I think the idea of a platform of services, such as Windows Azure provides, is a great idea. I’d love to be able to stop worrying about hardware in many cases, and even skip some of the infrastructure of networking and managing specific machines. Just having services that I could deploy to that run my database and code, would smooth out some of the hassles of Information Technology in many companies.
However the services have to work and work well.
I’ve had concerns with AWS and their outages, though Netflix has run a thriving business on that platform and learned to work within that service. I think the Azure platform is similar, and they’ve had a few outages, I do have concerns over where their outages have occurred. There was an expired certificate, then supposedly maintenance, later revealed to be heat issues.
These issues bother me. Some are unavoidable, but some aren’t. I’m particularly concerned about the expiration of security certificates. This happened again recently to Azure, and it shouldn’t. I don’t know if this was a problem with the development groups that build applications using certificates, the operations groups that administer systems, or the accounting groups that might need to purchase new certificates, but part of what the “cloud” should bring is expertise and better qualities of service from the people doing the work.
I can hire semi-competent people that don’t pay attention to details and suffer my own outages. At least then I know I’m to blame and I can replace them. However moving to a service like Azure or AWS means giving up a lot of control. If I can’t count on better services than I get in-house, I’m not sure there are many advantages to moving.
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