Just a couple of thoughts on the pros and cons of the cloud

Well, I’ve noticed this blog will languish if I wait until I get around to creating a carefully researched and impeccably reasoned post, so instead I’m going to comment off the top of my head, but more often.  Here’s my take some of the pro’s and cons of cloud computing.

I’m not going to rehash the stuff you read elsewhere, which usually has phrases like ‘impactful synergies of cross platform opportunities’  yadda yadda. Instead:

The good:

1) Rapidly expanding your site’s capacity, on a minutes, not weeks scale.  If you have weeks you can just buy more stuff.  A very important foundation, in the ‘duh’ category but often overlooked, is that you have to have a site with some traffic.  If you’re just launching, you don’t need the cloud.  If you don’t have spiky traffic you don’t need the cloud.  If nobody cares your site goes down you don’t need the cloud.  The world is already not beating a path to your door.

2)  Corollary of that is that if you’re not sure you need it, you don’t.

3)  Troubleshooting:  People used to have to figure out why a server or app wasn’t working,  Now you just kill a broken instance and start a fresh one.  (This eventually leads to not many people knowing how the instance works anymore).

The bad:

1)  So important it’s the only one I’ll list.  Your hosting provider can shut you down and lock you out instantly, for no reason, and you have no recourse.  Google people who’ve had all their Google accounts suspended.  Want to read some real horror stories, do the same thing for PayPal.   If they’re lucky, they may get their service restored in several days.

I haven’t read the EULA (end user license agreement, the thing on every piece of software you click on ‘I Agree’ without reading).  Who reads those?  Oh right, the lawyers read those.  Write them too.


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