Woz is Worried About “Everything Going to the Cloud” – the Real Issue is Giving Up Control

In a recent article, Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple with the late Steve Jobs, predicted “horrible problems” in the coming years as cloud-based computing takes hold. 
“I really worry about everything going to the cloud,”.. “I think it’s going to be horrendous. I think there are going to be a lot of horrible problems in the  next five years. ….”…with the cloud, you don’t own anything. You already signed it away.”
When I first read the title I thought, Wozniak sounds like Larry Ellison two years ago, when he pitched the Cloud is hype, before he made a 180-degree turn to acknowledge Oracle wished to be a cloud vendor too.
Reading it more carefully, I realized the title is instead just misleading. Wozniak actually touches on something that I hear more often, as the cloud hype cycle is moves from a Peak of Inflated Expectations into through the Trough of Disillusionment.
Wozniak echos an important lesson, that IMO, is major part of the reason many of the companies that moved to cloud have experienced lots of outages during the past months. I addressed several of these aspects in in a recent blog post: Lessons from the Heroku/Amazon Outage.
When we move our operations to the cloud, we often assume that we’re out-sourcing our data center operation completely, including our disaster recovery procedures. The truth is that when we move to the cloud we’re only outsourcing the infrastructure, not our operations, and the responsibility of how to use this infrastructure remain ours.
Choosing better tradeoffs between producivity and control
For companies today, the main reason we chose to move to the cloud in the first place was to gain better agility and productivity. But in starting this cloud journey, we found that we had to give up some measure of control to achieve the agility and productivity.
The good news is that as the industry mature there are more choices that provides better tradeoffs between producivity and control:

  • Open source cloud such as OpenStack and CloudStack
  • Private cloud offering
  • DevOps and automation tools such as Chef and Puppet
  • OpenSource PaaS such as Cloudify, OpenShift and CloudFoundry
  • DevOps and PaaS combined such Cloudify

As businesses look at cloud strategy today, there isn’t a need to give up control over productivity. With technologies like Cloudify, businesses can get the best out of both worlds.

References

Putting DevOps and PaaS together with Cloudify

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