Cloud explained for the layman

The cloud  is most definitely a buzzword  and as such there is no widely accepted definition of that it actually is.  One fact is certain, whatever you are selling from blueberry pie to cleaning fluids, if you can describe it as cloud you will get more airtime.

Ever since I stumbled on Arpanet,  I dreamed of a cloud much like the one we have.are developing so I have to be positive but I also have to warn that it is in its infancy.

The cloud is a new idea promoted by Big software businesses and many suggest by security agencies too, to get everyone’s data and computer power running a small hand full of public cloud services.

Please see my previous blog on the cloud here for a more detailed discussion

The services are neatly broken down into S, P, or I followed by “AAS”

AAS means “As A Service” what that means for you is that: you don’t own it, you don’t control it, you don’t know what it will cost next year, you cant control security of your systems and data , you may not be able to get to your systems and data at all if there is an outage ( We already had many of these) or if there is a minor war or civil unrest in the wrong location, or even a change of government and legislation could bring serious issues. Add to this the conflicting drives of web globalisation and closing borders and it’s not hard to see the risks and contradictions wrapped up in “the cloud” in 2017

S stands for software.  In reality this is nothing new, we had multi-tenanted systems like CRM etc for many years running on web servers and it’s hard to see what the cloud brings to this, other than perhaps an ability to virtualise it, i.e instead of a managed tenancy, you have your own virtual server online, again not by any means restricted to cloud.

P stands for Platform.  This  describes a scenario where you ahve all the servers you need provided for you and managed, but you build your own systems on the platform. This removes the need for an IT function to keep the platforms running and managed, but leaves you in charge of the systems.

I stands for infrastructure. This is a scenario whereby you simply get access to the cloud and you “spin-up” your own servers, firewalls, routers, load balances and everything else you need and you are responsible for all aspects of managing it. The befit here is that you are able to set exactly the resource you need at any time and scale up or down massively with a few clicks,

Finally there is hybrid architecture whereby you can have the IAAS offering and connect it seamless back to the ranch using a VPN so your two IT estates look and behave as one, giving you the best of both worlds

 Underlying the cloud is a data centre style framework with unlimited (hopefully) ability to create virtual servers for any purpose. Virtual means that they dint have to be installed on a specific server like the old days, any number could be installed side by side on a single machine, or across a whole lot of machines.

This configuration does provide a lot of benefits in flexibility, can potentially save on license fees, at least currently and when connected to the physical enterprise via virtual networks it provides a lot of flexibility and the extra security of being able to easily replicate data across different physical locations.
A particular downside is the growth in people being sold to over the CIOs head and committing organisations to dangerous situations both legally and technically. This is especially dangerous when there is any form of regulation involved or even data protection laws.

see also my previous blog about things to consider  

 
The “Explainned series” is planned to build into a trustworthy collection of explanations and commentaries that can be trusted to tell the story straight without any bias and attempt to make the subjects accessible to the layman. The latter is not always easy as some of these terms refer to genuinely complex subject matter, while others are simply too vague to pin down (there’s another word for that).
If you want an answer on something and you can’t find it easily, please use the comments section to just ask and I will apreciate not having to research the next topic.