Opinion: Is “de-clouding” the future of tech?
A recent article discussing 37signals’ decision to move their apps back to their own data center has sparked a debate in the tech industry. The article claims that the ops team at 37signals is bored and unsatisfied with any solution, and has tried deploying their apps in all possible environments. With their new “de-clouded” deployment, they have created a huge amount of complexity, which seems unnecessary for the simple Ruby CRUD apps they are running.
But is this a trend that we will see more companies follow? It is possible, as some experts argue that there is a sweet spot in terms of size where being on a public cloud makes sense from a cost and management perspective. Once you go above that size, things start to get more complicated.
Another factor to consider is the cost of infrastructure. While cloud hosting and services are convenient, they always cost more than what a smart team could achieve elsewhere. Companies have to pay someone to set up and maintain their cloud setup, and the services themselves are much more expensive than maintaining your own servers in a data center. For smaller companies, it makes sense to start with a simple, predictable workload that doesn’t require dynamic schedulers like K8s or Nomad.
The larger issue, however, is whether the tech industry has figured out this “cloud” stuff yet. The author of the original article suggests that what we need is some sort of “deployment polymorphism” that separates interface from implementation. The largest operational expense for most companies is the staffing cost to orchestrate all of this, and it is important to minimize both cost and time.
In conclusion, while “de-clouding” may not be the right solution for every company, it is an option to consider. It is important for companies to weigh the costs and benefits of cloud hosting versus maintaining their own infrastructure. Ultimately, the success of any solution depends on the size of the company, the complexity of the workload, and the expertise of the team.
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Author Eliza Ng