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Old 03-13-2013, 05:46 PM   #1
sundialsvcs
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The REAL Direction that the Internet is Headed (hint: technical, not religion)


The sister thread to this one might be "sort of interesting," but I think that what we really all should be talking about here is where the Internet is really heading ... because that's what's really going to cost a lot of jobs, particularly and specifically (maybe) including yours.

The development that I'm talking about is simply called "the Cloud," but it's really much more than that. As you can see from looking at sites like, say, http://developer.force.com/gettingstarted.

Ponder very carefully what the implications of these rapidly developing technologies actually mean to you, right now. "Six months" is actually a long time in this business these days. Here are some points that come to mind:

(1) Infrastructure won't be something that your employers maintain. Therefore, if you're a Linux sysadmin right now, maybe they won't need you any more. Those racks will be gone.

(2) "Custom" web-sites will become drastically less necessary, if at all. There's a huge economy-of-scale here that is simply irresistible. Furthermore, the use of "the web browser" as a primary vehicle for accessing the Internet is vanishing right before your disbelieving eyes.

(3) "Custom" mobile-app development won't replace it. People simply want to pick up whatever's in their hands and to have the same experience. They want to have two things in their hand at the same time and see in real time the effect of doing things using either or both. They won't pay money for mobile apps.

No, no, it's not like I just wandered into one cloud-computing site and got suckered by a great ad ... this has been developing now for a little while but it's gaining steam. This isn't just a 21st Century version of PowerBuilder, and Force is only one of a growing number. All of us have to very soberly keep in mind that employers and customers value only what we enable them to achieve, and that the way in which they can "achieve that" is commoditizing itself right before all of us.

Sophisticated offshoots of Linux are, indeed the foundation technology that's being used here. (Sorry, Microsoft ... and, Sorry, Apple.) But they don't have the "geek knowledge requirement" that we might be used to. Geeks of course will be necessary, but with very different expertise and, very likely, a whole lot fewer of them.

If it happens, it won't be the first time that this great river of technology has jumped its banks and left a generation high and dry in a magnificently apportioned, yet thoroughly beached boat.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 03-13-2013 at 05:48 PM.
 
Old 03-13-2013, 06:26 PM   #2
freebsd_Rules_All_OSes
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Don't care much for cloud computing but everything on the internet has its audience.

Last edited by freebsd_Rules_All_OSes; 03-13-2013 at 06:28 PM.
 
Old 03-13-2013, 08:06 PM   #3
dugan
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Quote:
"Custom" web-sites will become drastically less necessary, if at all. Furthermore, the use of "the web browser" as a primary vehicle for accessing the Internet is vanishing right before your disbelieving eyes.
Considering that cloud platforms are used to build and host custom web apps, which are meant to run in web browsers, I'd say it's amazing that you could actually write this nonsense.

Last edited by dugan; 03-13-2013 at 08:35 PM.
 
Old 03-14-2013, 02:46 PM   #4
sundialsvcs
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Cloud computing isn't just about web sites. It is a computing resource that's elastic: dynamically added or removed without reconfiguration. The racks of dedicated hardware that many "Linux sysadmins" now maintain one-by-one don't need to be around anymore.

But the key word in my original comment isn't "web site" ... it's "custom." Right now every business is treated as though it was one of a kind. Hundreds and thousands of hours are poured into something that is the only copy of itself on the planet, when the business needs of actual companies are hugely similar.

There's an economy of scale and of mass-production and commoditization that is taking place here and now. Everyone who runs Android is running Linux and none of them know or care.
 
Old 03-14-2013, 02:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sundialsvcs View Post
But the key word in my original comment isn't "web site" ... it's "custom." Right now every business is treated as though it was one of a kind. Hundreds and thousands of hours are poured into something that is the only copy of itself on the planet, when the business needs of actual companies are hugely similar.
This just isn't consistent with how any of the people or companies I'm familiar with (or can imagine) actually work.

There have always been tons of off-the-shelf solutions that may or may not be delivered via software-as-a-service (or need to be hosted on site), may or may not be built on cloud platforms, and which may or may not live up to the hype (*cough Sharepoint). A huge percentage of these (like Wordpress) do actually need development work to either customize for, or integrate with, with the company's actual IT ecosystem. Which combination of these (if any) will actually fit the company's needs is a question that needs to be determined from project to project.

EDIT: And my point, of course, stands. The whole point of a cloud platform is to build custom websites.

Last edited by dugan; 03-15-2013 at 10:45 AM.
 
Old 03-14-2013, 05:37 PM   #6
Nbiser
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In my opionion cloud computing is not secure in the least bit. It just doesn't make since to give your data to other people to keep safe for you. I would rather it be on my own server where I can be sure that it is well guarded. It seems all too easy for a hacker to hack into a cloud.
 
Old 03-14-2013, 06:23 PM   #7
dugan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nbiser View Post
In my opionion cloud computing is not secure in the least bit. It just doesn't make since to give your data to other people to keep safe for you. I would rather it be on my own server where I can be sure that it is well guarded. It seems all too easy for a hacker to hack into a cloud.
You would? I would more readily rely on trained professionals who stake their careers on keeping me safe, than rely on my own very limited security skills.

Quote:
It seems all too easy for a hacker to hack into a cloud.
And how easy is it, then, for a hacker to hack into "a cloud"?

Last edited by dugan; 03-14-2013 at 06:32 PM.
 
Old 03-15-2013, 12:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by dugan View Post
You would? I would more readily rely on trained professionals who stake their careers on keeping me safe, than rely on my own very limited security skills.



And how easy is it, then, for a hacker to hack into "a cloud"?
The cloud security thing is interesting to me, if I remember back to my security classes there are various threats to data, external, internal, and infrastructure. External would be your classic hacker that has access via the internet or possibly social engineering/attempted physical access. Infrastructure would be is the site likely to loose power, hard drives fail, systems fail, etc. Internal is who you have working that maintains the system, has access, maintains the application, etc and is possibly one of your largest threats. With Cloud computing you supposedly have eliminated the Infrastructure threat, they claim to have hardened the external threats, but the internal is thrown over to a group you know nothing about. You mention these are professionals, have they been background checked? Where are these professionals located? What are you trusting these professionals with? What is your recourse if something is compromised? It's one thing if you have them hosting your pictures of cats it's another turning over your billing/customer banking information. If your pictures of cats gets compromised you might wind up with some dogs in your pictures or missing some cats. If your billing/customer information gets compromised it could end your company. I believe there are some items that are not appropriate for the cloud, anything that will put your company out of business if it's compromised would fit that category. Your internal "hacker" has root, it's a knowledge of what to hit vs a how hard is it to hit at that point.
 
Old 03-15-2013, 01:04 PM   #9
dugan
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First, Blinker_Fluid: Good post.

If the scenario you're describing ever happens, I would expect the consequences for the cloud hosting company to be as catastrophic for them as it is for you (because I would expect you to make it as catastrophic for them as it is for you). Of course, there are tons of (larger) companies that have their own in-house security teams, are confident in their skills, and are making the exact same observations as you are and saying "Like hell I'm taking that risk!" Those are the ones that will still need their own rack servers and Linux sysadmins to keep them up.

I was at a talk given by a company that marketed itself specifically as a locker for sensitive data. During the QA session, the first question asked was, "Do you have an insurance policy to cover theft from your premises" The answer: "Excellent question. Yes. We have an insurance company that will cover loss up to a maximum of x amount of dollars."

Last edited by dugan; 03-15-2013 at 01:22 PM.
 
Old 03-15-2013, 05:07 PM   #10
Nbiser
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blinker_Fluid View Post
The cloud security thing is interesting to me, if I remember back to my security classes there are various threats to data, external, internal, and infrastructure. External would be your classic hacker that has access via the internet or possibly social engineering/attempted physical access. Infrastructure would be is the site likely to loose power, hard drives fail, systems fail, etc. Internal is who you have working that maintains the system, has access, maintains the application, etc and is possibly one of your largest threats. With Cloud computing you supposedly have eliminated the Infrastructure threat, they claim to have hardened the external threats, but the internal is thrown over to a group you know nothing about. You mention these are professionals, have they been background checked? Where are these professionals located? What are you trusting these professionals with? What is your recourse if something is compromised? It's one thing if you have them hosting your pictures of cats it's another turning over your billing/customer banking information. If your pictures of cats gets compromised you might wind up with some dogs in your pictures or missing some cats. If your billing/customer information gets compromised it could end your company. I believe there are some items that are not appropriate for the cloud, anything that will put your company out of business if it's compromised would fit that category. Your internal "hacker" has root, it's a knowledge of what to hit vs a how hard is it to hit at that point.
Thanks for the support Blinker_Fluid. Exactly what I would've said.
 
Old 03-17-2013, 12:03 AM   #11
Randicus Draco Albus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nbiser View Post
In my opionion cloud computing is not secure in the least bit. It just doesn't make since to give your data to other people to keep safe for you. I would rather it be on my own server where I can be sure that it is well guarded. It seems all too easy for a hacker to hack into a cloud.
In my opinion, a hacker gaining access to data is a small worry. The big worry is what will the people holding onto the data do with them? The concept of cloud computing is based on people trusting the data holders to keep those data out of the possession of others; both people who want to steal data and people who purchase them. I would not trust someone running a cloud to not sell my data or information about me to a third party. Of course, the world is full of people not as distrusting as I am.

Last edited by Randicus Draco Albus; 03-17-2013 at 12:04 AM.
 
Old 03-17-2013, 12:26 AM   #12
dugan
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I would not trust someone running a cloud to not sell my data or information about me to a third party. Of course, the world is full of people not as distrusting as I am.
Yet you obviously trust LQ not to sell your email address to third parties.

Your arrangement with your hosting (they're not all "cloud") provider, however, is a business arrangement. So what would you do if that provider sells information that you've entrusted to them? Let me guess: you'll sue them into oblivion and take everything they have? You'll point to the contract that you've both signed and that they've breached? You'll make sure that the damages awarded to you is proportional to the value of the data that was exposed? I'm not exactly seeing the cause for concern here, or even where "trust" is even a factor.

Last edited by dugan; 03-17-2013 at 01:17 AM.
 
Old 03-17-2013, 01:06 AM   #13
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i am not into this cloud stuff but i think that the cloud still needs a server and so it needs the sysadmin... and obviously prefered OS will be linux so i dont think there is anything that a linux admin has to worry about
 
Old 03-17-2013, 01:07 AM   #14
dugan
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Originally Posted by #root View Post
i am not into this cloud stuff but i think that the cloud still needs a server and so it needs the sysadmin... and obviously prefered OS will be linux so i dont think there is anything that a linux admin has to worry about
It's even better than that. A cloud has multiple servers and thus needs multiple sysadmins. In fact, you can use open source software to set up a cloud yourself.

Last edited by dugan; 03-17-2013 at 01:13 AM.
 
Old 03-17-2013, 01:25 AM   #15
Randicus Draco Albus
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Quote:
Yet you obviously trust LQ not to sell your email address to third parties.
I "trust" sites like LQ with an address. I have more than one for different purposes. Besides, I do not use e-mail for anything sensitive and there is not much anyone could gain by the little information Yahoo has. (My name.)

Quote:
So what exactly would happen, may I ask, if that provider sells information that you've entrusted to them?
I would not store anything with a "provider" that I would want to remain confidential. If I were to need a hosting service to start a web site, for example, they would only get the information they need, not what they might also want. If that is not to their liking, I would not do business with them. I do make private information public, through spoken word, written letter or by internet broadcasting (including a cloud).

Quote:
I'm not exactly seeing the cause for concern here, or even where "trust" is even a factor.
If one believes another party would never use one's information for their own benefit, one is trusting the other party to act in good faith. A contract is not a guarantee, and in fact, legal loop holes make most contracts almost useless. If people have no concerns about giving personal or confidential information to strangers that is their choice, but they have no right to complain if the information "slips" out.

Last edited by Randicus Draco Albus; 03-17-2013 at 01:28 AM.
 
  


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