Sometimes You Just Have to Build Your Own Cloud

Sometimes You Just Have to Build Your Own Cloud

Cloud, Cloud, Cloud!

It seems the cloud is involved in nearly every business decision, planning for start ups, etc. but when do you decide it is time to go solo with your own cloud?

We all know that cloud is a bit of a misnomer because in reality your files are just in residence on someone else's server hardware.

There is no need to look any further for proof of this than the server revenue and shipment report for the last quarter of 2015 that I wrote about last week. Companies around the world are moving a lot of hardware and making money while doing it.

Of course, you folks understand this and the decision to go public or private cloud can be a challenging one because it involves cost and what the ultimate return on your investment will be in either case.

The market for cloud services is growing and some of the biggest names in the tech industry have turned it into multi-billion dollar business. Microsoft, Google and Amazon tend to be the big three when it comes to cloud but it is a very dynamic environment.

Amazon Web Services just turned 10 years old a couple of days ago. When they started in 2006 that was two years after Facebook was founded and two years before we all could tweet. In 2007, a new startup called DropBox began providing cloud storage services to its customers using the fledgling Amazon Web Services (AWS).

In Internet years that is ancient!

So while the technology behind cloud services is robust, capable and growing there may come a time when a company has to go out on their own instead of relying on other businesses for its infrastructure.

In a recent lengthy profile over on Wired by Cade Metz the details are laid out about how DropBox, an AWS customer since their beginnings, developed its own super-servers from scratch and made the leap from AWS to their own networked hardware.

"Over the last two-and-a-half years, Dropbox built its own vast computer network and shifted its service onto a new breed of machines designed by its own engineers, all orchestrated by a software system built by its own programmers with a brand new programming language. Drawing on the experience of Silicon Valley veterans who erected similar technology inside Internet giants like Google and Facebook and Twitter, it has successfully moved about 90 percent of those files onto this new online empire.

It’s a feat of extreme engineering, to be sure. But the significance of this move extends well beyond Dropbox. Rather ironically, it highlights how cloud computing is rapidly transforming the way businesses operate. And at the same time, it reveals some enormous changes that have swept the worldwide hardware market over the last ten years."

It is a great article and well worth adding to your reading list and for others on your IT leadership team.

But, wait...there's probably more so be sure to follow me on Twitter and Google+.


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