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The Cloud is Nothing Special

By Steve Jones, the news this week, there was a major announcement. Buck Woody (blog | @BuckWoody), longtime Microsoft employee and favorite speaker of many in the community, bought an iPad. That in and of itself, with Buck's frequent touting of Microsoft products, is amazing, and Buck wrote about it on his blog, noting that Windows Azure is platform independent. He even has a picture of a NASA app, something built on Azure, running on his new toy.

This week, SQL Azure finally gets its own web site, showcasing SQL Server in the cloud. I know lots of DBAs, and IT people in general might be down on computing in the cloud, but I'm not. I think that there are some problems, some applications, that will benefit from cloud computing. Not every instance of SQL Server should be moved to the cloud, but some will work better in the cloud. If nothing else, being able to use cloud services is another evolution of the hosted environments that so many small companies use today. You can get the services you need without the need to do as much administration or setup.

For most of us, the services that we might use on the Internet are platform independent. We don't care that Facebook uses Cassandra, or Google uses BigTable, or that TractorByNet uses whatever technology they use. We just want our particular service to work, and it doesn't mattter what the underlying technology is.

I think it's the same with cloud computing. Ultimately it doesn't matter if it's Azure, EC2, or some other service. Just like Brent Ozar views virtualization, I would bet that some of the time a cloud service is "good enough" to use.

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Steve Jones