Now that it has been determined that I Am The Cloud, I find it somewhat ironic that I don’t care much for that word. Sadly, while there really isn’t a better term out there to describe the mix of services being offered to abstract data storage and automation, it sill irritates me.
I draw a lot of network diagrams. I drag and drop switches and routers hither and yon. However, when I come to something that is outside my zone of control, whether it be a representation of the Internet, the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) or private ISP connection circuit, how do I represent that in my drawing? That’s right, with a puffy little cloud. I use clouds when I have to show something that I don’t control. When there are a large number of devices beyond my control I wrap them in the wispy borders of the cloud.
So when I’m talking about creating a cloud inside my network, I feel uneasy calling it that. Why? Because these things aren’t unknown to me. I created the server farms and the switch clusters to connect my users to their data. I build the pathways between storage arrays and campus LAN. There is nothing unknown to me. I’m proud of what I’ve built. Why would I hide it in the clouds? I’d rather show you what the infrastructure looks like.
To the users though, it really is a cloud. It’s a mystical thing sitting out there that takes my data and gives me back output. Users don’t care about TRILL connections or Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE). If I told them their email got ferried around on the backs of unicorns, they’d probably belive me. They don’t really want to know what’s inside the cloud, so long as they can still get to what they want. In fact, when users want to create something cloud-like today without automation and provisioning servers in place, they’re likely to come ask me to do it. Hence the reason why I’m The Cloud.