Recent industry buzz about cloud service level agreements (SLAs) and reliability miss the core point about cloud. Cloud is about agility, business models, consumerization of software and merciless pursuit of efficiency.
The fact that Amazon EC2 built its base without an “enterprise” SLA is exhibit #1 that the IT world changed and it’s not going back.
Here are my reasons why IT pandoras can’t get cloud back into the box.
#1. Cloud has vastly superior network connectivity
The concept of your users accessing your applications from inside your firewall is so 2005. Today’s reality is that significant amounts of network access is externally routed means that applications need to live where they have excellent bandwidth to their users and to other applications.
#2. Cloud has elastic consumption of resources
Cloud is not less expensive infrastructure, it is mainly more flexible. If you’re worried about an outage, then cloud is exactly the investment for you because you position a backup site at another location without having to pay for online resources. It’s much harder to take down a site that invests the time to design a system that dynamically reallocates load between sites.
#3. Cloud drives more robust architecture
The fact that cloud delivery is more opaque and modular without a five 9s SLA has driven a cloud application architecture revolution (see CAP). We have shifted the app paradigm from robust scale up hardware to robust scale out software. Also significant, DevOps innovations have made deployments repeatable and adaptable.
The only “logical” argument for pulling applications back from the cloud is to assert control over more of the delivery chain for your application. It the same reason that we think that driving is safer than flying – we’re the ones sitting behind the wheel when we drive. News flash – driving is NOT safer than flying.
Cloud applications are not about hardware infrastructure, they are about SOFTWARE. Perhaps one of the greatest disservices foisted on the market was saying cloud is synonymous with “Infrastructure as a Service” and “Virtualization.” Cloud applications are powerful because we created ways that circumvent the limitations of IaaS and VMs!