Production in the Cloud

By | October 7, 2015

This is my “Production in the Cloud” presentation form the recent TECHUNPLUGGED event in Amsterdam.

The skinny: It’s my opinion that public cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are ready for many enterprise production workloads. More than most of us think.

Sure…… there’ll be cases where they’re not a fit. But for those cases that are a fit….. you’d be hard pressed to find a more highly available and more world-class infrastructure to deploy on.

A few quick questions:

  • Do any of us really believe we can build better data centres than Amazon and Microsoft?
  • Do any of us really think we’re better at security than Amazon and Microsoft?
  • Do any of us really think we can build more highly available infrastructure than Amazon and Microsoft?

If you answered yes to any of the above…. then ask this final question…. can you do it at anywhere near the short term cost?

4 thoughts on “Production in the Cloud

  1. Jacob Fousel

    YES I can do it better.
    YES I already have.
    YES its cheaper.

    I have built a “datacenter” in a rack. We have fully redundant storage, host, appliance, network fabrics, security. ALL in a single rack, capable of running 300 full workload servers(SQL/Sybase/App/IIS/etc…, 250 VM’s for users, and several vAppliances as well. Everything is fully redundant, everything is HA. (per rack)

    For me this is a question of intelligence not of TCO. If your NOT smart enough to build it yourself, then YES, you are a prime candidate for these cloud based services.

  2. Jacob Fousel

    I wanted to summarize my statement above but the cut and past didn’t work…(I need to be smarter)


    Essentially I am the internal “cloud provider” for my division of the agency itself. If your not building your DC to be the “cloud provider of choice” then your going to be outsource and services like AWS and MsA will fill the gap for the dynamically/rapid changing IT environment of today. Top IT managers need agility, ability, efficiency, and the ability to scale rapidly….otherwise how are they supposed to sell/provide/market to internal customers. When they can’t do this, Microsoft and Amazon step in and say “WE CAN” and thus the push to cloud.

  3. Nigel Poulton Post author

    Thanks for comments Jacob.

    My initial reaction is that if you can do all of this better than AWS and Azure, then you might wanna try your hand at founding a startup and make your millions 😉

    While I don’t actually doubt that it’s possible to do this stuff better in-house. I genuinely struggle to see this as feasible long term. It’s a rat race and and the complexities of managing refresh cycles, vendors, patches etc mean that in the long run you’re betting on the wrong horse. I could be wrong. But to go back to the crappy analogy of electricty…. I don’t doubt back in the day there were folks that could design and isntall their own on-prem electricity better and cheaper than the utility companies. But in the long run the management, tech refresh etc makes it onorous. Let someone else deal with that.

    It’s a valiant fight running your own on prem cloud etc…. I just can’t help but think they’ll be relics and museum pieces in the not too distant future.

    Could be wrong though….

  4. Jacob Fousel

    AWS or Azure or any of the other myriad of Cloud service providers will definitely serve many small and medium size organizations as well as some large ones as well. These organization can’t spin up a DC in today’s fast paced environment without the AWS’s of the world. You have several valid points.

    I’m just in the camp that intelligence will ultimately prevail, and where you see “complexities” I see simplicity.
    Where you see management that bring on onerous, I implement systems that reduce this to mild effort.

    One last thing, I don’t do what I do for the money…I do it because it makes me feel good that my intelligence can be used not for profit. I work in the public sector and I feel great knowing my abilities went to the greater good for the people of my state, instead of some companies 4th quarter results for their shareholders. To settle on the idea that the “Cloud providers” can do it better, cheaper, and easier is truly just a realization that a lack of knowledge can now be overcome thru the use of these cloud providers.

    BUT, if you have the knowledge than you quickly realize the only difference in me and AWS or Azure is the ability expend the needed capital to accomplish the goal.

    I see this a simple solution in choice for my customers/coworkers/etc…

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