A local colo is not the place to start your cloud migration

If you’re in IT leadership, you’re probably getting flooded right now with salespeople from regional colos and managed services companies trying to get you on-board for their cloud services.

Most of those services are just rebranded flavors of what they’ve been offering for years — I’ve seen some ridiculous stuff where a three-year-server lease with colo hosting was being sold as “consumption-based cloud”. It’s a lot of desperate grasps at buzzwords from companies that are years behind the ball.

Cloud support is a terrible job, and that’s a good thing for security

Of all the arguments that people make against moving their workloads to AWS or Azure, lack of control of vendor staff makes the least sense to me.

“The cloud isn’t secure because we don’t control the hiring or their people.”

I still have an involuntary eye twitch from the first time I heard this.

“They could hire literally anyone off the street and they could get access to our data.”

I think the reason it bugs me so much is that it is based on so many faulty assumptions — that your internal hiring practices are awesome, that your processes and controls are awesome, that you have as much control over your staff or environment or literally anything else in the world as you think you do.

It’s a comfort thing, but like a lot of comfort things, it’s based on premises that aren’t real.

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Don’t stop at IaaS

Two years ago, I sat in a room of engineers listening to a Microsoft instructor describe Azure’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service. One of the engineers who worked for a large retailer rolled his eyes at everything the instructor said. It was clear he wasn’t attending out of personal choice.

During one of the breaks, I asked him about what his company was doing with cloud and what he was hoping to learn about during the day. He confirmed my suspicion.

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Pivoting BestTech.io

Last year, Jarin Dykstra and I launched BestTech.io with the idea that it would be a little like The Wirecutter for enterprise IT products and services.

We created recommendations for Desktops-as-a-Service, Identity-as-a-Service, and several other categories with the hope that other IT people could leverage our research and testing to save time and have at least the outline of a path to the cloud.

While designing and building cloud IT for our current employer, we found ourselves constantly reaching for a lifeline that wasn’t there, so we wanted to be that lifeline for others. That’s still our goal, but we’re changing our approach.

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