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Andy Leonard

Andy Leonard is an author and engineer who enjoys building and automating data integration solutions. Andy is co-host of the Data Driven podcast. Andy is no longer updating this blog. His current blog is

The Sky Is Falling

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Published Monday, September 19, 2011 8:00 AM by andyleonard

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GrumpyOLDDba said:

To a certain degree many of us have been here already in the "outsourced" data centre. With a managed service centre there is also no need to have as many staff - I don't have the ability to do the math for a company with several hundred servers so can't draw a conclusion on cost.

My current client has an outsourced data centre; we are in over 80 countries worldwide so in a manner of senses we already work in the cloud as our users access our datacentre by internet.

For small companies the cloud may well be beneficial but do I see the demise of the company data centre? Not really as part of having your own servers is control and if you're a large financial institution you'd probably want to keep your data very secure and close to hand. If you're a financial trader would you want to rely on a cloud service? I think not.

The technology is evolving for sure, and you're absolutely right that you/we/I need to keep it within sight. However if I remember correctly didn't mainframe data centres sort of work much the same way as the "cloud" ? Good post!

September 19, 2011 7:58 AM

Calin said:

Agree with the Grumpy Old DBA - I see this as a ghost from the past, not the newest thing on the planet.

Also, I wouldn't trust my data and backups (just yet) to any kind of cloud. It's too cloudy, frankly - just remember Amazon, a couple of months ago.

September 19, 2011 9:08 AM

K. Brian Kelley said:

Andy, I love you, man, but I think you are neglecting key components in your analysis. The cloud is compelling, but one should still take a look at and remediate the potential risks if that's the direction you're going to go. It's not all rainbows and unicorns and bacon and SQL karaoke. A few things that hit me, off the top of my head:

- Backups: if you're doing them in house you can verify your backup/restore strategy. Depending on the cloud? Remember Sidekick. Remember Brent's "discussion" with Carbonite.

- Security: You are depending on the folks at the cloud to get it right. A SAS70 attestation and other docs may please your legal folks and your auditors, but it won't please your customers in a breach. Can you say "Sony PSN?" I thought so.

- Availability: If you own the data center and you control the equipment, you have options if things go down. In the cloud, you are just another number. And you may not get a straight answer on why you were down. Amazon and Google both have suffered outages recently.

- Sensitive Data/Intellectual Property: The data exists on someone else's systems. You are trusting that they will be on the up and up. But this is business and business is about competition. Are you really so sure they won't do something with your data? Outsourced companies have had a mixed result on this one. Most have been trustworthy. But there are enough bad apples out there that India has a new data privacy law. That should cause everyone to pause right there.

September 19, 2011 9:25 AM

Steve P said:

I've started learning Azure 3 times now, and I keep getting distracted by actual "do it now" work. I keep saying I'm going to pick the books back up, its just finding the time.

September 19, 2011 9:42 AM

alen said:

for all the hype about the cloud every time i read figures, only a small minority of companies actually use it. it's mostly a game changer for small companies, once you grow a lot of the costs are the same or higher than running your own infrastructure.

once a year or so i price out an amazon instance and compare to the cost of the top end server we just bought. Amazon is always more expensive.

September 19, 2011 10:50 AM

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