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Adopt the Cloud, Kill Your IT Career

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the not-my-problem dept.

Cloud 241

snydeq writes "IT professionals jumping into the cloud with both feet beware: It's irresponsible to think that just because you push a problem outside your office, it ceases to be your problem. It's not just the possibility of empty promises and integration issues that dog the cloud decision; it's also the upgrade to the new devil, the one you don't know. You might be eager to relinquish responsibility of a cranky infrastructure component and push the headaches to a cloud vendor, but in reality you aren't doing that at all. Instead, you're adding another avenue for the blame to follow. The end result of a catastrophic failure or data loss event is exactly the same whether you own the service or contract it out.'"

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Kill your career... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40287573)

or vagina

another... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40287577)

slashdot world

Re:another... (4, Insightful)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | more than 2 years ago | (#40287907)

Re:another... (4, Insightful)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288939)

I have to agree. This summary is, well, crap. Anyone trying to "push problems" to somewhere/someone else rather than resolving the problem shouldn't be working in IT for a start.

This is another "fear the cloud, it eats babies" post, which are becoming more frequent recently. I know I'd never make a decision of how/where to host apps/services purely on one criteria, eg: getting rid of my local headache.

Yet another failure of an IDG article.

oh please (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40287595)

no one even knows what the cloud is. It's everything, it's nothing, it's cheaper, it's not.

run your IT shop like everything else, with common sense. Can external hosting work sometimes? sure, if so, do it and stop worrying about it.

Re:oh please (4, Funny)

Flyerman (1728812) | more than 2 years ago | (#40289109)

Ohhhh, and when you can't use external hosting, put it on your "private cloud."

I.T. curse (5, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40287631)

Since you "know computers" it will still be your problem.

If I had a dime for every time I got blamed or was asked to fix something that was clearly outside of my sphere of influence...
well, I probably wouldn't be reading slashdot right now.

Re:I.T. curse (0)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40287669)

Why? Would you suddenly lose all peripheral interest in this sort of subject matter just because you were a professional?

Re:I.T. curse (5, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40287733)

Of course not. However, it's not my fault because my boss bought a shit cell phone that can't sink up with whatever before talking to me about it. By the very same (lack of) logic it is going to be my fault when the "cloud" explodes and goes down for three days. Many people are just not knowledgeable enough to understand where one sphere of influence begins and another ends. And it doesn't matter if the decision was made as a group; it's still YOUR fault.

I help in every way possible, but no one knows everything when it's a subject as big as "computer."

Re:I.T. curse (4, Interesting)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288103)

Of course not. However, it's not my fault because my boss bought a shit cell phone that can't sink up with whatever before talking to me about it. By the very same (lack of) logic it is going to be my fault when the "cloud" explodes and goes down for three days. Many people are just not knowledgeable enough to understand where one sphere of influence begins and another ends. "

I hear that. I've had several executives ask me if I could reset their AOL password. :-/

Re:I.T. curse (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40288275)

However, it's not my fault because my boss bought a shit cell phone that can't sink up with whatever

shit cell phone that can't sink up with whatever

sink up

Good god, man. It's synching. Short for synchronizing. Or am I just not hip with the newspeak?

Re:I.T. curse (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40288425)

I for one welcome our new upwards-sinking cell phone overlords.

Re:I.T. curse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40288627)

Good god, man. It's synching. Short for synchronizing. Or am I just not hip with the newspeak?

It's sync [reference.com] . "Synch" looks like it would sound more like "cinch [reference.com] ". But otherwise you are correct.

The last time I "sinked" my phone, I had to buy a new one since it wasn't waterproof. :-)

Re:I.T. curse (1)

caknuckle (2521404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288647)

However, it's not my fault because my boss bought a shit cell phone that can't sink up with whatever

shit cell phone that can't sink up with whatever

sink up

Good god, man. It's synching. Short for synchronizing. Or am I just not hip with the newspeak?

Good god man, it could also be syncing. http://thelousylinguist.blogspot.com/2010/09/syncing-vs-synching.html [blogspot.com] .
I personally think synching looks like it should be pronounced "cinch-ing".

Re:I.T. curse (1)

Shoten (260439) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288443)

Of course not. However, it's not my fault because my boss bought a shit cell phone that can't sink up with whatever before talking to me about it. By the very same (lack of) logic it is going to be my fault when the "cloud" explodes and goes down for three days. Many people are just not knowledgeable enough to understand where one sphere of influence begins and another ends. And it doesn't matter if the decision was made as a group; it's still YOUR fault.

I help in every way possible, but no one knows everything when it's a subject as big as "computer."

You're not entirely powerless (or blameless) when dealing with someone like that. The difference between competent IT professionals and *great* IT professionals is the ability to 'manage up,' to get themselves injected into the decision process of those above them. By doing so, they are able to prevent poor choices from being made, and in doing so lower the amount of disruption...and along the same path, they also reduce the overall amount of blame there is to pass around. Consultants love to use the phrase "trusted advisor," because that's the best position to be in with regard to their client...the same holds true with your boss. Any knowledge-based career is as much about marketing yourself to others as it is actually performing the core work of your skillset.

