These past few weeks I’ve set myself to put some common knowledge about cloud technology to the test. The motivation for this was rooted after talking to many business owners about how they use the cloud in their organizations. To my surprise, I found that there are still a lot of doubts and skepticism about leaving the classic approach of building technology solutions in favor of using cloud technology.
Again, I admit I was surprised to find that the number of people for and against the cloud rounded close to 50-50. This is why I wanted to take time to delve into the core issues and see with an objective eye what I may seem to be missing due to my unconditional love for the cloud :).
So, without further due, here are the most common truths and myths about cloud technology.
This one’s a timeless classic among detractors of the cloud. The premise is that the cloud does not offer anything new in terms of serving your applications, because at the end of the day, they are still running in a server located somewhere in your cloud provider’s datacenter.
First of all, let me say that this is absolutely true. There is no breakthrough in terms of server technology that allows applications to run in an ether-like device or anything alien. The code of your app ends up running in a physical metal box which we still call a server to this day.
However, the infrastructure of servers in which your applications are now running inside the cloud provider is vastly superior in terms of performance, cost-effectiveness, security, and reliability than anything you may have dreamed of while building your private datacenter. There are also features like managed services and server-less technologies where you can actually abstract yourself from the actual servers or virtual machines and just focus your efforts on building your business applications, effectively bringing down development and support costs.
I’ve heard this one from a lot of people that claim their business applications are easy as 1, 2, 3 and there is no need for the complexities that the cloud brings. Hearing something like “My critical production app runs very well with two servers located in our HQ building” makes me wonder if these guys will ever be able to take vacations.
In their defense, there is definitely a learning curve on how things are done and managed once you move to the cloud. Is this a short curve? Definitely yes. The reason for this is the plethora of documentation, training, certifications and first-hand support of the cloud providers available, helping you in every step of your mission to transform.
The big pay off is that once you are done with the curve and are running entirely from the cloud, you can get access to advanced features and services that would have cost you hundreds of thousands in the past. Services that leverage big data, artificial intelligence and IoT are now literally one click away, saving you from the complexities of implementing everything from scratch in your own data centers.
I’ve left this one for last because it is probably the one that pains me the most to hear. I say this because it is a bias that affects mostly small businesses that think they do not have the resources to jump in the cloud wagon.
Of course, big businesses were some of the first to start moving their stuff to the cloud. And while they certainly put down a lot of investment into it, they also have much, much more infrastructure and business applications to deal with than a small business. You see, the beauty of cloud technology relies on the pricing model, in which you can pay-as-you-go or even better pay-as-you-use.
Another great advantage is that with just a minimal investment, a small business can start running their applications in the cloud and have access to the same level of technology that the big companies are using. Do you want to use the same database technologies Microsoft or Google are using to develop their products and services? Well, now you can and at an insignificant part of the cost that they had to put down to develop all their infrastructure. The only question is when and where do you want to compete with big business in terms of technology because the question about if you can compete is already yes.
Sebastian Dolber is the founder of Astor and the author of this article.