The cloud is not magic

Just because it’s in the cloud doesn’t make it magic. And it can be very, very dangerous to assume that it is.

I recently talked to an enterprise client who has a group of developers who decided to go out, develop, and run their application on Amazon EC2. Great. It’s working well, it’s inexpensive, and they’re happy. So Central IT is figuring out what to do next.

I asked curiously, “Who is managing the servers?”

The client said, well, Amazon, of course!

Except Amazon doesn’t manage guest operating systems and applications.

It turns out that these developers believed in the magical cloud — an environment where everything was somehow mysteriously being taken care of by Amazon, so they had no need to do the usual maintenance tasks, including worrying about security — and had convinced IT Operations of this, too.

Imagine running Windows. Installed as-is, and never updated since then. Without anti-virus, or any other security measures, other than Amazon’s default firewall (which luckily defaults to largely closed).

Plus, they also assumed that auto-scaling was going to make their app magically scale. It’s not designed to automagically scale horizontally. Somebody is going to be an unhappy camper.

Cautionary tale for IT shops: Make sure you know what the cloud is and isn’t getting you.

Cautionary tale for cloud providers: What you’re actually providing may bear no resemblance to what your customer thinks you’re providing.

Bookmark and Share

Advertisements

Posted on June 8, 2010, in Infrastructure and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: