Living in the Cloud

Internet DNA Podcast

We've looked at clouds from both sides now.. and established that Abi can't sing, but there are pro's and cons of cloud computing in the world according to Dan 'n' Abi.



Hello? I'm well, how are you? Good. Good. Middle of the day.


So this week we're talking about the cloud, which is pretty broad. I mean, could we sort of section it and have little fluffy clouds or clouds was silver lining? Could we shoe horned in Neil diamond? Perhaps? I'd be loud for both sides. I can't think of it. Um, but it's huge. And I mean, what do you mean by the cloud then?

So the cloud in general is a broad term for anything that is based on the Internet as a service usually. So most people know the cloud through storage services. So rather than having the backup drive we were talking about last brilliant go you on the same topic. I updated my computer to one terabyte SSD drives. So there you go. So the cloud, it actually is, is a broad term for services delivered by the Internet and most people know it through storage, which means instead of storing things on your computer, you store them on the cloud. So what is the cloud in terms of storage? It's basically servers all around the world that replicate each other. So yeah. So if you store something that say on Icloud, it's stored all over the world on Icloud, not just on one server but it's replicated everywhere,

say everywhere. It must mean that it's the same as serve as we used to have maybe in the back office or on rack space. But what you're saying is half the world is covered in enormous warehouses with computers in and that's called the cloud.

Yes, exactly. And so, uh, you know Dropbox don't you? Yeah, I do do two. Brilliant. So Dropbox is basically a cloud storage service based on a thing called Amazon web services. Who are the largest cloud provider in the world?

Yeah, no, I thought it was on little Dropbox.

Dropbox is on Dropbox, but they're based, they basically use a thing called s three storage, which is AWS is storage solution that anybody with an Amazon account can have and all they've done is built a little front end that allows you to manage your own account and store it. But when you store it, Amazon web services have service houses everywhere.

Well, I mean, when you say everywhere,

so in London for instance, in the UK, they have I think three what they call a zs, which are availability zones. Um, and they all have three of those in London. So any to go down, you still got one left. Do you see what I mean?

So is it important because I was thinking they'd all be in the Arctic or Antarctic, so they, they, they weren't, so they were keeping cool, but is it important this storage has to be near as to me because that's quicker.

Okay. Yes. So that really depends on how you're using it. So let's say you're using it to stream media, then it's quite important. I mean, there are other ways around it, but it's quite important that it's close to you because you're talking about latency. Um, which is the time it takes for the signal to get from your computer to a server and back again. Um, which people sometimes, no, no, no. Is Ping. Um, so all the ping is, as I say hi and I wait for the research, the server to return hi back to me. Basically, they don't use those words. But, um, I think that shoes, hello. But there you go. Um, and that's a measurement of how quickly you and the server can talk. Now in some things that's like say take gaming, that's really important. And the finance, so yeah. Uh, but also some software.

So, uh, um, some accounting software does a thing called bitwise so it doesn't update files all at once. Literally updates, tiny bits of those files all the time. And what you don't want to get is what called desynchronization where people who are updating afterwards or updating earlier, because let's say we both update at the saint or let's say you update and you send a signal and it takes, I'm just going to do stupid numbers, five seconds for you to get that back again. Yeah. But I update a second later than you, but it only takes two seconds for me to update. So actually what's happening is I'm updating before you are, even though I actually did the command after you,

that's a real problem. Does that happen a lot then? How do they get round that?

Uh, by reducing latency, by creating different streams around it. There's a thing called locking. So then accounting software uses this all the time. So when you make the operation, what actually happens is it then locks and it says you cannot update anything until I've finished doing what Abby said. Yeah. You see what I mean? So it locks it and that's actually what bitch blockchain is all about, which is stopping people from updating things before that. Just see what I mean. Because the thing about blockchain is it's immutable so you can't change what happened in the past. We'll talk about that in a different area.

I think that's something I would really like to talk about because I think I need to start investing. But I agree. No, you don't have time. But that's, I mean, coming back to I guess people know about cloud for storage, but it's not just for storage is it's, it's everything. It's for software. It's anything do your toll. Now

you take g suite friends instance, which is a Google's, uh, offering, which gives you a spreadsheet, gives you files. And for a company that's quite important because it means I can work on a document, I don't have to send you the document. I just say, here is the document, and you can edit. In fact, we can both edit it at the same time or six people can edit it at the same time, and there's only one version of that that, and it can track the version of that. Whereas if you, let's say in the old way, I'd have a word document, I'd write it, I'll send it to you. You would make some edits, you'd send it back to me. Now I've got two versions of it. Yeah, and that gets, yeah,

so I was having this conversation the other day. We couldn't seem to get less done. All this immediacy and the million emails, it's not meaning that whether it's even more, somehow

if you want to get into a conversation about how timesaving things actually makes make your life more busy, then that's a different conversation.

Yeah, that's a whole, we'll talk about that at New Year. That was, it might be one of my new year's resolutions. So, but I use Adobe creative crap cloud. I don't know if I can name drop everything like this, however is that's not in the cloud on the car cause I download it onto my computer

elements of it are so um, it has like all your fonts are on Mcleod really. You sink the fonts with your software but actually they remain in Adobe's font foundries. Yeah. That's from the license from stealing their fun. Um,

give them all away free.

Yeah. And that they have a thing called Bihar state. I mean they have cloud elements to it, but I mean actually if you think about it, it's actually delivered via the cloud. So they retain the central repository of the software and whenever they do updates you just get them automatically. Yeah.

That's a really major benefit of, of not buying a piece of software. Like we used to have the CD, the benefits are the updates are free in automatic or I mean you obviously you can, you can set them to whether I want them automatically or not, but they are free and readily available, which is a fantastic elements of the cloud. Is there any, are there any downsides to the cloud? Going back to Armageddon, is the cloud going to be a real problem?

It's really interesting when you talk about the Internet because it's kind of why it was designed. So the original point of the Internet was in term in, in the event of a, let's say a nuclear catastrophe, that computers would still be able to network because they would just find the root to the next computer. Um, and the thing about the cloud is, you know, you gotta be very careful about how you define apocalypse. No, no electricity. Okay. You're going to struggle just because, but the point of the cloud is that it's massively resilient and it's everywhere. So I can have my files, I can lose my laptop, I can sign back into all my cloud services. Everything is still there. So if you'll talk about disaster recovery, which in my professional life or something I have to deal with all the time, one of the key things is that there's nothing on your computer that doesn't exist somewhere else. Do you see what I mean?

Byron? You spill your coffee over here on the [inaudible] back in January.

I'll just give you a new one. Yeah, I'll just give you a new one. Lock you in and that's it. You're done. You're back on exactly everything.

And someone asked me an interesting question, uh, which I hadn't.

So let's talk a fall.

And that was, I mean, let's take step back from that. So do we call things like wordpress and Squarespace and the, and Shopify and these platforms that we're all using to build websites on there? Are they cloud based?

Oh, okay. So, um, does it, does it different? So is cloud? Yeah. which is when you download the software yourself and put it on a site on a, on a server in itself is not on the cloud, but if you put it on to AWS


then it's on the cloud. Yeah.

Because this person said to me, aren't you finding it difficult that you or not now, uh, targeting for hosting because the hosting has been provided by the cloud providers, which I can say that in the future, hosting was a big part of what a web designers offered and it was a sort of monthly income, but it's not, it's not something that's ever been relevant to me. What about you?

Um, okay, so if you're talking about Squarespace or wix or any of these website builder, he things then sure does. That's, that's an issue. I think there's a difference between, um, let's call it commoditized CMS, like wordpress, Drupal, Joomla, all of these things you can just download. And if you've got the scale as you can build them yourselves or where you just go on, they give you wordpress and you can basically do very limited things with it on site. Yep. Um, so hosting still a thing socially, you mean in my profession where I work, hosting huge, you know, because we've, we build our own websites that are hosted on the cloud. Yeah.

There is still a thing, but oh absolutely. Don't go and buy a rack in rack space. We buy a little bit of the little fluffy cloud, a big bit of little,

a little bit. And then the beautiful thing about the cloud is I can configure a server one time for my wordpress. Let's say I have a wordpress configuration and then I can right into code all the bits that I need. And then they say, right, we need one in Japan. I can just go fine. Launch that in Japan, Bang and up it comes in Japan or I can say, I mean you can actually do this with your entire network, which is really interesting. So you can do all your firewalls, all your servers, your database servers, your security group, you know, everything all in. Basically I do it and the Ammo, but you can do it in Jason Code and so they say, right, we want that network infrastructure somewhere else and you can literally just go run that code and it will build all the servers, all the security groups, everything out.

And this is where, well, I mean the, the, the really interesting thing about the cloud is in the old days, let's say you were a big company and you wanted to build a data center. Yeah. Well first of all, you've got to build a data center or you've got a higher space from that. Someone like Rackspace or somewhere. Yeah. Then you've got it all to the service. Then you've got to configure the servers. Then you've got a rack and stack the servers. Then you brought from home, you see? Yeah. Then you've got it. Have a sis ops to manage them.

I thought it was a bit like the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker all doing their thing. Whereas now you just go to the supermarket. Yep. And now you just go, yeah,

I mean I can provision a thousand servers in five minutes.

I, I guess, um, I guess [inaudible] are the differences as well as you don't need a t. Every company doesn't need a team of people to manage that hosting. Um, that is managed sent through by the people managing the cloud. So you're not duplicating manpower

and it leads to even more interesting things, which is serverless, which is something you probably haven't or don't really know about. But rather than having a server that runs wordpress, you can read, you can rejig wordpress. So then there is no server basically every command that like every PHP is just sent to a compute resource and you only pay for how long it takes to compute that. But you don't run a server. You don't have, you know, am I updated and my patch? Do I have the latest version? You know, none of that's your problem.

Is that the problem of the people that you have the cloud supplier?

Yeah, exactly. And that's Amazon, so yeah,

yeah, I be doing, I guess the other question that we would have asked is is it scalable? And I, I guess from the difference from what it used to be like is if you thought it was going to sell quickly, you had to buy hosting space. It was much, much bigger than you needed, so very expensive. Whereas now you buy the space that you need an adding on is ever expanding and not that expensive.

It's even better than that. Oh, by a tiny little server. Let's say I'm running a small website, I can ride it by a tiny service. Something like a t two micro, which is actually free, but I can put an auto scaling rule that says if the CPU hits 60% just provision. Another one is actually like this one and split them. And then if they go over 60% at another one, so I had three or four or five or scale to whatever you want, and you can set a load of alarms in there. So you can say if the memory's out, double a memory. If the databases then create a read replica. So actually what you can do is you can really finely granularly say, I only want what I need now and what I need in my busy period. I'm going to allow auto scaling to deal with that.

Yeah. Oh,

so the real advantage, it's a cloud is that you really only need, so let's say your retailer Abby. Yeah. And you sell Christmas widgets. Yeah. So in December you need a server with that's 10 times more powerful than the server you need in March. Yeah, absolutely. Traditionally you would have had to buy a server that is 20 times more than you need 11 months of the year.

So the cost disadvantage of that was enormous.

Yeah. Now, as you say, I all by a tiny server that I need for my lowest month and I will let you scale to whatever the top, whatever my peak is. Or actually I'll let you scale beyond my peak, but do you see what I mean? Plus because it's instead of it being one server and the server going high move alluded, you've actually got 20 servers or going on. I'm only dealing with a 20th of the traffic. I'm absolutely fine. Yeah. And so

around the world

because they're spread over lots of servers because basically in

no October, uh, websites and servers is, is is a thing of the past.

We'll be a thing point. I mean, not everybody's on that kind of hosting. Yeah, it's, there's a, there's a, there's a knowledge gap with most people between, you know, I'm sure you can go to any web or any host and say, can I have a server? And they go, yeah, there you go. Yeah. Amazon web services is slightly different. You have to know at least a little bit what you're doing within servers,

but it must be a lot of legacy systems, especially in the sort of big trays, closed industries like finance or NHS where they're still using a great big and they're their own servers service. Would that be true?

Yeah, absolutely. And I mean there are a lot of companies that now, which you will hear or doing cloud migration, which means, let's say I'm a big company, I've got, I've got petabytes of data. Yeah. Actually Amazon, strangely, we'll send you round an articulated lorry, dump all your data into that Laurie, which is just full of hard drives. And then they'll drive it to that warehouse and they'll pull, I get in, they can also send you a thing called a snowball, which I think does up to one petabyte.

Isn't that a Christmas cocktail?

Well it is as well. That's also around this. No, but they have a thing, a snowball. It's like a box

said. If I said, um, I'm, I'm not thinking of cocktails and things. So we're going to finish in a minute. If I said, where is the cloud going, um, as it floats by or starts to rain? Is it all sunny and out there or is it, I'm going to the fact that everyone's going to be properly on the cloud or is it going further? Can you see further than that?

