When I see things like “The cloud is just someone else’s computer” I cringe a little bit, because it isn’t. It’s someone else’s computer run by a very good operations team, with services run by thousands of developers learning edge cases, and building an ecosystem of distributed applications that handle tons of automatic scaling.
Pretty powerful stuff… if you can pay for it and don’t mind sharecropping off someone else’s land.
The risk of the cloud is the One Vendor To Rule Them All. It’s just a new version of commercial software, but an even more evil one, because these new commercial vendors embrace and extend open source projects. I’m sure Redis and MongoDB just love AWS right now with ElasticCache and DocumentDB. This is the thing that drives me nuts about the cloud. It isn’t that you’re somewhat at risk to AWS “crushing you” by cranking up costs randomly. It’s that AWS might be killing software freedom. So your ability to even colocate using open source products is in doubt, because Amazon may be hurting the ability for the open source business ecosystem to thrive.
This is why I’d like to see a little less flippant comments about what the cloud being this simple “VMs on steriods argument”, because it is not. Cloud services on AWS, Azure, or GCP are very easy to use, powerful, and depending on use cases, generally aren’t much more expensive. But, your approach of colocating a server… just has so much less institutional risk. I’d really like to see it thrive as an option, because I want the option in the future to negotiate with places like Redis, Elasticsearch, or MongoDB with support contracts, instead of all my money going to a massive company like Amazon or Google.