On cloud: When to backup & when to build

Today we ask some important questions: is it time for you to backup your cloud? And, should you depend on someone else, or build your own cloud?

A recent blog post on ZDNet says ‘yes’!

Blogger Joel Evans cites personal experiences involving email that might make you think twice:

The first instance involved my wife receiving an invite to view a friend’s photos. It was late at night and she signed [into Gmail] only to wake up the next morning to a barrage of e-mails from her friends asking her if they should sign-up to the same site. Needless to say, she never gave the site permission to search through and e-mail her contacts, but that’s exactly what it did. This was more than a month ago and we’re still receiving acceptance messages from friends who the site e-mailed without my wife knowing.

The second instance just occurred yesterday and happened to a technologist that I know. It seems that hackers somehow got into his Gmail account and hacked through his password, which was made up of a random name and a number. He thinks that maybe a merchant account that he used may have been compromised, but he’s not sure.

In the post, Evans gives users a step-by-step tutorial on how to backup contact lists.

So . . . there are threats out there. Professional hackers. Losers trying to steal your contacts for no reason. Does this mean you should think about building your own cloud?

Reuven Cohen is founder & CTO for Toronto based Enomaly Inc. and blogs regularly about the cloud at ElasticVapor.

He says he gets the question all the time: to build or not to build.

Lately, I seem to be hearing the questions again and again. It seems that for some reason some IT guys have gotten it into their head that if they adopt a cloud infrastructure platform, either hosted or in house, they’re going to lose their jobs. So the only choice is to build it. I think the reasoning is if you build it, you will control it, and your company will have no choice but to keep you around.

This thinking, though, is a bit flawed. Creating your own cloud can often be riskier than relying on someone else’s work — and it might take a lot of time with little ROI.

One such example is a major hosting firm who spent 16 months building their own cloud IaaS platform only to realize that the assumptions they made about the potential cloud market opportunity had changed and their platform couldn’t deliver the technical requirements of their new customer reality. More to the point, their platform wasn’t what their targeted customers wanted to buy. Compounding their problem was the platform they built themselves didn’t actually work – period. The key system engineer left mid-way through the project, forcing the company to find a replacement as well as inducing a major delay in the development. Additionally poor documentation meant those replacements had no practical way to continue what had been started previously. Needless to say, several million dollars later the project did launch, only to be promptly replaced a by a turn key IaaS platform.

In the post, Cohen does admit his bias, since he is the founder of an infrastructure-as-a-service platform, but he also asks an important question — is building worth it, if that’s not your primary mode of business?

Food for thought.

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