Friday, November 04, 2016

When the Owner of the Company Says, "Pull Everything Out of the Cloud" You Know it's Trouble

More and more stories about cyber this & digital that are appearing in the mainstream media these days. Marketing terms, inaccurate descriptions and lots of misinformation that leads to confusion. So when the owner of the company barges into your office and proclaims, "Pull everything out of the Cloud" you know you're in for a long day.

The October 21st attacks again managed DNS provider DYN were all over the news because of the effects the attacks had for entities such as Netflix (streaming media), Twitter (social media) and even Vonage (Voice-over-IP and unified communications provider). So when something like this happens, as a Technologist you must be prepared with Ninja-like reflexes because there will be blow-back and maybe a little panic.

Owner barges in and the following conversation begins,

Owner's Question: What's that thing we use for files?

Response from Technologist: Box, we use it for file synchronization & sharing.

Owner's Follow-up: I want everything pulled out of  "the Box" and put on a file server in the headquarters because that way everyone can get to it and its secure.

Follow-up by Technologist: Actually, if we put everything on a file server in the headquarters, only those employees IN the headquarters can get to the files on that server. It's only a file server for the headquarters.

Owner thinks for a moment then responds with: But we have offices everywhere.

Technologist: And that is why we went with a cloud-based enterprise file synchronization & sharing solution so we didn't have to put a file server in every office nor have everyone try and access a single file server in the headquarters by way of VPN.

What we're talking about here is a mindset and the way things used to be. Having everything on a single file server in the corporate headquarters doesn't guarantee the files on it will always be available. What happens if the server's hardware fails? It has to be replaced (which takes time) and then the necessary operating system configuration as well as files & folders have to be setup again (which takes more time). Oh, its a virtual file server? That virtual server still has to sit on top of a piece of hardware. Restoring a virtual machine takes less time than for a physical server but its not instantaneous.

In the end cloud-based services offer scale as well as business continuity for anytime anywhere access. That is practically a requirement for an organization because as the Owner so eloquently put it, "...we have offices everywhere."

One more observation, Services are relatively easy, resilient Infrastructure is hard (and yes, DNS is infrastructure, just ask the folks at DYN).


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