Re:I.T. curse (0)

umghhh (965931) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288651)

This of course works in majority of organisations or? I mean in no shop I have been an employee is listen to unless there is a good reason. At some point it becomes annoying to have right over your boss even if he is kind enuff to admit you were right again - I mean what is the point if he knew you could have been right, decided otherwise, let all of us suffer and came out on the other side to say: 'you were right!' - that is just pissing me off now. I clearly recall last time they actually listened at least once in a while: when I was external consultant. As soon as I swapped towards slavery of a monthly wage they did not even bothered to to cater for my work place: suddenly I had no work place for 6 or 8 weeks when the only thing that changed was my employment status. Funny that or?

Re:I.T. curse (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40288753)

Or vagina.

Re:I.T. curse (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288923)

Micky get back to work getting IE 6 to function on the big bosses IPOD! Get XP on there!!

In a more serious note it still is your fault if you od not have a great IT infrastructure. I had this debate with another slashdotter where he attacked the person as incompetent because his boss did not want to pay $900 for a backup system for 1million dollars worth of data.

His response was, well he agreed it was fine and took the job right? He didn't sell himself, and surely he didn't quit if he was worth his fault so he was just as part of the problem.

If you suggested to management to use the cloud then it is your fault as the I.T. guy to put the risk in one basket so to speak when it fails. If you are not part of the group that makes decisions then Micky I suggest you look elsewhere for work. You are not respected and any IT manager worth his or her salt listens and has meetings with all IT all the way down to helpdesk to gain input before making critical decisions. There are many corporations who still feel IT has no value and is just a cost center. Now is the time prove otherwise and if you have more than 3 years experience you can leave and let some other schmuck out of college deal with this.

Re:I.T. curse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40287847)

Why? Would you suddenly lose all peripheral interest in this sort of subject matter just because you were a professional?

No, he'd be so filthy, stinking rich from dimes alone that he'd be one of the whackjobs making or sending out lobbyists to make laws about technology, relieving him from the responsibility of knowing a damn thing about it, as is the case right now with rich whackjobs and technology. And then would come the hookers and blow, and he'd be set for life without having to worry about what the plebs in the scary rooms with all the nerdy computers are doing, so long as they're not stopping the aforementioned hookers and blow.

Re:I.T. curse (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288873)

If being filthy stinking rich causes one to lose peripheral interest in the things they enjoy, like nerdtoys, programming, and all things geek.

I sincerely hope that I will always remain poor.

Re:I.T. curse (2)

lipanitech (2620815) | more than 2 years ago | (#40287719)

I hate the stuff I get blamed for and its not my fault because they decided to use the cloud.

Re:I.T. curse (4, Interesting)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288219)

I've never had a big problem with that for the (very few) services we do outsource.

"Salesforce is really slow!" *
"Hold... I've checked everything on our end, from your workstation out, and we're 100%. It's Salesforce."
"Those fuckers."

The real trick is in keeping an eye on how often you're actually hearing things like that and how often it's the outside provider's fault. Because, believe me, your coworkers would be doing the same for your internally hosted solution.

* Random example I get pretty rarely. We haven't had SF go down outside of scheduled maintenance in the last four years.

Re:I.T. curse (4, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288037)

And rightly so. Some IT managers like outsourcing because they think they're outsourcing accountability as well. Wrong: when you make the decision to outsource or move stuff to the cloud, it is your responsibility to do some due diligence on the vendor, make sure there's a sensible SLA, and have contingency plans just like you had when the servers were still under your control. Regarding the latter point: a lot of managers forget that when disaster strikes in their own data center, they are in control, and they can allocate resources and extra funds towards getting the most important servers back up first. But when disaster strikes your cloud provider, what priority will you get, when there's thousands of angry clients (including a number of fortune 500 companies) all shouting to get their service restored first?

That doesn't mean that outsourcing and the cloud are bad per se. It means that when you make that decision, you should apply the more or less similar skills and considerations as you did when you still ran your own data center. You as an IT manager are still end responsible for delivering services to the business, and you cannot assume the cloud is a black box that always works. Plan accordingly.

Re:I.T. curse (1)

thodelu (1748596) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288199)

Deja vu... I read the same exact comment before!!

Re:I.T. curse (4, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288251)

Regarding the latter point: a lot of managers forget that when disaster strikes in their own data center, they are in control, and they can allocate resources and extra funds towards getting the most important servers back up first.

I've been involved in virtualization and outsourcing on both sides buyer and seller for a bit more than 20 years. This aspect is always forgotten by the PHBs.

If the email server explodes, I have $$$$$ high five figures per year of motivation to fix it ASAP. If an outsourced email provider explodes they have
$49.95/month or whatever of motivation to fix it. I have seen some very sad sights over the decades. If the cost of repair/support exceeds the cost of sales for a similar commission, too bad so sad. Oh your whole multi-million dollar business relies on working, email, oh well. It doesn't matter if we're talking about mainframe service bureau processing, or outsourced email/DNS/webhosting from the 90s/00s, or an online cloud provider, your uptime is not worth a penny more than you're paying for the service. You might, at best, get your provider to B.S. you a sense of urgency... but watch what they do, not what they say.

