Grant Shipley gshipley at
Thu Dec 12 11:08:29 MST 2013

Let's clear up what cloud actually means then.  There are three types of
cloud computing:

IaaS - Infrastructure as a service

Think Amazon EC2, Google Compute Engine here.  The only thing provided to
the user is the hardware / vm.  The user is responsible for providing the
operating system, updating it, apply security errata, installing and
managing all applications, tuning the OS - databases - application servers
etc.  It addresses a real concern in the industry by reducing the time to
market for getting servers quickly.  With IaaS, you can spin up 1000
machines in a matter of minutes and grow as demand quires it.  The only
problem, no one knows what their final bill will be every month.

You have to bring your sys admins, application code, and users along with

PaaS - Platform as a service

The OpenShift, Heroku, CloudFoundry here.  PaaS sits on top of IaaS to
automate even more of the environment.  Typically the PaaS will manage all
aspects of the environment for you.  This includes database tuning,
automatic scaling, application server management, security updates to OS
and runtimes, etc.  Users of PaaS need to deploy and be responsible for the
application code that is deployed on the environment to ensure it is
robust, scalable, and cloud friendly.

You have to bring your application code and users along with you.

SaaS - Software as a Service

Think, facebook, gmail, dropbox here.  Software as a service
is a WYSIWG environment.  The platform manages everything for you and often
times you can't customize the application code.  This is the cloud
technology that has been around the longest and widely adopted.

You have to bring your users and your data to the table here.

The adoption rate among these three cloud technologies are as follows:
SaaS - Huge adoption.  This was a buzz word 8 years ago and we really don't
hear much about it anymore because its widely accepted and in use by 99% of
all corporations today.

IaaS - medium adoption. People still have concerns about moving their
workloads to a public cloud provider (ec2) but a lot of people are making
this move.  When I talk about cloud computing to companies, one of the
first things I hear is -- we can't put our users email address and data in
a public cloud.  Our data is so important we need a 5 million dollar oracle
RAC server behind 15 firewalls. I think ask them what they use for sales
automation tools.  They proudly respond with  Face -> Palm.
 People don't realize that they are storing much more than users data in
the public cloud today.  With they are storing all of their
financials and forecasts.  Having access to someone environment is
more damning that having access to their internal oracle db.

PaaS - low adoption.  This is the new kid on the block.  I fully expect
this to be mainstream and every developer will be using a PaaS in 3-5 years
as they see the benefits for development.  The tidal wave is coming.  It's
best for us developers to go ahead and get familiar with it because it is

Now, just to be clear.  You will hear a lot of other crap about cloud
computing.  IMO ignore it.  People and companies will tout things such as
mBaaS (Mobile backend as a service) MWaaS (Middle Ware as a Service) etc.
 All of these new buzz word terms can be recognized in one of three main
categories (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS).  I don't know why people are clinging to and
making up new as a services acronyms.  It just further confuses everyone
knew to cloud computing and is hindering the adoption of this fantastic


On Thu, Dec 12, 2013 at 10:29 AM, Jason Klebs <jasonk at> wrote:

> In my opinion, 'the cloud' is a buzz-word, and regarding it, people act
> accordingly.  Buzz-words are meant to diminish understanding of
> something, not enhance it.  Therefore, a lot of places don't weigh the
> benefits and drawbacks of what is essentially a move to another hosting
> provider.
> While we're opening up cans of worms...
> I have assumed (even pre-Snowden) that every EC2 instance comes with
> root access for the NSA built-in.  Thoughts on this?
> -Jason
> On 12/12/2013 10:21 AM, Jonathan Duncan wrote:
> > On Thu, Dec 12, 2013 at 8:03 AM, S. Dale Morrey <sdalemorrey at
> >wrote:
> >
> >> For the most part, you can't just migrate existing systems to "the
> >> cloud(tm)".  You really do need to think of it as a re-implementation
> task
> >> and expect your costs to follow accordingly.
> >>
> >> Agreed. The Cloud is just another tool. Like any tool, if used properly
> > can be helpful, if used improperly can be deadly. The company I am
> > currently with is in the process of migrating all services to the cloud.
> > This includes an entire rewrite of the code base and entirely new system
> > architecture. It is a mistake to think of the Cloud in the same way as
> one
> > would think of traditional physical servers. For me, learning to use the
> > Cloud effectively has required me to adopt a new paradigm.
> >
> > /*
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> > Unsubscribe:
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> > */
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