Google+ Followers

maandag 8 december 2014

Stop living with your head in the cloud!

First there was the computer. Then people began to work on computers in environments where data had to be shared, and the network was created. With the need for a central location to store data came the server and with the first server-crash came the redundant setup with multiple servers replicating data between them. As computing power requirements grew, so did the number of servers, until the only realistic name for it was a "server farm". These farms worked well, the were a group if servers working together behind a firewall and loadbalancer, with internal communications making the whole setup fully redundant.

But thats old technology, says marketing, today we use the cloud. The cloud is fast, safe, cheap, secure and scalable, it's perfect!

That sounds just peachy, what kind of marvel is this new "cloud" thing exactly? Well that's the brilliant bit, and it is really brilliant, you see, it's a group if servers working together behind a firewall and loadbalancer, with internal communications making the whole setup fully redundant.

No, that's not a copy/paste error, a cloud really is exactly what we used to call a "server farm".

Now I can hear you mumbling:

"But the cloud is virtualized!"
Virtual servers are still servers, with the same issues regarding crashes and security. Making processing share hardware was considered a bad thing until the word "cloud" was invented.

"But the cloud doesn't use servers, it uses instances!"
It either uses instances of servers. There are options to run an application as a service, which introduces a whole new set of risks.

"The could cannot be hacked!"
It's hooked up to the internet, therefor it can be hacked.
There is no such thing as an unhackable setup, the fact that you can login means that a hacker can too. In fact the risk is greater at a cloud because they can get at you by loggin in to your cloud, or by getting into the cloud management service. It wasn't too long ago that I posted about a company that had to fold because someone got into their cloud and simply deleted the virtual servers. Boom.
At least with real servers you have to get into each one separately (unles the admin is a moron who uses the same credentials everywhere.... sadface)

"It is much more secure than a regular server!" Again: it is a regular server.

"But, are there really no advantages to a cloud over a server-farm?"
No. It *IS* a server farm.

There are certainly benefits to a server farm, but calling it a cloud  doesn't change what it is or how it works.