Depends on what cloud (2)

bleedingsamurai (2539410) | more than 2 years ago | (#40287637)

I think that if we adopt the cloud model for our internal networks (i.e. a private cloud) that would help improve manageability of the network.
Rather then outsource to someone else's cloud, create your own.

So much for definitions... (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40287675)

I guess "cloud" at this point means, "Running your programs on a computer with a network connection."

Re:So much for definitions... (0)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40287717)

Cloud can have defined scope. Its a network philosophy, like any other. Giving things proper names and then defining what you mean by that is fine when laying out a network. If you want a cloud paradigm design, thats awesome. It has meaning, as you define it. The term 'cloud', by itself is (ahem) nebulous.

Re:So much for definitions... (4, Interesting)

acoustix (123925) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288087)

Cloud can have defined scope. Its a network philosophy, like any other.

Nope. The term "cloud" was coined over a decade ago when using diagrams to display network topology. The cloud was a stencil or icon that represented the Internet or a group of unknown hardware that was managed by someone else.

It's like taking the term "broadband" whose original meaning was the ability to perform frequency multiplexing, whereas now it supposedly means high speed Internet access. The two definitions for broadband have absolutely nothing in common.

Re:So much for definitions... (1)

ppanon (16583) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288481)

Also see "bandwidth".

Re:So much for definitions... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40287759)

I think he means "VAXcluster". Only with so much baggage that you need processors one thousand times as fast to give the same sort of performance.

Re:So much for definitions... (1)

bleedingsamurai (2539410) | more than 2 years ago | (#40287957)

A cloud model is heavily relying on network resources for your computing needs, no?

Instead of handing out fat clients to all your users, why not host applications over the local network, and give users thin clients? The way I see it, it is less for them to break.
Besides, in the "traditional" enterprise network server-client model, we already rely heavily on networked printing and networked file systems.

Re:So much for definitions... (1)

bleedingsamurai (2539410) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288011)

* I mean, most people only ever seem to really use a text editor and a web browser.
A lot of accounting software and architecture design software is already networked to some extent.

I'm sure it would be impossible to move an entire network over to this model, but I think the bulk of a network could be implemented like this.

Re:So much for definitions... (3, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288135)

A cloud model is heavily relying on network resources for your computing needs, no?

I guess that's the meaning today. Yesterday, it meant outsourcing your computation, which is the more typical context, but even then it refers to anything that involves outsourcing computation (storage included).

Besides, in the "traditional" enterprise network server-client model, we already rely heavily on networked printing and networked file systems.

Which is one of the reasons "cloud computing" is a pointless and meaningless term. It is nothing more than marketing, designed to convey a sense that there is something new under the sun when it comes to networked computers, when in fact people have been outsourcing computation and relying on networks since the 1960s.

Re:So much for definitions... (1)

Sheik Yerbouti (96423) | more than 2 years ago | (#40289037)

Exactly the timesharing term was passe and they needed a new hip marketing term for the same thing thus "cloud" was born.

Re:So much for definitions... (1)

Bigby (659157) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288025)

I don't think this is just about a network connection. This goes into the costs of administration of outsourcing traditionally internal components. Now you need to rely on that external entity for service...whether that be a vendor dealing with the hardware or a vendor that supplies the service itself.

Re:So much for definitions... (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288069)

Except that the post I was replying to referred to a "private cloud," i.e. hosting things internally. If "cloud" no longer refers to outsourcing your computation, then it pretty much lost whatever semblance of meaning it might have had.

Re:So much for definitions... (1)

physburn (1095481) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288079)

No the cloud is about getting you job as IT man in the local office moved to IT man at Some Corp, who is current pay is subsubsized by there book shop profits, later local IT man will disappear, and Some Corp will hike up the prices.

Re:So much for definitions... (3, Funny)

Torinaga-Sama (189890) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288099)

I have started substituting the phrase " The Fog" for "The Cloud". It's starting to get kind of thick.

Re:So much for definitions... (1)

camperslo (704715) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288155)

I guess "cloud" at this point means, "Running your programs on a computer with a network connection."

Of course performance may fluctuate with the net. But volunteers may help to smooth things out and perform other tasks such as backups, like the folks at Mitmbs. (Man in the middle buffer service) Just think of the possibilities!

http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=249 [nationalde...gazine.org]

Re:Depends on what cloud (4, Insightful)

acoustix (123925) | more than 2 years ago | (#40287897)

It's called the "cloud" because in network diagrams we used an image of a cloud to describe the part of a network that isn't managed by us or the contents of the hardware is unknown. So to call something a "private cloud" means that while it's 100% under your control you have no fucking clue what hardware is running or how it is configured.

Congratulations. You just described yourself as being an admin of a network of which you have no clue.

Re:Depends on what cloud (2)

war4peace (1628283) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288035)

Maybe he's a manager, in which case he's entitled to have no fucking clue, because that's what average managers do.

