“Cloud” Drinking Game

If I were a drinker, I’d be all over this game.  Here’s how it works:  Head out to a conference or seminar, and every time someone offers you a “Cloud” service, you drink.  If you follow this plan faithfully, I’m fairly certain you’ll be hospitalized by mid afternoon.

There are thousands of services being offered in the Cloud today.  Buzzwords come and go, but what does this one mean for you and your business?

Cloud Service:  A service purchased on a subscription model, and provided by servers located elsewhere, and shared amongst many.

Vendors will give you all sorts of reasons why moving your services will increase your ROI, lower your costs, give you peace of mind and launder your knickers, but there are few benefits that every good Cloud Service should offer.

  1. Enterprise Grade Redundancy:  A worthy Cloud service should offer it’s services through more than one system.   Typically they’re run off of huge infrastructures that have a great deal of investment behind them.
  2. Operating Expense:  One of the major benefits to Cloud is that it changes the way business expend income.  No longer are huge Capital outlays the norm, but instead a subscription becomes part of the Operating expenses.
  3. Work from Anywhere:  Your IT pro really doesn’t want to open your network directly to the internet, but you want to work from anywhere.  Cloud services make both of you happy.

So what should you look for in a Cloud service provider?  Here’s yet another ordered list.

  1. Company Size:  Don’t go with the little guy.  It’s not that I don’t like the little guy, he’s awesome, but unfortunately what you’re looking for in a Cloud service is a multi-million dollar datacenter with all the bells and whistles.  The little guy doesn’t have this.
  2. Longevity:  How long has the company been around and providing Cloud services?
  3. Ease of Integration: You’ve got to be able to get up and running fast.  Lengthy migrations just typically don’t happen.
  4. Price:  Duh.

I’ve gotta tell you, at every conference I go to, I’m swamped by buzzwords, but “Cloud” is definitely the word that assaults my senses the most these days.  I don’t see that trend lessening any time soon.  Hopefully nobody takes my advice and turns it into a drinking game though, or all my compatriots will be swimming in whiskey.  Drunk nerds can get ugly.  Trust me.