Pay as you go is really going to make a difference

H. S. Teoh hsteoh at
Thu Jan 16 17:59:53 UTC 2020

On Thu, Jan 16, 2020 at 03:08:47PM +0000, Gregor Mückl via Digitalmars-d wrote:
> There's just so many incentives pointing the wrong way:
> - Cloud providers want to lock their customers in (Google, Amazon, MS)

Yep, that's why I'm skeptical of this whole cloud hype. It's just like
the days of Java all over again: OO, which does have its uses, being
sold far beyond its scope of usefulness, and Java, which actually isn't
a *bad* language in certain respects, being sold as the panacea that
will solve all your programming problems and relieve you of the
necessity of thought. Only today, substitute OO with "cloud" and Java
with "webapps".

Cloud vendors want to lock you in, when the correct strategy is multiple
redundant systems (cf. Walter's rants about Boeing design). But you
can't have multiple redundant systems -- not in Walter's sense of
multiple *independent* systems that aren't running upon the same
principles that might fail *at the same time* -- if cloud vendors refuse
to let you interoperate with their competitors' systems, or only allows
arbitrarily restricted such interoperation, such that your redundancy is
essentially crippled and you might as well not bother.

> - Software developers see how they can squeeze juicy subscription fees
> out of their customers when they don't sell installable software, but
> run it as a service

Yeah, I have a lot of ideological problems with that. The first and
foremost being that your ability to use potentially mission-critical
functionality is now dependent on the state of some remote server farm
that's completely beyond your control.  Last year's AWS outage is just
the tip of the iceberg of what might happen if everyone becomes
dependent on the web (they already are) and the web becomes fragile
because of reliance on a small number of points of failure (already
happened: cloud providers), and something happens to one of these points
of failure.

(Well, you object, cloud providers have multiple redundant distributed
servers, so they're not vulnerable to single-point-of-failure problems.
Wrong, their *individual* servers can failover transparently, but
sometimes the *entire service* goes down for whatever reason -- faulty
software that all servers are running copies of, for instance. Or
targeted cybercriminal attacks on that service as a whole. Or the
company goes bust suddenly, who knows. Centralization of critical
services -- esp. on a 3rd party whose interests may not coincide with
yours -- is not a wise move.)

> - Commercial users see shiny presentations that tell them that not
> running their software in-house is so much cheaper (and it's likely
> true until they lose access to their data or a critical 3rd party
> service falls over)

Yeah, this is another major ideological problem I have with this whole
cloud hype. Your data doesn't belong to you anymore; it's sitting on the
hard drives of some 3rd party whose interests do not necessarily
coincide with yours. The accessibility of your mission-critical data is
dependent upon the availability of some remote service that isn't under
your control.  You're in trouble if the service goes down, or becomes
unavailable for whatever reason during the critical times when you most
need your data. You're in trouble if the 3rd party gets hacked and now
your supposedly private data is out in the open.  Or there's a serious
security flaw that you were never aware of, that has left your data that
you thought was securely stored open to the whole world.  And worst of
all, your data is in the hands of a 3rd party who has the power to do
what they want with it, and their interests may not coincide with yours.

How anyone could be comfortable with that idea is beyond me.


Why have vacation when you can work?? -- EC

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