Re:Depends on what cloud (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40288071)

The alternate usage of a cloud in the network diagram is to indicate "this part means a lot for us who do the work, but as far as you users know, it's all magic."

It's part of the cycle of upgrade theory. Sysadmins alternate between trying to keep the other departments aware of how complicated IT is and trying to keep them ignorant of the details. Neither actually works to get approval to requisition new hardware, but admins haven't found a third option yet.

Re:Depends on what cloud (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288091)

Actually, it has to do with the way that the end user or resource consumer deals with it. In a cloud setup the user doesn't know or care about how the pool of resource behind their machine runs, they just care that it does run and meets their SLA. Basically in larger organizations they just say we're going to pay for x CPU power, y hard disk space with features a,b,c and uptime of z. It's then up to the provisioning software to carve out those resources from the pool of available stuff.

Re:Depends on what cloud (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288347)

So to call something a "private cloud" means that while it's 100% under your control you have no fucking clue what hardware is running or how it is configured.

under your control in the very abstract sense of "We all work for the same company" but completely outside my control as in "Thats not my department".

private cloud = corporate HQ gives me several images on their vsphere cluster located in another state, I donno what state, and some space on the NAS that they supposedly back up and the appropriate holes and routes in the firewall.

None of us on either side "have admin". I have full admin control over my images, and they have no access to my images at all unless they basically break in, which they could do easily enough. I have no control whatsoever over their forest of virtualization servers and firewalls, although they supposedly have "some guy" who maintains it and occasionally randomly upgrades and moves my images around, sometimes telling me before he does the work, or sometimes not.

Re:Depends on what cloud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40288483)

Yes, "Private Cloud" is a buzzword. But the latest use has a couple definitions:

1: Allow any user or group inside the company to create, expand, shrink, and delete VMs without requiring assistance from IT.

2: Keep departments separate so Finance's VMs can't be accessed by the blokes down in receiving.

3: Allow VMs to keep running even if hardware croaks.

The difference between a cloud and a datacenter are pure semantics in some ways, but the key is abstracting the servers from the "customer" which is the end user.

Re:Depends on what cloud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40288935)

The cloud is really great for those large complex code segments that took multiple levels of conceptualizing, budgeting, scheduling, design, coding, review, testing, and patching to create, especially where they are to be deployed by many.

So I look forward to the Windows shut-down menu code living in the cloud. It should really work well with the Facebook integration too.

s/unknown/unimportant/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40288549)

A much nicer euphemism than "I have no fucking clue how that part gets done" is "this part of the system doesn't care how that part of the system works."

Private Cloud could mean something as simple as "I got my abstractions right."

Re:Depends on what cloud (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40287983)

>>>I think that if we adopt the cloud model for our internal networks (i.e. a private cloud)

Why are we inventing new words when the old word "network" was just fine?

Re:Depends on what cloud (2)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288615)

Because network isn't enough.

Cloud storage is a hard drive on someone elses network.
Cloud computer is a computer on someone elses network.
Cloud web hosting is web hosting on someone elses computer on someone elses network.
Private cloud is [something] on your network.

I agree though, we really didn't need a buzz word. I just got laid off from a place, where the new owners mantra was "cloud, cloud, cloud". so our mail was moved to a "cloud" provider. They're just a provider for email. That was a nightmare. They have a replica of the in-house AD server. Changes on their side will be sent straight over to our side. So if someone made an account on the AD server on their side, and added it to the VPN Users, Remote Users, and Administrator groups, now they'd have a user account that would be able to connect to the office VPN, production VPN, and have full Administrator rights.

But hey, what's wrong with that, they promise security. They manage that security. We don't get access to their logs, their firewall management, their security configurations at all. If there is an incident, we have to ask them to tell us what happened. Will we find out the truth? Not a prayer. What ever the report says coming back, it will indemnify them from any wrong doing. The intruder could have been an outside intruder to their network. The report will most likely say that it was an administrator on their network accidentally added it so it showed up on our network. Why was it used to remotely access and download confidential internal materials? That must have been a problem on our side.

But hey, once you cloud everything, all the security problems end up with someone else. It becomes impossible to analyze any intrusion, find out who got access to what, or do anything at all about it.

It will flip around eventually, when companies lose enough due to problems with cloud providers. And hey, that'll help the economy come back. Instead of $49.95/mo to a company to handle the service, it will be handled in-house again. Companies will start hiring their own IT staff again, rather than outsourcing all those jobs to cloud providers and Indian call centers.

Re:Depends on what cloud (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288807)

Call me naiive, but I thought the biggest different between an internal network and a private cloud is abstraction, especially using technologies like vMotion, PowerHA and others so hardware failure won't knock down the virtual server.

This also might be combined with a technology like Citrix that also provides a layer of abstraction between app servers and users. Citrix isn't perfect, but it can provide a layer of security, as well as keeping the critical user apps (and their data) a department uses in one place, as opposed to on each desktop.

In any case, call it a data center or private cloud, it is inherently more secure than an offsite installation any day, just due to who physically possesses the computers.

You Are Making Yourself Into A Dispensible Gopher (2)

assertation (1255714) | more than 2 years ago | (#40287643)

I sort of agree with the blurb that started this thread.

