Exploding three 'myths' about cloud-based development

Summary:Stuff happens, no matter how many 9s are promised. Developers are advised not to get too enamored with the cloud.

Ted Dziuba is not one to pull punches or sugarcoat his analysis of the crises in today's development shops. In a post following the recent Amazon outage, he points to assumptions about cloud computing that may be leading developers astray -- here are three myths he relates:

Service-level agreements are meaningful: Stuff happens, no matter how many 9s are promised, Dziuba says. Don't worry too much about the percentages, and think about what should happen after a downtime incident -- does the service provider scramble to move heaven and earth to fix the problem and let you in on their progress? "What I'm really looking for is communication. I logged a ticket with support, and in six minutes they updated me about the situation, how widespread it was, and an ETA on the fix."

Architecture will save you from cloud failures: As Dave Linthicum says, enterprise architecture is key to having cloud services make sense to the business. But architecture does not protect service consumers from systems downtime, Dziuba reminds us. "No amount of architecture is going to save you from lying virtual hardware."

A virtual machine is an appropriate gift for all occasions: It's the "it" factor of IT these days, right? Dzuiba speculates that too much is being loaded onto virtual machines, thus bringing them to their knees. "VMs have their place, sure, but they are by no means the solution to every hardware problem. In my experience, you should use VMs for Web application servers; offline data processing; squid/memcache servers; and one-off utility computing."

There's still a place for hardware in this world, Dzuiba reminds us. "It's much more business-efficient to throw money at performance problems than it is to throw code at them, but I guess some of you guys just really like to type."

Topics: Servers, Amazon, Cloud, Hardware, Outage, Software, Virtualization

About

Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. Joe is co-author, along with 16 leading industry leaders and thinkers, of the SOA Manifesto, which outlines the values and guiding principles of service orientation. He speaks frequently on cloud, SOA, data, and... Full Bio

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