A lesson in cloud computing: Don’t rely on old infrastructure

Cloud crashPeople who know me agree that I am more of a talker than a writer (some may even say too much of a talker). Cloud computing has been my field of expertise for the past 10 years or so and is a subject I am quite passionate about. As writing is not my forte, I had been waiting for inspiration to come along and help me share some of my expertise. Well, I think it sort of came to me while I was fast asleep during my recent vacation in the French Riviera.

To set the stage, I had just started my long overdue vacation with my lovely wife to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. We had decided to stay at my mother-in-law’s place in the south of France. The apartment and all the furnishings are about 40 years old. My mother-in-law decorated it herself back in the 1970s with modern yet timeless pieces. An example is the light fixture which adorned the ceilings of the two bedrooms. These fixtures, along with most of the furnishings, had endured the test of time. And now my wife and I were here under the same lights celebrating our wedding anniversary much like my in-laws had done on many occasions in the years past.

farzad postAfter a wonderful evening of celebration my wife and I decided to turn in for the night with no idea of what was in store for us. I remember tossing and turning several times through the night but after I had fallen into deep sleep, I was suddenly shaken to my core. It was as if I was in an apocalyptic dream where I felt the entire building crashing down on me and my beautiful wife. Time stood still as I heard the deafening noise of glass shattering and felt the blow as if a bomb had detonated. I instinctively sprung out of bed in an attempt to get my wife out of harm’s way. I did not know if I was awake or in a dream still, but in the darkness I could see my wife a few feet away, just as dazed and confused. In my state of delirium I somehow fell to my hands and knees next to the bed and heard more glass shattering under me.

At this time I was wide awake and had realized that it was not the entire apartment building which had fallen, but rather a sole fixture which had been affixed to the ceiling of our bedroom for the past 40 years. The fixture, which was made completely of glass, had pointed edges and must have weighed close to 20 kilos (44 pounds). The enormous light fixture somehow completely dislodged from the ceiling and plummeted to the ground right beside my head, shattering into a million shards of glass. The impact nearly pulverized some of the glass and sent some pieces flying in every direction impaling nearby objects lower to the ground.

Farzad post 2At this point, I knew that we were safe and that danger had passed yet I was not sure of the damage done as the room was dark and the floor was covered with glass. I dared not move a step, as I felt surrounded by a sea of mines. As my wife also realized what had happened and began to collect herself, I felt drops of liquid flow down my finger. I turned my attention to myself and realized that I was still standing in the crash site. By now my wife was outside the room and the hallway light served as a guide. In the dim light of the room, I managed to spot an open suitcase full of clothes. Without hesitation I stepped on to the clothes and out of the bedroom where I began to nurse my wounds which were on both hands and one knee.

As I began to reminisce, all I could see were the parallels between this story and the cloud story which all businesses and enterprises were eager to master and which I was looking to write about. So take heed and don’t rely on your old infrastructure to serve your needs. No matter how good and reliable your current infrastructure may be, if it is not maintained and cared for it could very well come crashing down and you may not be as lucky as I was.

In the end, one good thing that happened (besides me still being alive) was that I finally did write my blog post: Innovations in federal cloud put me on cloud nine. With your support, I plan on writing series of additional blog posts specifically aimed at cloud computing as IBM will focus its resources on helping an important customer, the US Government, so that they can in turn bring value to their important customers, all of us.

I look forward to seeing your comments on falling objects or failing infrastructures. Please reach out to me, because together we can solve any problem before it is too late. Please stay tuned to Thoughts on Cloud for more blog posts, and follow me on Twitter @faidun.

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Farzad Aidun

About Farzad Aidun

Farzad is a Client Technical Specialist currently focused on systems and technology enabling Cloud solutions for IBM Federal clients. He has over 20 years experience with background in both hardware and software spanning multitude of compute platforms and operating environments including virtualized environments. He is eager to hear your challenges and help solve them. Farzad can be reached on Twitter @faidun.
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