Instead of being a skilled professional with power to change things and work on a problem, when you go to the cloud you demote yourself to a gopher who can only make complaints via a phone call when things don't work.

Aside from making yourself much more dispensable ( "Well, gee, *I* can call and complain too") you get the frustration of feeling powerless. At least with your own systems you can go in, take readings and try things.

Re:You Are Making Yourself Into A Dispensible Goph (1)

sticks_us (150624) | more than 2 years ago | (#40287707)

Agreed. What's worse is that your skillset gradually atrophies away until you're barely able to do anything of value, other than manage "Sales Force" passwords, or write throwaway scripts to use against someone's proprietary API.

The hard stuff? Well, that's why we have consultants!

Re:You Are Making Yourself Into A Dispensible Goph (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40288323)

It depends on what your role is. I work as a systems engineer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systems_engineering), but notably not in IT. My job involves a great deal of 'outsourcing' work to others, whether it is internal (specifying hardware or software requirements for other departments to build to) or external (coordinating suppliers and development partners). I'm responsible for making sure the integrated whole works; if I had to simultaneously know as much as the specialist engineers do on every single subject, from software algorithms to epoxy composition to thermal analysis (which would be impossible anyway) I wouldn't have time to do my job. Delegating that work to other specialists doesn't diminish my value; it empowers me to do other things. Sure, maybe some of my own original specialist skillset is diminished, but it is replaced with another skillset. So, I'm not sure the 'skills' argument is that important, unless as an individual IT worker you're concerned about staying in your field, which is your problem, not the companies.

Relinquishing control is a bigger issue. Sometimes that will work fine, sometimes it won't. One needs to analyze their situation, and do the risk assessments.

Re:You Are Making Yourself Into A Dispensible Goph (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40289073)

The trick is to get a job at a Cloud provider. No gopher status for me.

-cloud +outsourcing (4, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#40287683)

This has nothing specifically to do with "the cloud" at all. It's the same problem you have when you outsource anything -- the company you hired might not provide the quality you were expecting.

Can we please stop the re-hash of old ideas with buzzwords attached? This is a site for engineers, not MBA idiots.

Re:-cloud +outsourcing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40287789)

This is a site for engineers, not MBA idiots.

Or vagina.

Re:-cloud +outsourcing (1)

Tommy Bologna (2431404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288937)

Ha! Don't flatter yourself, this stopped being a site for engineers a decade ago.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news ... if decade old information can be considered news.

I am a graphic artist, not an engineer; and I am a frequent visitor.
You may now stop behaving like a self-important, self-righteous tool.

Re:-cloud +outsourcing (1)

randomsearch (1207102) | more than 2 years ago | (#40289169)

> Can we please stop the re-hash of old ideas with buzzwords attached? This is a site for engineers, not MBA idiots.

Outsourcing and cloud computing are different concepts.

Outsourcing usually refers to the practice of having someone else host and administer your IT infrastructure for you.

Cloud computing includes the practice of rental of infrastructure from others, whilst the administration of that infrastructure remains under your control.

Cloud computing is not just a buzzword. Try reading O'Reilly's "Cloud Application Architectures Building Applications and Infrastructure in the Cloud" for more information.

RS

I've been screaming this for months... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40287711)

...that just because it's "in the cloud", there are now bigger issues to worry about. That single Internet connection? Time to add redundancy. Backups? I wouldn't trust their SLA any farther than the door. Security? Hah!

Ya we had that problem (4, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#40287741)

Campus decided to outsource our e-mail to Microsoft BOPS, rather than just do Exchange (or something else) on campus. Problem was that doesn't mean that suddenly campus IT just gets to say "e-mail isn't our problem, call MS!" No, rather IT still hast o do front line support but now when there's a problem you have to call someone else, get the runaround, finger pointing, slow response, and so on.

Net result? We now have an Exchange server on campus and do e-mail that way.

It isn't like outsourcing something magically makes all problems go away, particularly user problems. So you still end up needing support for that, but then you get to deal with another layer of support, one that doesn't really give a shit if your stuff works or not.

Basically people need to STFU about the "cloud" and realize that it is what it always has been: outsourcing and evaluate if it makes sense on those merits. Basically outsourcing is a reasonable idea if you are too small to do something yourself, or if someone does a much better job because they are specialized at it. If neither of those are true, probably best not to outsource.

Re:Ya we had that problem (1)

Proteus (1926) | more than 2 years ago | (#40287937)

In other words, as it has been since time immemorial, IT decisions are being made without completing full due diligence. Including understanding and planning for support, training, and related costs.

Re:Ya we had that problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40288045)

Outsourcing to the cloud can be a way to help a cash-strapped start-up company build out an infrastructure less expensively. There are pluses and minuses to both solutions. True that cloud computing is NOT the panacea!

Re:Ya we had that problem (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288733)

Yes, that's one of the greatest benefits of the cloud. You can "spawn" infrastructure on a cost accessible for startups and small companies. But even then, it isn't smart to outsorce more responsibilities than the minimum necessary, or have no backup plan (normaly another service provider that you can hire fast, and data backups).

