According to this post on Dave Rosenberg’s CNET blog, Australian researchers have found that three major cloud providers have instability and performance variance.Cloudfrown

This is the opposite side of the hype cycle, where all those who can only see black and white and had dumped me into the “against the cloud” category suddenly get confused. I’m not for or against any technology, I just like to see it used in the proper manner and at the proper time.

It’s a bit early for the hype to start turning into cold hard reality, but Cloud has kind of blown standards for hype out of the water, so perhaps we should have expected the doom reports to start coming in this early.

You see, I’ll tell you a little secret about cloud technology. Ready? Don’t tell anyone… The Cloud is so immature it makes my 18 month old look grown up. But I’ll deny it if you tell anyone I said that, because after all, the hype tells us cloud is The Great White Hope. At least this year. Next year is starting to look less rosy for the cloud as darling of the media.

While I fully believe that the Australian researchers (indirectly) quoted experienced all that they mention and more, if you base your decisions on maturity of market and product rather than resonation of buzz, what they experienced should have been known to you already. Their report is not an indication of the instability of the cloud, nor is it an indication of the failure of cloud providers. It’s an indication that cloud is still going through growing pains.

I think that the press and some researchers miss how savvy those in the field are. If cloud interests you, you have at least researched the options, likely hung out on some forums, and possibly even given one a test run. Lots of organizations say they’re using it for prototyping, which is a good test run, doesn’t require access to databases, no major loss if it’s down for a while while the cloud provider implements some new feature, etc. Which means you probably new it wasn’t as stable as the machines that run your data center yet. But give it time, eventually they promise to be at least that stable, probably more.

If you’re just starting to research cloud, well you’ve been warned. You can’t expect a technology to go from concept to perfection over night. Remember that we had to build our own network drivers in the days of NetWare, but without those first baby steps we wouldn’t have a plug-n-play network – let alone a “no plug, just play” wireless network. It just takes time, and good things do come to those who wait.

So toy with the cloud, but keep it in context. The hype is largely people trying to make a name for themselves or stir up business for their company. Sooner or later (likely sooner) the stability of cloud offerings will settle down as the need for updates slows and the demands of users for availability grows. And keep reading, there are a growing number of voices that don’t fall into either of the above categories and are just trying to have a down-to-earth conversation about the capabilities and utility to be found in the cloud.

But yeah, I’d like more sophisticated monitoring. Who wouldn’t?

Until next time,

Don.