Not A Cloud In The Sky
Updated: Jul 8, 2018
Clear blue skies for many of us, yet the Cloud is most definitely all around us. The way the world carries out its business is rapidly changing.
Up until recently the implementation of computer infrastructure was something you either did yourself or had your IT team do. It would cost a lot of money and time, take a great deal of intricate planning, and you would always have to overestimate your requirements in terms of server and networking hardware, operating systems, productivity suites and so on. In a relatively short space of time the hardware and software packages bought would become outdated and so the cycle would continue.
With the advent of cloud services this has all changed. All those services, both hardware and software, can be provided almost instantly with no upfront costs, and you only pay for what you use.
The biggest three providers of cloud services, Microsoft, Amazon and Google, have each launched their own platforms over the last 10-12 years. Respectively titled Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), these offerings have evolved into the robust, highly-polished entities that are available today. On-demand, cloud-computing services have revolutionised the way many people work and the number of people and businesses migrating to cloud services continues to grow at an incredible rate.
Like the internet we’ve all come to love/hate, the cloud consists of large amounts of computers housed in high security, bunker-like data centres at various locations around the world.
With cloud services however, you get to buy in to this computing power, as well as storage, database systems, and more, without the need to purchase, install and maintain your own infrastructure.
The efficiency of today’s cloud services means that in a matter of minutes you can have a range of powerful servers and computing power, databases, petabytes of storage all configured for your own use. And if you’re not using it, you’re not paying for it.
It’s easy for us to see the potential cost benefits this would bring, but also in other areas such as security and reliability. For instance, how many businesses can afford to have 24 hour security personnel, complete with dogs, to guard physical access to their premises? And these data centres have not only computer redundancy to prevent any computer downtime, but also power and communications redundancy, provided by separate utility companies, for a complete ‘always available’ service.
It’s worth mentioning the advancement of machine learning and artificial intelligence. It may all sound a bit science fiction, but for many of us it’s already part of our daily lives. On-the-fly language translation; speech (and sentiment) recognition; the learning of your habits when online or shopping; self-driving cars; these are all things that use enormous amounts of computing power, bring real benefit to many people’s lives, and are truly embedded in the world around us so as to be effortless to use. What the future holds nobody can tell for sure, but I look at it with the eyes of an optimist. Computers are tools that provide us with the means to achieve tasks. As the tool gets more efficient, our tasks get easier and we achieve more.
How all this sounds depends on your outlook. It is true that the automation of the provision of many of these services will render some traditional IT roles redundant, and that is not an exciting prospect for anyone working in the field. However, the businesses that choose to migrate to the cloud will need cloud expertise to enable them to do so. There is a worldwide shortage of trained and experienced cloud experts, and therefore an incredible opportunity for IT staff to be retrained and roles refocused on providing access these new services.
Contrary to third-party opinion, I didn't write this blog for the sole purpose of squeezing in a Cyberdine Systems logo.
If you’d like any further information on provisioning cloud services, please drop me a line at email@example.com, or use the contact link at the top of this page to send me a message.
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