Re:Ya we had that problem (2)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288369)

Ya but you get Powershell access so if your campus IT knew their stuff they could just fix 90% of problems without even calling Microsoft.

Re:Ya we had that problem (5, Informative)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288965)

You don't get it.

You out source when the out sourcing provider comes in and takes your IT chief and the CEO out on a nice golfing trip and gives all the members of the IT teams ball point pens with their logo on it.

Then, after a while, the in-house software provider sales manager comes around and takes CXOs for nice island get away. And you get baseball caps with the company logo. Then they undo all the out sourced services and implement it in house.

Then comes Accenture and Infosys and Wipro. They tell the CXO, "look, some of you are into golf, some into island vacations. We don't want to force you. Just take our cold hard cash. We are from India. We know how important it is to make direct cash payments instead of the indirect in kind payments". They get thrown out.

Then the McKenzies and Price Waterhouses etc come in. They speak in obtuse languages, take the cold hard cash from Accenture, Wipro and Infosys, skim something off the top and pass the rest to CXO in a perfectly legal way. Of course you will get your token appreciation trinket. Probably a bamboo drink coaster for your coffee mug.

I don't agree (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40287835)

"The end result of a catastrophic failure or data loss event is exactly the same whether you own the service or contract it out"

I disagree. Instead of your head rolling, its likely to be your cloud providers head. Much better- in my opinion. For somebody who does something useful besides maintaining an aging fleet of XP machines, I think the cloud really helps people and companies get past the IT technicalities and get back to doing work that is productive and makes money.

It depends on what you use the cloud for. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40287839)

It depends on what you use the cloud for.

To exchange files inside an organization (Google Docs/Drive, Dropbox, whatever) ? You save the hassles of maintaining a file server, daily backups, etc. Also gives more features as in the ability of sharing some docs with third parties for example.

For mail ? Why not, there are plenty of services, all of which work probably better than a self maintained server.

For your mission critical custom application ? No way.

Re:It depends on what you use the cloud for. (3, Interesting)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#40287901)

You save the hassles of maintaining a file server, daily backups, etc. Also gives more features as in the ability of sharing some docs with third parties for example.

Of course when the Feds seize the server because some users have been sharing their music and movies with third parties, you're screwed.

Re:It depends on what you use the cloud for. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40288451)

You save the hassles of maintaining a file server, daily backups, etc. Also gives more features as in the ability of sharing some docs with third parties for example.

Of course when the Feds seize the server because some users have been sharing their music and movies with third parties, you're screwed.

Which should be part of your risk assessment and your source selection process. Heck, I can't even order nuts and bolts without the supplier being pre-approved by our legal team.

Certainly now (if not before) if I were looking for a service provider for a business, I would seek out the same sorts of draconian policies that I complain about as an Internet user. (That is, I would prefer providers that are anti-file sharing, anti-wikileaks, anti-anything controversial, etc.)

So What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40287875)

Moving IT infrastructure to the cloud doesn't mean you stop monitoring it and acting upon various problems. You just change the actors involved into getting a solution together.

It's the output that matters to business (1)

rbanzai (596355) | more than 2 years ago | (#40287927)

It doesn't matter if the processes that create the output are in your office, your server room or even your building. You're providing the services that produce the output the business needs and the business management wants. If I.T. has made the transition in your workplace to service provider you will always have a place as the person making sure the desired output is delivered. If management still sees I.T. as the people who take care of the computers then yes you'd have something to worry about.

MBAs don't care (1)

SirWhoopass (108232) | more than 2 years ago | (#40287961)

I imagine that the MBAs realize it simply outsources the problems. From their perspective this is better. If the IT guys screw up then all they can do is fire them. If the Cloud has a problem, then they have a breach of contract with [Amazon/Microsoft/etc].

Whether or not they could recover any significant damages doesn't matter. Or the probability of failure. They have someone outside the organization to hold accountable. Someone who can be sued.

Re:MBAs don't care (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288479)

Someone who can be sued.

ha ha ha ha thats the funniest thing I've read on /. in awhile. Sure, you can sue... and lose!

We used to call "cloud" by the name "outsourced" or buying a "service". Back in the 90s and 00s I worked for some providers in various fields and all my employers had legendary legal contracts. I could pretty much do anything non-criminal and you'd have no recourse, at best you could request binding arbitration with a arbiter of my choice at my jurisdiction on my terms. LOL. You have to realize we were selling to people who fundamentally didn't understand the product anyway; if they did, they would be competing with us.

I mean technically yes anyone can sue anyone for anything. But I have a signed contract that release me from all liability. And the amount we were charging for hosting was well into small claims court territory so even if by some utter miracle you got triple damages, prorated per day, that might be, what, maybe $10?

Re:MBAs don't care (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288727)

No, they have a worthless 'contract' that reads in the fine print: "too bad, so sad".

I have never in my career heard an IT person (1)

netsavior (627338) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288013)

I have never ever met a co-worker with an IT title or job description who pushed for "Cloud" "Workflow" "CRM" "Near Sourcing" "Off Shoring" or whatever other new name for old tech that might fly across executive management's desk. That is for CEOs and people who don't know what the fuck they are talking about to chase, and for us to implement.

