New Paradigm, Same Old Humans

In the last two weeks three major Cloud Service Providers (CSPs), Evernote, Feedly & Code Spaces, endured Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. For Code Spaces the attacks continued, changed tactics & caused that company to close.


Who doesn’t make use of distributed services these days?  From Facebook to Feedly to Evernote.  We keep our photos on iCloud, Flickr, Photobucket & Shutterfly.  Most of us use Yahoo, Hotmail or Gmail to communicate.  We store content on Google Drive, Office 365, Dropbox, Box or something like it.  For better or worse, Cloud-based services provide much of our capabilities.

Philosophical Statement:  Choices are option-limiters and, when the options rise to a certain level, they become conscious risk-based decisions.

It may be a stretch to say that whether I choose a Milky Way or Whatchamacallit candy bar is a risk-based decision; choosing to have a candy bar instead of drinking some water or eating some fruit might, depending on my health, be a more conscious risk-based decision.

Large enterprise business technology paradigms have been stressed for years.  Some businesses claim they cannot get a level of functionality out of their technology investments that offsets the cost but they feel they cannot afford to forego the benefits of the technology altogether.

Scalability and costing models that allow for operational expensing versus capital expensing look appealing.  The ability to leverage core capabilities rapidly and without the overhead of development and implementation appear very interesting.

Here are a couple of things to consider, however:

  • Technology researchers tell us that cost should not be a driver for moving core capabilities to the Cloud.
  • If distributed/shared capabilities are so much better then why haven’t we leveraged them before this point and what makes them so lucrative now that numerous companies are willing to compete in the same service spaces (storage, communication, etc)
  • We know that as individual consumers WE are what those businesses are willing to trade for; they want our information so I get Gmail for free.  Microsoft wants my dollars instead so O365 is only a few dollars per month.

Keep in mind that I’m asking this question not as a Socratic attempt to down Cloud services; I use them.  I’m asking what is the value statement to the enterprise?   Are we paying to have the same base capabilities our competitors have?  If so, that’s not necessarily bad.  We should buy commoditized capabilities and invest in those things that differentiate our business from our competitors.

While doing that, however, we have a burden of Due Care to consider our options and the implications.

I’m sure whoever was paying Code Spaces to host & version their codebase would agree right about now.