So, a funny thing happened to me at the airport the other day, and it dawned on me that I knew something that I had thought was common knowledge within the community of people that I will label “People who run computers.” The common knowledge, or so I thought, was that the Cloud is for everyone.
Now, when I say “People who run computers”, I am not referring to the masses of us that have figured out that our little Android helpers in our pockets, or our bedazzled sequin Siris in our purses, are little computers. No, I am referring to those people that, for one unknown reason or another, have decided to make computers their focus within their professional lives. I mean the people who endeavor to keep our Global thirst for ever increasing information processing and storage running, even when we wake up at 3:00 am and decide to embark on an electronic version of the “Midnight Munchies.”
So there I was, at the airport, listening to two of these very people, who were contemplating the 21st century electronic philosophic equivalent of “Who am I, and why am I here” the question being, “Why do I need the Cloud?
It was a fascinating question, and one that many people are currently asking, given that you can’t be awake for a whole day and not come across some small reminder, someone, somewhere, doing something – “In the Cloud.”
After hearing the one younger man, probably in his thirties, explaining to the other older man how he prefers “Azure to AWS”– I grew more interested in the conversation. Now most people would be thinking that they were discussing a chocolate bar, or perhaps the latest fitness routine, but they were, in fact, discussing “The Cloud” and the merits of why Microsoft was a better selection as a provider of Cloud Services as opposed to Amazon’s Cloud platform – or more commonly referred to as “Amazon Web Services“.
Care Analytics is an AWS partner.
It wasn’t until the older gentleman had voiced the comment “Why do I need a Cloud full of servers when I already have a cupboard full?” – that was when I was busted, as I must have visibly shown in my smile that I was eavesdropping on the conversation …… so I deflected and warmly said: “But EVERYONE needs the Cloud.”
For the next hour, while I waited for my flight, there was a great conversation that covered every aspect of how the older gentleman had purchased servers from Dell several years back for his call center, only to find that the relatively large purchase was just the beginning of his journey. Even though he considered himself a technical person, he soon discovered that he needed a pretty sophisticated router setup to connect all of the servers and allow them all access to the Internet. He initially thought that he could use a similar device that he had been using in his office at his house. He even admitted that in less than two years he had maxed out the connections and processing power of his router after gaining a massive timeshare contract for his call center business and had to go to the “next level” of a router which was $1,500, even on Ebay.
I asked him if he had set that router up himself and he said no, as it was a little more complicated and he had paid a friend of his son $300 for two days work setting it up.
I explained how all of that was built into the Cloud and Amazon Web Services for literal pennies, as it came with your very first deployed computer, or “instances” as Amazon likes to call them.
So Rick (as I came to know him) – continued to tell me all the tales of woe that he had managed to find himself in over the several years since his purchase. They had been a de facto educatio0n in computers forced upon him by the simple business evolution that he had during that time.
From Routers to network cables, from power supplies to power losses, poor Rick had no end to his battle scars.
He even had to replace four servers in a flood because some of them were not in a rack and he managed to get ten inches of water into his “cupboard” one time. His “cupboard”, by the way, was a small office within his call center that his company had re-purposed as a “temporary” computer room that never made it out of the “temporary” category.
Clearly, Rick was not going into competitive business with Amazon anytime soon.
I had so much fun with Rick over that hour that it flew by, he gave me so many reasons for the comment that I left him with as I got up to leave for my flight.
Looking over my shoulder as I started to walk away, I winked at Rick and said, “you know Rick, for a guy that did not need the Cloud, you sure seem like you need it to me!”.
As I got almost out of earshot, Rick shouted: “How much is Amazon’s Cloud, it sounds expensive!”.
“It can be” – I fired back, but the first year is FREE!”.
I strolled on – not sure if I had helped poor Rick, or even if my comments sunk in, or left him with a new conclusion of if or why he may just have a need for “The Cloud.”
So I end with the beginning of my blog entry, and perhaps a small contribution to the question “Is the Cloud really for everyone?“
Well, maybe, and maybe not, but certainly it was for Rick, so Rick, if you are reading this, thank you for making my airport wait time so entertaining.
For anyone else reading this blog entry, is the Cloud for everyone, including you?
If you’re not sure, Contact Us.
~ Mark Richards
AWS Solutions Architect – Care Analytics