Dark Clouds Overhead?

Dark Clouds Overhead?

The "Cloud."

Ever since a bunch of celebrities found themselves sprayed all over the internet without their permission, there has been a lot of fear and misunderstanding about the cloud.

What is the "cloud?" Where did it come from? Where is it? How does it work?

Of course, as with anything technology related, we could go into eye-glazing detail about how the cloud works and what the various layers are and do.

But for most of us, think of these Big 5 companies:

Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook.

Where do you "go" when you use their services? When you store photos, videos, files in their software, where is it?

In actual fact, it is copied to several bunkers (think Fort Knox), with armed guards and big fences. Each of those bunkers (data centres) consumes the same amount of electricity as a medium sized town, mostly to keep the computers inside from overheating.

Those big 5 (along with a few other enterprise companies like Oracle and Salesforce) buy more high end PC parts together than all the consumers in the world do, and some of them build their own PCs, ordering parts straight from the factory. They all use custom software to manage all of those files.

You can't get into the data centre unless you have a real reason to be there. No tourists.

They are connected with big fat cables of fibre optics to the internet, and due to their size and the amount of traffic that flows through them, the internet is adjusted to take them into account.

But the physical location of files (copied on multiple hard drives in multiple locations so that any one failure won't lose your precious photos) is the least of our concerns.

Back in the day, when us computer engineers were designing a system, there was always a boundary between what we controlled and what we didn't control. If we were drawing the system on a whiteboard, there was always a "cloud" off to the left, or at the top, indicating the source of things that we didn't control. Stuff in the "cloud" just happened, and we reacted to it.

Many, many companies have decided that they were going to become that "cloud." And the more they compete with each other, the more tools that are created to do stuff for us, so that our area of concern can shrink down to just a few things.

In fact, one can make a business run using only cloud tools, connecting tools together like toy building blocks. And in fact, there are several businesses focused on allowing you to do that!

In future posts, I will discuss cryptography and security, what to worry about and what not to worry about, and how to relax instead of worry when dealing with the cloud.

Look for a North Creek Flow Coaching session, starting in the Edmonton area soon!



PS #DataButler is adding more cloud capability in its DNA and so the release date has been moved out.

Categories: Business , Software