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Have You Found That the Cloud Brings Discipline?



Have You Found That the Cloud Brings Discipline?
The opportunity brought by cloud-based services is one of high-availability, scale and cost management.  But it does come at a cost.  You may be facing an architectural overhaul to truly take advantage of the cloud.

We certainly have faced, and continue to face that fact.  

We've had to rebuild everything from data access to security to functional pieces like how tasks operate, how transactions are managed and more.  It comes from the fact that you have to build pieces and deploy them so they really are able to function as a distinct block of work, rather than a dependent block of work.  The difference can be the difference between being able to have a load-balanced solution and not being able to.  Between being able to have an automatically recoverable solution, and not.  It can be a big challenge, with big payoffs. 

One example: if you're hard-coding in IP addresses for functionality, of course those IPs may change as different systems come online to address a recovery operation, or to allow for scaling.  You can't really do that any more, so DNS and services like it come into play, as well as different design elements in the applications and tasks themselves. 

For SSWUG.ORG, it's been a distinct positive to almost literally pull the plug on past architecture and move forward with cloud-based configurations the way they're meant to be done, rather than just colo-type VMs.  It's meant the difference between system outages and self-healing systems, systems that automagically scale up and down as needed, systems that can move from instance to instance and still function just fine.  

It was not an easy series of changes, and we're still working through updates, but it's instilled a much better functional discipline in the work on the sites.  

Have you found this too as you consider AWS, Azure and other flavors of cloud-based resources?  What types of discipline have you found have been impacted by the cloud-oriented approach?  Comment below and let us know - is it just our experience, or more of a very common phenomenon?  
4/18/2014
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