Tao of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is more of outsourcing your operations than developer-related tasks. Here is the Pareto breakdown (sort of):

IaaS is 90% ops and 10% dev.

PaaS is 80% ops and 20% dev.

SaaS is 70% ops and 30% dev.

The higher up the stack, the more you need to know regarding the vendor’s infrastructure, and that means devs need to exercise more of its operations side. The lower down the stack, the lesser devs need to be ops and more of their developer chops.

To illustrate, consider this from Practical Cloud Computing blog:

Any system that you pick will require 24-7 operational support. If it is not hosted (e.g. by AWS), be prepared to hire a fleet of ops folks to support it yourself. If you don’t have the manpower, I recommend AWS’ DynamoDB.

However, don’t be fooled by all the buzz. Cloud computing is all about scale, like Alex Payne’s definition of scaling in the large. But there’s no stopping anyone to forego traditional server hosting in favor of cloud computing, even if it means scaling in the small. But then, you have to know what you’re going into.