Public Cloud, Private Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, Connor Macleod..OK I may have added the last one in there but you get the gist. I’m not here to tell you what the cloud is, people will happily charge you £1000’s per day to do that for you. What I can do is make sure you don’t lose sight of your requirements. Wikipedia says ;
It is a model for enabling ubiquitous, on-demand access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., computer networks, servers, storage, applications and services), which can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort.
Of course it is! That’s that settled. A nebulous technology that has no home and can be spread like a net across the world in virtual data centers and far flung disparate shared storage nodes. It is a beautiful thing but….. For all the gigs of data travelleing at insane speeds around virtual networks there is something else that you need. It’s not clever or sexy and it’s not called ‘cumulus-connections’ or ‘storm-net’ or anything like that. It’s cabling or, for want of a more encompassing word, plumbing.
With an ever increasing dependence on data that is stored off premise and manipulated, modified and fired between transactional locations, a business needs an ever more robust connection to plug into this amorphous highway and a reliable and robust way of configuring it, both physically and logically. You may have storage with N+1 resilience and government level encryption, but it’s highly likely it gets there through a tangled mess of cable somewhere.
That’s not quite as sexy as ‘cloud’ I’ll admit, and I’m sure some of you at the back there are shouting ‘fibre’ and ‘microwave’. Well, my technically disruptive colleagues, your cables will ultimately follow the same paths and is likely lost in the myriad of spaghetti that is Telehouse or Global Switch. If you have services in a major DC and you haven’t visited I urge you to do so, whilst they really have improved things over the last few years set ups like the below still exist. This was One Wilshere in 2013.
Billions of phone calls, emails and Internet pages pass through One Wilshire every week because it is the primary terminus for major fiber-optic cable routes between Asia and North America….(1)
Shock and Awe
As I sit writing this I’m not despondent at all! The advancements we make in tech and services are genuinely the stuff of fantasy. What I urge you to do is not forget the little guy. The Italian fella with the moustache that does the plumbing. For all the exciting clouds (and damn if there aren’t some inspirational things happening) someone has to make sure it stays connected and on. Invest in the cloud in its many formats, cut your infrastructure costs but make sure you stay in control of how you can deliver the connection.
Build a resilient infrastructure and use a toolset that delivers predictable and repeatable results.
Alternatively, gaze upward and wonder how on earth your data is going to get through.