IT professionals for IT managers? (1)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288041)

Are we talking about IT professionals or managers? Since outsourcing became a dirty word with a proven track record of job losses in exchange for questionable gains it was re-badged as the "cloud".

IT professionals by and large recognize in function that the cloud is just today's shiny version of a main frame and dumb terminals. IT Managers see the "Cloud" as a way to outsource services and reduce costs. We saw the same thing when everyone thought you could outsource all the IT jobs to India.

I'm at a place now where we have a brand new CIO. Our brand new CIO has heard about the BYOD trend. BYOD means that users buy their own computer and take purchase their own software. We will will even give the user an advance to pay for this. In and of itself this is not bad, but somehow the new CIO somehow thinks that this extends to our users also managing their own devices. In effect he thinks BYOD means that we can outsource computer management (back end stuff like patching, asset, inventory, licensing etc) to our user-base.

Outsourcing is outsourcing, whether it's to India, a contract house, the cloud or your own user base. Any time you hand over control to outsiders you are going to necessarily have problems, how does changing the label change the principals?

Re:IT professionals for IT managers? (2)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288339)

IT professionals by and large recognize in function that the cloud is just today's shiny version of a main frame and dumb terminals.

I have been shouting this from the rooftops for the past two years. People still just don't get it.

Re:IT professionals for IT managers? (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40289333)

I have been shouting this from the rooftops for the past two years. People still just don't get it.

That's not cloud hosting, that's just remote hosting, colocation, virtual server, whatever. Cloud services are where there's a pool of resources and you ask for resources as you need them and you are charged as you use them and you don't have to worry about anything other than submitting jobs and waiting for results. And your data is stored on their server and those pay-as-you-go instances can access it.

A lot of stuff is called cloud that has no business being called cloud. It's only remote, or hosted.

Re:IT professionals for IT managers? (2)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 2 years ago | (#40289003)

Outsourcing is outsourcing, whether it's to India, a contract house, the cloud or your own user base.
Many companies outsource internally all the time. For example, once upon a time, you turned in all your expenses to a $30,000 a year office assistant to compile and post the expenses. However, now they have "saved money" by eliminating this position, buying some fancy (and slow and unusable) third party web application, and instead of having someone inexpensive and familiar with expenses and expense policies doing the job day in and day out, we make the $100,000 a year developers and managers task switch to using this third party program. The net effect? One department gets to save $30k a year, while all the other departments probably have a cumulative loss of $100,000 or more.

But it is Easier! (4, Interesting)

bobbied (2522392) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288043)

Moving to the cloud is easier, which is why we keep considering it. It is easier to off load the work onto some cloud operator who is supposed to do it better and possibly cheaper, or at least it LOOKS easier. No more dealing with backup tapes, No more dealing with software licenses and the like, just pay your vendor of choice copy all your data onto the cloud and start tossing hardware and the people that managed it out the door.

Problem here is that doing this job right, on a budget, and on time is FAR from easy. Plus, it is going to be very difficult to verify that your vendor is actually doing the job correctly, considering that the hardware isn't accessible, being located in some server room some distance away. Who knows if they actually do backups of anything, much less actually do off site storage of recovery media. My guess is that as competition in this area heats up, prices will fall with quality falling too. Costs will be trimmed by eliminating skilled labor and without skilled labor the whole house of cards will fall.

Seems to me that the cloud may be a short term gain for most, but in the long run, dumping your infrastructure and the people that go with it is going to bite you eventually, unless the business is very small.

Finally, the biggest messes I've had to clean up had very little to do with a hardware failure or some loss of data. The worst messes I've seen where caused by some administrative error.... Replacing the wrong disk in the RAID, causing the total data loss or not thinking though a command before hitting enter. I don't see how being on a cloud will fix this kind of thing.

Plus... (2)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288659)

Plus, your cloud vendor is in the IT business like everybody else. Like any IT business (or any business for that matter), they have a bottom line to watch and will choose to provide the minimal acceptable service to maximize profits, or they will charge a lot extra to exceed those standards. But, unlike your business, when they need to make business decisions that lead to cost reductions, you don't necessarily know about it until it is too late.

The Cloud and MFP Copiers (1)

Parlett316 (112473) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288049)

I deal with large MFP copiers that can scan to email and I love "THE CLOUD". Since the two manufacturers I deal with cannot figure out TLS it's a huge issue. Then the IT guys yell at me cause he moved everything without ever asking if our equipment would have an issue.

Good thing Stunnel exists or we would be having major issues.

Re:The Cloud and MFP Copiers (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288617)

I deal with large MFP copiers that can scan to email and I love "THE CLOUD". Since the two manufacturers I deal with cannot figure out TLS it's a huge issue. Then the IT guys yell at me cause he moved everything without ever asking if our equipment would have an issue.

Good thing Stunnel exists or we would be having major issues.

Scanning to email has been around for the past 15 years. That really isn't "THE CLOUD."

