The Cloud May Be For You


First there was this post. In summary: “The cloud (actually Heroku) sucks and I went physical”. Then there was this post: “The cloud (actually Heroku) is AWESOME and can make you coffee and bagels”. Now there is this post.

My immediate response to both posts was: Really? The cloud isn’t for anyone? Or alternatively the cloud is for everyone? Every time? It’s a total infrastructure panacea? Or it’s not? There’s not a single pro or a single con depending on who is making the argument? I’ve got to call bullshit. :)

I like Heroku and I use it. I test a lot of apps there. Awesome team too. The cloud is pretty awesome too. It’s a game changer for a lot of companies, it is often an awesome on ramp to scale out a business and it has changed the way a lot of companies develop and deploy applications. (I also think David Cramer and Randall Degges are pretty cool guys too). Phew! Love fest!

But there are lots of reasons why the cloud doesn’t work for everyone: aspects of performance, security, regulatory compliance, legals, backup and recovery, aspects of operational management, legacy systems integration, audit and a myriad of other things organisations have to deal with.

So is cloud awesome or a loser? Well it depends… The cloud is an awesome environment but it is not a cure-all. It might be in the future but it is not now. I agree that refuting some of the “the cloud sucks” points is reasonable but the response of “All cloud (Heroku) is awesome!” seems dubious and unsupportable too.1

As people on the Internet are wont to do both parties are arguing at extreme opposite ends rather than either presenting a reasoned response that says “sometimes the cloud is for you and sometimes it is not for you. It depends on your requirements.” So the cloud may be for you. Or it may not.

  1. Both posts conflate Heroku and (all) cloud which I am not sure is an apples to apples comparison. YMMV. ↩︎