The Cloud Is Scary – #TSQL2sDay #48

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It’s T-SQL Tuesday time! I haven’t contributed in a while, so I really wanted to participate this time. The topic isn’t one that I have much experience with from a SQL Server perspective, but I I’m definitely a user of the technology.

This month’s topic is all about the cloud. What’s your take on it? Have you used it? If so, let’s hear your experiences. Haven’t used it? Let’s hear why or why not? Do you like/dislike recent changes made to cloud services? It’s clear skies for writing! So let’s hear it folks, where do you stand with the cloud?

tsql_tuesdayAs I said, this isn’t something I have much experience with as a SQL Server professional. The systems that I support for my employer are bound by various government rules and regulations, both U.S. and abroad, not to mention PCI compliance and all of the other compliances that we have to comply with. Plus, some of our customers simply don’t want their data in the cloud. All of these things will change eventually I’m sure, but for the time being, no cloud for me. Our corporate email, calendar and things of that nature are all “in the cloud”, but not our databases.

Having said that, I personally am a huge fan of cloud-based applications, and rely on them heavily.

  • My personal email has been cloud-based for almost a decade, thanks to Gmail.
  • Documents – all in the cloud, courtesy of Google Docs. It’s been years since I’ve had an office suite installed locally on a personal computer.
  • Off-site backups are all in the cloud. I’m a paying Dropbox customer with nearly 150GB of storage space available to me. All of my personal files are synced to Dropbox, automatically. I get to them from any computer, tablet, phone, anywhere with an Internet connection, and I can retrieve any old version of any file that I want. There’s no excuse for me losing a file ever again.
  • Photos – all 16,000 of my personal photos are protected by the cloud, twice. All of them sync to Dropbox, and also to Flickr, where I have a full terabyte of storage space available. Sorry, most of them are private and not accessible to the public. No embarrassing photos of me posing in front of the bathroom mirror are visible to you.
  • Music – as a teenager I had piles and piles of cassette tapes. Remember those big, suitcase-sized cassette “organizers”? Had one, it was always in the backseat of the car or in my bedroom. The more music you had, the cooler you were. Then came the compact disc and a different type of carrying case, then the multi-disc CD player. More junk to carry around. Today it’s all in the cloud, and I can carry it around in my pocket thanks to my phone and Google Play.
  • Movies and television – much like the 80’s music, I have piles and piles of DVD’s. Want to watch Star Wars Episode II, I have it! Oh crap, the case is empty – where’s the disc? Thanks to Amazon Prime (love it!), Netflix, and Roku‘s amazing little media player, “missing disc” syndrome has become a rarity. I also never watch “normal” TV anymore. As I type this, I have Conan The Destroyer streaming through my Roku as I walk on my redneck treadmill desk.

I probably forgot something, some other way that I’m using the cloud but overlooked because I take it for granted now. That’s what happens, at first people are afraid of radical new technology, reluctant to use it. Over time, sometimes without realizing it, they gradually start to adopt that scary new technology and before long, they’re taking it for granted. How did we live without this?

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