Cloud Traps! (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288097)

If you outsource most of your IT workload to the cloud, you'll be stuck with it, and it becomes very difficult to upgrade services/applications. I know some companies that outsource their email and regret it. They can't use addon features that some applications/databases require, service is painfully slow, archiving is a pain and expensive. It's just not worth it.

USA USA USA!!! (1)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288221)

When the Cloud is a bunch a servers that sit in the US which are subject to laws that enable the US to snoop through your private data at will the answer has been, and will continue to be "no".

Not to mention that more of those laws seem to be on the way. I would say that any business/government should find that it is unacceptable and unethical to potentially subject your clients to that (unless already subject to US law by residing there already in which case it doesn't really matter).

Re:USA USA USA!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40289203)

Nah you're safe, we outsource everything!

One of our clients moved to the cloud on their own (2)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288223)

They didn't involve my office in the process at all. They knew they wanted to dump their big ERP for something else, but they chose a cloud based SaaS solution and we warned them that it was probably not a good idea considering their size. Now we get tech support calls almost every day complaining that the SaaS website is frozen, and all we can do is shrug and call the SaaS company's support line because we have no control over it. My boss didn't want to tell them "I told you so" but...

Exporting IT knowledge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40288265)

It's all about out sourcing and exporting national (would-be) treasure to cheap slave labor based markets
One day it'll bite ALL

private cloud/public cloud (2)

mbaGeek (1219224) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288299)

the "cloud" is the latest (in a long line) of over used buzz words

are you running a few virtual machines on a couple of midlevel servers? probably not "cloud computing"

are you considering virtualizing a large number of servers to achieve high performance/high availability/infrastructure as a service/or some other "as a service" buzzword? probably "cloud computing"

where your "cloud configuration" exists is another issue. there was an article (Forbes maybe) that pointed out how much less money is required to start/run an "Internet startups." With the "public cloud provider" being Amazon Web Services (i.e. just because you are using the "cloud" doesn't mean you outsourced everything)

remember that "I.T." is about helping a company do whatever it is they do - the need for "I.T. people" (especially in security, virtualization, and developers) is not going away, but if you are a "hardware only" tech, spending your day replacing power supplies and installing new hard drives, you don't have a future in corporate IT departments ...

Re:private cloud/public cloud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40288933)

People who need to touch the hardware can't be outsourced to India.

Keep as much in house as you can. . . . (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40288417)

Lest your sanity leave you.

Fun when things break and you and the folks responsible for the "other" side of things get into a blame-pointing game in a conference call.

" You have a bad transmitter ! "

" No YOU have a bad receiver ! "

" I'm not seeing any data from you ! "

" We're seeing data leaving fine, must be a problem on your end ! "

Bad enough when this happens within the same company, a nightmare when two get involved. :|

MBA perspective not trenches (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288541)

The end result of a catastrophic failure or data loss event is exactly the same whether you own the service or contract it out.

This is MBA perspective, not in the trenches. In MBA-land a one day outage is a one day outage, doesn't much matter. In the trenches a one day cloud outage means you lay at the beach and occasionally dial into a conference call, whereas a one day non-cloud outage means you spend 24 hours in the office slinging hardware and backup tapes.

Re:MBA perspective not trenches (2)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 2 years ago | (#40289059)

True, but the flip side is that I have the ability to keep a one-day non-cloud outage to one day by putting effort into it. I have control over what happens. If it's a non-cloud outage I have no control over how long it'll last. That all depends on the vendor and how much priority they put on fixing things, which leaves me in the unenviable position not of laying on the beach but of constantly being on conference calls having to tell upper management "No, we don't know what happened. No, we don't know when it'll be fixed. No, we can't do anything to speed recovery up.". Which, trust me, upper management does not like one bit.

All stakeholders care about.... (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288595)

All that stakeholders care about is results. If you have an infrastructure problem internally and push things to the cloud to solve it (as the summary discusses) and your cloud vendor is not 100%, your stakeholders are still going to come after you (meaning I.T.). After all, they really shouldn't have to worry about where data is stored or how it is accessed. That is your job (I.T.) not theirs. On the other hand, any problems with service affects their jobs and your department (I.T.) is at fault regardless if it is an internal problem or with a vendor you contracted with.

People complain about the bean counters all the time. They're a piece of cake, you just need to talk their language and show a decent ROI. Upset the sales or manufacturing side of things, though and you will be out on the street.

It's not that adopting the cloud kills your career. It's putting your career in the hands of outside vendors that has the potential to kill it.

The Cloud, BYOD, etc. (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40288621)

All a recipe for disaster IMO.


Then again, I'm one of those infosec control-freak types who will corner a salesperson and brutally interrogate them over the crap their iPad has brought into my networks, or even better, the confidential documents they store in public, online data warehouses...

"You put WHAT on Google Docs??!!"

YMMV.


Keep it in house. That way, when something inevitably gets fucked, you can actually do something about it.

barely literate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40288781)

The post is so full of mixed metaphor that it is nearly meaningless. The author should take a writing class, it might also improve their technical writing skills as well. I can only assume the worse from someone that who uses metaphor as a crutch (see what I did there).

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