Aye. Okay. So now we're going to get answers to like Internet philosophy or like, um, everything's going to move to subscription services. Yeah. You don't want to own anything anymore. Yeah. You don't own your music, you don't own your movies, you don't, you won't own anything. Um, I would say in 10 years there'll be very little physical stuff that you need. So for instance, at the moment we probably all buy laptops and computers and we'll really powerful stock, you know, way more powerful than we need now with the cloud already, you can say, actually, I don't want that. I'm going to buy myself a 200 quid Chromebook or similar, some sort of net book, put it onto my TV or even my TV. We'll just do it. And actually you can then say, actually, I want you to run a 32 gig memory, I nine because I'm working on Photoshop and now I'm not working on Photoshop. I only want it to be a tiny little, yeah. So everything will start to become commoditized like that so that you're not, you're only buying what you're paying for, but you're paying for it every month in the moment. You can't pay for it,

your whole [inaudible] and things, but you don't even get to post at the end. I always find that, I mean, obviously this is not going to be a surprise considering how much to buy my hard drive, but I, I don't like having to pay for everything. It's not as, I like to know that I've got it. And that's that.

Yeah. And there are advantages and disadvantages, but I mean, uh, from Microsoft's point of view, for example, everybody used to just steal their software now, or Adobe is another perfect example. I mean, how many people did you know that didn't have an eagle copy of, of the things. Now you pay your 4,499 or you don't get it slaps. It's really that simple. Yeah. And so is it picks of sense. It makes sense. And also you don't, you're not stuck with one person is using Photoshop 5.5 and other guys using Photoshop six. They don't talk to each other. All of that disappears. Yeah. Chat

that that is the one thing that the internet isn't it, it's become easier and easier and easier to connect

and yet it's even bits of your busy. I'm doing less and less and less. I know.

So I guess the, the uh, the, the, the, the, the Internet is bright if yet sort of clouds.

Well, yeah, I mean, yeah,

sure is bright yet full of clouds.

The future is subscription. Uh, you know, my worry about it is that what happens is the bottom end of the, of the just ended up having nothing because you can't even buy it anymore. Yeah.

You have to go to people that might have been landing on a second hand, uh, pass down copy of something or other, something other can't do that anymore because it just doesn't exist.

Once computers are just dumb terminals. Owning the terminal means nothing. If you can't pay for the services that run it,

that it widens the gap even for some. So. So it's, it's not, it's not all those is, it could, it could cause enormous problems.

Well it's a massive, I mean, you know, you've got, you're getting going to get caught up in my sort of politics if you're not careful, so, but you know what it will do and then you tie it in with other types of social engineering and credit scoring and then suddenly you start to lock people out of society effectively and that, that part of it can be more warrior plus if you're connected to the Internet for everything you do, your being, you know, you are basically being datavail to all the time. Yeah. So people are looking what you do, what you buy, what you sell. You know, and that's, that could could, I'm not saying it does, but it can lead to that say abuses of power. Um, if, if let's say, I'm going to just give a really silly example, but let's say your insurance, your health insurance company actually knew because your phone and all the different things that monitor you all the time, that you're not actually a person they want to insure. So actually the only people who end up being insured or the people that don't need insurance and the people that do need insurance ended up being the people that don't get it, that that's a worrying scenario.

I don't even know how to put a light spin on that to finish up the Christmas grins. Yeah. Well yeah, I'm going to bring next week. I think I'm going to bring them all happy. Look. Yeah, no, no, I can clearly now the rain has gone type thing. [inaudible] it's a good thing. I mean we don't have a lot of people, it's been life changing in a lot of countries.

My bookshelf and there's a whole bunch of cds and a whole bunch of books, which has been replaced by a kindle. And, uh, well, my phone actually now,

can I say, I'd say it was a little sad, but yes.

Yeah, a little sad. But then, you know, imagine all the plastic that's used for my cds that doesn't need to be used anymore. You know, imagine all the trees and paper and energy that goes into making books that I don't need to use any more.

Oh, it's fine. We have the silver lining.

Well, it's a compromise, isn't it? That's what I'm saying. You know,

and they're going to have to leave it there. I'm afraid I'll wait.

Right. I love, I'd, we ended up not talking about the cloud at all, but that's,

well, I think we did. And, um, I've enjoyed our conversation and feel a bit enlightened. Nice, sweet, New Year.

So we'll do a few new year's resolutions and until then, have a great Christmas. [inaudible].

Dan & Abi work, talk & dream in tech. If you would like to discuss any speaking opportunity contact us.