[vcf-midatlantic] OT: modern cloud services

Evan Koblentz evan at vcfed.org
Fri Nov 30 13:43:06 EST 2018

I don't have a fraction of the IT experience that most of you do. I don't
pretend otherwise.

However, as a tech journalist, I've been covering enterprise IT for 20
years. I interview dozens of major corporate CIOs every year.

Pretty much ALL medium/large corporations -- the Fortune 1,000 -- spend
thousands or even millions of dollars annually on cloud services/storage.

There are many reasons why they do it. None of those reasons include,
"Because they're stupid."

I chuckle a little when I read comments from people who think they know
better than all the massive international conglomerates whose budgets fuel
the many-billion-dollar cloud computing industry.

On Fri, Nov 30, 2018, 1:22 AM Laura S. Reinhard via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org wrote:

> While I am beginning to doubt my “belonging” in this group, primarily
> because my experience in IT has been limited to individual artists and
> their Macs and developing databases for them in FileMaker to keep up
> mailing lists (when people used to use mail).
> I often sound like I know less than I do, because I am more interested in
> big pictures than technical terminology (which is why Apple Store hired
> me... my ability to “plain speak” technology. However many true tech folk
> think I am an idiot when they first talk to me about it.
> Why say all of this? Two reasons. First, I didn’t formally introduce
> myself to this list and since I will be at Festivus am worried that
> “they’re all gonna laugh at me”. Second, I replied to this particular post
> because of my complete distrust in cloud storage. There is no way to even
> pretend they can be “safe”. Ever since I bought my 2010 iMac and had no
> disc to boot from and had to rely on everything being web-based, I have had
> nothing but horrible experiences, primarily because of my early Mac user
> ignorance about viruses and malware. I realize that was not the clouds
> fault, but the concept of “everything wireless” is mind-boggling naive and
> this post seems to agree? Also, confirmed my thought that this shift to
> such insecure methods of data management/storage is because young “bros”
> are in charge lol.
> Hope this meandering response made sense and doesn’t serve to make me
> appear even less tech nerdy to you all. Hopefully Festivus won’t be like a
> middle school dance I have to call my mom from haha!
> See you all there.
> Laura
> On Nov 30, 2018, 12:42 AM -0500, Dave McGuire via vcf-midatlantic <
> vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org>, wrote:
> > On 11/29/18 11:40 PM, W2HX via vcf-midatlantic wrote:
> > > I dunno, Dave. Some pretty damn big companies like Netflix, AirBNB,
> Atlassian, et. al., all seem to think its the right thing to use someone
> else's toothbrush. Fact is, thousands of companies use AWS. Almost 100% of
> start ups, my own included, with tens of millions of investment use cloud
> systems (aws and azure - another toothbrush, not our own) all seem to think
> it is a better idea to use someone else's toothbrush rather than using
> their own.
> >
> > And of course they're free to do so. I would never deny that it's
> > common, but I'm not too worried about that, as I've never been much of a
> > "follower". I do (and recommend) what's right in my judgment, not what
> > others tell me to do.
> >
> > That said, though, I don't build Netflix-sized networks. Netflix
> > seldom asks for my advice. ;) If Netflix came asking, I'd have to say
> > "I'm sorry, you're talking to the wrong guy, I cannot do what you need."
> > I've built Netflix-sized networks, but that was a long time ago, and
> > it's no longer in my area of expertise. But small organizations of 1-30
> > people with specialized needs do solicit my advice, and what I tell them
> > in most cases is "keep your own data". In the present context, we're
> > talking about an inventory database for a club, to keep track of a few
> > thousand items. There is no earthly need to farm that out to a
> > timesharing provider. Further, such a small organization is a lot more
> > likely to be hurt by a hosting provider's outage than a company like
> > Atlassian, which will have SLAs with big penalties, offsite backups, and
> > DR plans to cover their asses. Is VCF prepared to set up all of that?
> > If not, are they prepared to periodically start over from scratch?
> >
> > > As a CTO myself with 39 years in IT, if I were to go on a job
> interview and insist that purchasing, depreciating, maintaining and
> staffing my own data center (24x7) was a better idea than using a cloud
> infrastructure (because that would be stupid), I don't think that would be
> a winning interview 9 times out of 10.
> >
> > If you have 39 years in IT, that's six or seven years more than me,
> > and that means both of us separately have been doing this longer than
> > Netflix, AirBNB, and Atlassian, combined, have existed. In my
> > experience, the vast majority of the kids managing those networks have
> > no idea of what they're doing, and it shows in the downtime. I'm
> > grateful that I, for any of MY important data, don't have to rely on
> > them for anything. Most of the data stored on my network is generated,
> > not downloaded (and thus easily replaced). I can't just start over when
> > AWS burps and files disappear, and I can't afford to just take the
> > afternoon off when the "cloud" service blows up. You can take that risk
> > if you want, but I won't. For my work, there is zero benefit to farming
> > it out. That's actually true of many small organizations, but most
> > people have fallen for the "cloud" hype.
> >
> > (For added fun, ask Matt Patoray how well that works for the support
> > department's cloud-hosted VoIP phone system at his place of work.
> > Better get some popcorn, in case you get him started.)
> >
> > About job interviews...I generally don't go on job interviews, so I'm
> > not too worried about what the right HR buzzwords are. My singular
> > focus is uptime and data preservation, not "sounding right" to someone
> > who has fallen for the hype in order to get a job.
> >
> > Please understand that this isn't a case of hiding one's head in the
> > sand or not being aware of what's cool and trendy in I.T. this year.
> > I'm not a hobbyist...I assure you that I know exactly what AWS is, and
> > rare is a day when I'm not logged into a couple of AWS-hosted servers.
> > My experience tells me that it is a colossally bad idea. If your
> > experience has been better, that's great. I respect your opinion, but I
> > do not share it.
> >
> > For years, we've all seen a great push to get rid of all internal I.T.
> > infrastructure, datacenters in particular. This is driven primarily by
> > economics, rather than technical merit. Being able to write it off as
> > an operating expense for the tax benefit is a lot more palatable than
> > shelling out the money for a big purchase and putting it on a
> > depreciation schedule, and then there's having to employ all those
> > inconvenient technical people who aren't team players, don't play golf,
> > and aren't even decent enough to wear ties. There are no such concerns
> > in the context of VCF's inventory database.
> >
> > > I dunno. Hard to swim against the tide on this one but YMMV.
> >
> > I have no need to swim against any tide. It's just that I learned
> > very early on not to depend on other peoples' computers for any of my
> > operations, and I don't recommend that others do it either.
> >
> > I realize that this is not a commonly-held opinion, but I'm not too
> > worried about that. My clients do not come to me for commonly-held
> > opinions. They can Google for those.
> >
> > With respect,
> > -Dave
> >
> > --
> > Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
> > New Kensington, PA

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