Sunday, 11 September 2011

My head is in the cloud


At my current location, each work day feels like stepping back in time in to a world where we fought for hardware to run the simplest things on. In Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne I could walk up to my IT guys and ask for this server for that job as I built my application. With dedicated data centres employing high end funky virtualisation, it would take hours or days worst case.

That is what I expect at least from the IT guys in the company I work for. Especially the big guys.

Unfortunately, in Darwin I am more likely to get what I want in a small office where I can run down to Harvey Norman and grab a machine and combine that with a good MSDN subscription. There is at least a possibility of me achieving isolation of environments, added servers and more space to play in that world.

Where I am now, we are too big to allow anything to run on our network without the restricted, locked down and encumbered SOE. We are also too unimportant to get a place in our private or public clouds. It's a lose-lose situation.

There are many reasons for businesses to go in to the cloud but it is not being sold as a place for software development services to take place. At least, it is not being sold that way to the mid-sized companies who really truly need it. They can benefit the most without the hassle, price and justifications that they are making now. Sys admins will still be in jobs but they won't be racking machines in meatspace.

The scalability and elasticity of the cloud is perfect for software development. Even the benefits of highly automated behaviour that will allow the management and clustering that we need without knowing what we need ahead of time.

Right now, I have to predict all my development needs and then beg "please sir, can I have some more" if for some reason I missed out on something. We have to adapt and cater for the unpredictable. In the same way that we talk of agile software, we need adaptable and agile infrastructure for producing software applications.

Those of us inside mid-sized organisations can sell the business value or suggest cloudy solutions until the cows come home but until the big providers like Amazon, Microsoft and Google start selling the software services then the big wigs won't really listen.

Hurry up already. I am sick of begging for servers.

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