The Cloud: (def’n) The symbol on the diagram indicating the portion of the server and network infrastructure that was far too complex and obfuscated for anyone to spend the time to accurately draw.
Where I keep my iphone selfies; the thing that streams my TV; the place where I accidentally on purpose leaked my sextape.
In all serious it’s a concept that’s changed our understanding our IT and computing forever.
In some ways it’s just a billing exercise to see if we can bill for cheap commodity compute utilization the same as we do other utility billing for power, gas and water consumption.
The technology that’s arisen around this is what gives it real potency. Being able to tie enterprise and consumer applications into just-in-time burstable resources via API using code. Sounds advanced? It is! And it’s advancing by the second.
If you haven’t I encourage everyone to investigate public cloud providers as potential option for spinning up your next server. You’ll learn a ton I guarantee it. Amazon AWS, Google Cloud Engine, Microsoft Azure and many others offer free-trial and heavy discounts for personal and educational use.
The real beauty of cloud is to be able to use code to build infrastructure using configuration tools like puppet and docker. The flat files and containers used to configure the environment can be version controlled, unit tested and stored in repository. This is a vastly different concept than running around with a windows server dvd.
If an application misbehaves the entire environment can be instantly destroyed and rebuilt from runbooks. This shift in mindstep is know as Pets Vs. Cattle
Making the decision to go to cloud isn’t difficult. Preparing your existing workloads for migration is entirely different kettle of fish. While there are many tools available for converting physical workloads into virtual, let’s just say your results may vary. Simple server environments are no problem, but if someone has been spending years perfecting the static monolith, it’s likely going to be a hell of a chore to migrate it, and you’ll almost certainly be rebuilding on the new virtual resources.
Sooner or later you’ll have to get there so might as well have at it hoss!
Helping Clients With Cloud Assessment
I’ll compile a list of every useful link that might help someone get up to speed in a hurry: