How the Cloud Works

Here is a picture of how the cloud works:

Rockets holding up a cloud

Those are rockets and they hold up the cloud. Those black hash-mark areas are patches in the cloud where things didn't work right. Because of these flaws someone needed to sew the cloud together. The patches are comprised of 81% code and 22% duct tape.

Why don't the cables burn up in the rocket exhaust? That is because of trained monkeys wearing asbestos suits. When the cable breaks or one monkey burns up, a monkey is added to the chain.

This concludes our brief tutorial on the cloud.


Here's the deal. This was inspired by a discussion with a client about a large cloud service provider. The service provider informed the client that the hardware that their instances ran on was bad and needed to be replaced. This is not the first time this has happened.

To me this revelation of 'hardware problem' feels tone deaf because everything about the cloud (which I mostly love) is predicated on us (the customers) not caring about hardware anymore: pricing structures, product offerings, marketing materials, billing. It seems wrong to then blame the hardware when it is convenient. My client didn't ask for you to tie their instance to some faulty hardware. My client had previously been entirely oblivious (and rightly so) to what hardware the instance ran on. Why don't they just quietly move the VM and fix the problem themselves?

Even if it was totally manual, it would give me a lot more faith in the magic and that they have their stuff together.

Truly, I love the cloud. Even if it is imperfect, it powers a lot of the modern world (including this site). I love it mostly because it is a technical marvel and it empowers business, but this customer service flaw makes me doubt the technical greatness. Why do that?

I really believe that cloud, IoT, and mobile technology are job creators in the long run, because there will just be so much of it.

Just, please, don't blame the hardware when the rest of the time you don't want me to think about it.

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