hosted backup solutions in the past and i'm sure it will happen again in the future for some new technology (crystals!)

:)
Post #1132587
Posted Monday, June 27, 2011 7:45 PM


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djackson 22568 (6/27/2011)
Elliott Whitlow (6/27/2011)
There are definitely some areas that the cloud makes sense for. Small companies that can't afford large hardware and software outlays can definitely benefit or companies that need a lot of bandwidth. It can be difficult to get sufficient bandwidth to your office. As companies grow it makes sense to bring those servers in house. But there are businesses that absolutely would not exist if not for the cloud.

CEWII


I guess it depends on how you define cloud. Given it is new term, for new sales opportunities, to me it excludes things like hosting your servers somewhere where you still own the servers. A backup data center for example... There are companies today selling cloud as "you allow them to do everything", they own the servers, everything. There is a distinct difference between that and someone providing a web site for you.

As usual, marketing uses terms like cloud or web 2 whenever it serves them to make a sale.

I understand there may be companies that would not exist without what you term the "cloud". Quite possibly your definition is more correct than mine. If so, is it better to exist for a while than not to at all? Probably.

I just don't agree that your definition of cloud fits what marketing is selling. Cloud is about taking existing applications and services you use in house, and allowing someone else to manage them, data and all. At least that is what is being sold as cloud.

Again, it depends on how you define it.

And please don't read this as me being critical of you, not my intention, I am having some difficulty explaining what I am thinking. Probably because I need to stop working and go play some! COD anyone?
I don't see the cloud as me (or my company) owning the hardware, we may or may not own some of the software licenses and it may or may not be used to host internal apps. If I own the servers I consider that CO-LO or co-location. Co-lo also has some benefits especially in relation to bandwidth intensive applications. What I mean by companies that wouldn't otherwise exist really comes down to this, they couldn't afford to drop $10-20K for a few servers and the required licenses for OS and database licenses but could pony up a few hundred $ for a few months to get their venture off the ground, if it failed then so be it but if not then some growth allows them to re-evaluate their model and transition to other offerings, like co-lo or in-house. Not having to buy the hardware helps them out..

CEWII
Post #1132590
Posted Tuesday, June 28, 2011 6:24 AM


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Sometime in the late 90's I sat in a meeting with a potential client to whom we were trying to sell software and services. The client kept asking; "Is your code done in .NET?" (at the time, it was not) and I noticed the client kept referring to .NET as though it were a programming language. Finally I asked directly; "Do you know what .NET is?" The client looked me in the eye and said; "No, not really, but I know I need it..." Naturally, this begged the question - If you dont know what something is, how do you know you need it? Answer = Marketing, of course.

As I travel these days and meet with clients and potential clients I am starting to see the same thing happening with the Cloud. Otherwise intelligent highly talented people dont really know what the Cloud is - other than what they've read or seen in marketing materials - and yet they are convinced they "need" it.

Like any new technology, I am still not a believer in the Cloud - maybe in a few years it will be more shaken out, more shaped - but right now I dont think its "there" yet, and we have yet to experience some of the potential disasters with the Cloud that to me, seem inevitable.

What is absolutely frightening though is the dynamic where marketing convinces otherwise smart people that they "need" something. All I can think of is Jim Jones, the maniacal 'preacher' who convinced some 900 people to drink the Kool-Aid and kill themselves.

No, I dont think the Cloud is going to kill anyone - but in an industry like ours, with so many highly hyped technologies that flopped, I sure wish people would take the time to learn whether or not they really "need" something - before simply announcing they need it because a marketing brochure told them they did.


There's no such thing as dumb questions, only poorly thought-out answers...
Post #1132810
Posted Tuesday, June 28, 2011 9:03 AM
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Elliott Whitlow (6/27/2011)What I mean by companies that wouldn't otherwise exist really comes down to this, they couldn't afford to drop $10-20K for a few servers and the required licenses for OS and database licenses but could pony up a few hundred $ for a few months to get their venture off the ground, if it failed then so be it but if not then some growth allows them to re-evaluate their model and transition to other offerings, like co-lo or in-house. Not having to buy the hardware helps them out..

CEWII

Good example. And quite possibly a good reason to use it, but security and longevity are still critical issues to consider.


Dave
Post #1132965
Posted Tuesday, June 28, 2011 9:09 AM
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blandry (6/28/2011)
What is absolutely frightening though is the dynamic where marketing convinces otherwise smart people that they "need" something. All I can think of is Jim Jones, the maniacal 'preacher' who convinced some 900 people to drink the Kool-Aid and kill themselves.

No, I dont think the Cloud is going to kill anyone - but in an industry like ours, with so many highly hyped technologies that flopped, I sure wish people would take the time to learn whether or not they really "need" something - before simply announcing they need it because a marketing brochure told them they did.


It could kill someone. Think of the 20s and people jumping to their deaths after losing money in the stock crash. What is lots of middle class people see their lives destroyed when some company doesn't verify the security of their data in the cloud, and thousands have their credit (insert really strong profanity here!) I can see people giving up, the economy is already horrible, things are depressing for lots of people, one more straw could really break people.

Too often business simply dismisses the pain they cause their customers. Life is hard, having entities you have no control over screwing up your life can break people.

Hopefully I am just being overly pessimistic, but history has shown I am not.


Dave
Post #1132969
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