Stop saying the cloud is just someone else’s computer – because it’s not
The cloud is just someone else’s computer’, runs the joke. But if you’re saying that, the joke is on you, because it means you don’t understand what the cloud actually is. So many people misuse the word ‘cloud’ that you can be forgiven for thinking ‘in the cloud’ means ‘over an internet connection’. It doesn’t. ‘The cloud’ means something very specific. The simplest definition of cloud is a data centre that’s full of identical hardware that no-one ever touches except to unpack it on day one and throw it away when it fails; in between, every deployment, update, investigation, and management process is automated. The unit of compute and storage in cloud isn’t a server or even a cluster; it’s a stamp, because you ‘stamp’ them out as identical units. With Azure, for example, the smallest stamp size is 800 to a 1,000 of what you can call servers (20 of which are running the management software). Some cloud infrastructures distribute storage throughout the same boxes that have the CPUs in, while some cluster it in storage array. Still others put a battery in every box instead of having a UPS.