The Great Cloud Bottleneck
I spent six years as news editor for Network World and ran Network Computing magazine as editor in chief. In a field as complex as networking, that means I almost understand it. I applied this semi-knowledge to the intersection of the cloud and the corporate network, exploring how the WAN either enables or disables remote apps.
I ran across sophisticated technical arguments on either side, with some saying that only the least latency-sensitive apps should run on the cloud, and others claiming today's high-speed connections are more than up for nearly any cloud task.
In the end, I relied on the actual experiences of actual users. From them, I learned that the speed of the network really is a grating factor. For some, the cloud is out of the question -- true high-speed either isn't available or costs too much. Others do just fine, but haven't migrated their most taxing apps to a service provider.
The result of all this research is a long piece with real-world stories and actionable advice. Take a look at it here and let me know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here is what reader Brian had to say about the piece:
"Great article. The thing is, it's all true. Depending on your timeframe, location, budget and purpose, the cloud can be the answer to many problems or the cause of them. If you have the bandwidth, it could be great for DR or a number of less critical services... If you have plenty of service providers, redundant connections and your provider has real capacity, then maybe I would trust a mission-critical app in the cloud. I don't believe it would be cheaper without sacrificing something, though. One area that benefits from cloud services are very small businesses that do not employ IT staff. They operate knowing that they are going to have outages whether their apps are in-house or [in] the cloud. It gives them an alternative to trying to manage their systems themselves. And you know that with in-house systems someone at a small company will try to fix the problem themselves...messing it up more before calling a pro."
Posted by Doug Barney on 01/10/2012 at 12:47 PM