By Clive Gold, CTO Marketing, EMC Australia and New Zealand.
An article caught my eye, (here), Amazon is notifying its EC2 users that the servers are going to be re-booted to apply some patches. The gloss is coming off the ‘cloud hype’ and it’s a good thing! Why, because this illustrates why you need to care which technologies your cloud provider is building their services on.
This is the second time Amazon has hit the headlines due to ‘standard’ technology issues. The interesting issue is why do events that we are so used to in our environments make headlines. The ‘slowdowns’ and outages earlier indicated to us that the ‘cloud’ ideal of everything, always up was not realistic. Now we realise, that no matter what the perception is, there are real physical servers, storage, networks and operating systems in there and they require operating like any other technology. Certainly it’s built differently and operated differently, to minimise the ‘traditional’ IT limitations, but it’s still hardware technology and hardware is not commoditised, no matter what you hear from software vendors.
That is why it is important for you to understand which technologies the service has been built on. I know that goes against the ‘cloud’ ideal, but until the market grows and matures, and competition sorts out the good from the not so good services, you have to go the work. There is no need to evaluate to the extent you would if you were building your own, but I would suggest it is foolish to just abdicate completely.
Remember, that when something goes wrong, you cannot go to the business and say, “My provider let us down!”, after all you might purchase a service, but you can’t outsource responsibility! You know I’m not biased, but I would have more confidence if the service has a little sticker saying ‘EMC inside’, like my laptop has saying ‘Intel inside’.