Cloud wizards

Back in 2009 I was tired of hearing the phrases “cloud computing” and “in the cloud”. These days I’m so numb to their meaninglessness that it doesn’t even phase me anymore. Somewhere along the way marketers took over the internet and ‘social media’ became a job position.

So what do I have against cloud computing? Would I rather build servers, deal with co-location, and suffer massive downtimes in order to change hardware specs? Of course not.

Let’s not lose sight of the big picture: virtualized servers are still servers. From a remote perspective the management is all the same and from a hardware perspective you still need to be responsible for your data in the event of a catastrophic failure.

While I am a huge proponent of “cloud” providers like Rackspace (heck I host all of my web sites on Cloud Server instances), let’s call a spade a spade: there is nothing magical about servers in the cloud, they are just virtualized instances running on a massively powerful hardware architecture.

Why go with virtualization over a dedicated box? Virtual servers are cheap - I don’t need to incur the startup costs that I would from a dedicated server. For a small business this is a huge deal; for larger business with intense data needs the dedicated solution will always provide the most security but for anything from tiny, small to very large applications the virtualized way is the ticket. Add more servers, remove them, reconfigure: you don’t get that kind of flexibility from traditional server hosting.

Long live cloud computing; but the name has to go. Did the term come from network diagrams where the Internet was represented as a cloud? I don’t think it’s a particularly clever analogy to consider your business assets living as disembodied entities “somewhere” in the networking cloud.

We’re fighting a losing battle if we believe we’re going to get the marketers to back off the internet now. But on the tech side let’s keep calling it what it is and try not to let the marketing buzz cloud our opinion of the technologies we use.