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Crazy Cloud Stories from the Trenches

Crazy Cloud Stories from the Trenches

Crazy Cloud Stories from the Trenches

Written by David Linthicum exclusively for Nelson Hilliard

“Is my data big enough?”
“How do I tell my employees to stop using their iPhones?”
“Will I get arrested for using the wrong cloud?”
“How many employees will my cloud fire this year; I need to know for my budget meeting?”
“Will you come here and tell our employees to stop doing cloud?”

As cloud computing becomes more commonplace, most deem it successful. However, there are things I’ve seen that are downright funny, and some that are sad. Here are some of my crazy cloud stories, as I deal with this technology in real life with real people.

In the early days of cloud computing consulting, I spent a large amount of time on the phone with people just explaining cloud computing. Also, they often wanted to confirm with me that they “are already doing the cloud.”

One CIO called and asked me to fly out to provide his board of directors with a presentation that their use of some virtualization was indeed a cloud…the objective was for them to stop asking about “this cloud thing.” I informed the CIO that mere virtualization was only virtualization; it lacked much of the benefits of cloud computing, such as self-provisioning, auto-provisioning, auto scaling, etc.. He then asked me how much it would take for me to change my option on that subject. I never called him back.

A shockingly common belief is that cloud computing is always self-funded. So, they want to move to cloud computing, but have no money to do so. Following the self-funded logic, if cloud will indeed save them money, then the cloud savings will pay for all the migration, planning, architecture, development, re-hosting, testing, and SLA negotiation. Not a chance.

Most self-funded fans went off to fall flat on their faces in an attempt to improve IT on the cheap. The savings is indeed there, but the investment needs to be there as well.

Finally, the numbers of bad cloud ideas that people bring to me over the years keep increasing. Ideas such as, “I want to provide a place for people to play videos in the cloud.” I think that’s been done. “I want to create a cloud just for criminals.” That was a new one. I don’t hear about most of the really bad ideas, because I won’t sign NDAs (my out). I guess they don’t want me to steal their “crime cloud” idea.

The common pattern is the lack of understanding of just what cloud computing is, and how many perceive the concept of cloud computing. Most enterprises are still struggling, and I suspect they will continue to struggle for some time.

There is certainly some humour in these stories, and I suspect I’ll be collecting them into the future. The underlying naivety is somewhat troubling, but that should begin to fade away as people become more cloud savvy. In the meantime, I continue to collect good stories for the bars at the cloud computing conferences.

   

David S. Linthicum is a managing director and chief cloud strategy officer at Deloitte Consulting, and an internationally recognized industry expert and thought leader.

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