02 June 2010

And Not a Sky Was in the Cloud

It should come as no surprise that, as I've mentioned a few times, I'm no fan of Cloud. My reasoning derives mostly from the notion of ownership and control. It's your data and processes; you are responsible for the core of what you're doing. Outsourcing such is foolish.

I read this today. What's amusing is that this problem, of using that which isn't yours, has existed since at least OS/VS1 and Multics; yet the Cloud Kiddies think they've discovered a new and interesting problem. There is simply no substitute for knowing what resources you need, and acquiring them.

Further, the Cloud approach, with anonymous resources, is not conducive to resource specific applications, such as those optimized for BCNF data on SSD.

There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.


Roboprog said...

Robert, I'll play devil's advocate for "the cloud". (is that some sort of monster-of-the-week from Star Trek?)

Cloud servers make sense for a very small internet startup. You need connectivity, but might not have much data, or even need many CPU cycles.

That said, I think we can identify a pretty good tipping point: if you are big enough to hire a system administrator, then you treat that person as a professional and let him or her select and maintain the hardware to be used, placed at a co-lo if needed.

Or, perhaps you think shared hosting is so evil that it should never, ever by used?

P.S. - too bad the OpenID implementation on your blogging site does not recognize yahoo.

Robert Young said...

From the point of view of this endeavor, the question is availability of SSD storage. The cloud providers I've looked at provide lowest common denominator services on commodity hardware. Thus spinning rust storage, which is Evil Incarnate so far as Dr. Codd is concerned.

By designing to such LCD systems, we perpetuate nonsense like Big Table and scads of java to process it. Yes, I see this as a righteous crusade, though I've no interest in taking Jerusalem.

Given that this is Google's free blog service, I'm not surprised Yahoo! isn't. I've not a Yahoo! ID, so far as I know.

And the popup comments is because FF 3.0.x (on Ubuntu only? I don't recall) won't do in-line comments. I'm upgrading Ubuntu "real soon now", and will get 3.6.x. I'll test comments again, and if I don't need popups I'll be glad to be rid of them.

Roboprog said...

Again, playing devil's advocate. *IF* you are a startup with small data, a cloud server might work for you. *IF* your data backup is small enough to transmit "home" on a regular basis, the data probably also fits in RAM, so you seldom touch the rust bucket anyway. You can still structure your data "naturally" (non-duplicative, order-independent normalization), instead of resorting to premature ISAM optimization (as if streaming to & from tapes, blah).

But of course, if you have a real established business, with a volume of sensitive data, you had bloody well take ownership of it, and the cloud business starts to look way too fuzzy.

Understand, it's not that I disagree with you, I just like picking at "always" and "never" type of statements and trying to figure out where the limits might be. :-)

Finally, I am *not* an OOP zealot. I strongly favor having multiple tools in the tool box. If that means having one of the "newer" (???) functional languages as one of the application layers on top of a well designed RDBMS, well, cool, then.

- - - -
This rant perhaps describes much of how I feel about application programming, and where "we" seem to be (stuck) now:
(speaking of way too much Java)