What is “the cloud” one might ask themselves…
If you ask Microsoft, their answer is:
“The cloud is not a physical entity, but instead is a vast network of remote servers around the globe which are hooked together and meant to operate as a single ecosystem.”
So, basically, it’s a fancy way to say datacenter. Specifically, it’s a fancy way to say multiple datacenters.
Ideally, the image all “cloud” providers like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and more want to convey is redundant, high-availability solutions. They want to seem like the most cutting-edge solution on the marketplace and charge a price that matches that.
Oftentimes you could compare two different companies. Let’s say OVH (which is/was traditionally seen as a budget provider that has just now started to dip their toes into the cloud market) and AWS….
With OVH, and specifically SoYouStart you could get a dedicated server simply billed as such for something along the lines of an E3 processor, 32GB ram, and NVME for $60 per month.
With AWS you’re looking at a minimum of $240 for the processing power and ram alone, not considering storage and bandwidth (which is really high at AWS)!
For 9/10 use cases of these different companies, you’ll probably see something like 99.9% uptime for OVH and 99.99% uptime for AWS.
At more than four times the price.
Now sure, you may like your website online and unmelted…
And I get it:
Some people and companies may need that extra 00.09% uptime…
But the majority of the time? People are simply buying into “the cloud” as marketing narrative and hype, and don’t get me wrong… this isn’t an OVH ad, either.
What I’m saying here is “the cloud” is simply just a different way to do billing. At the end of the day it all comes down to simple fundamentals…
Servers in racks in datacenters.
Cloud providers might have a slightly more premium and redundant setup, but it still comes down to those exact same fundamentals.
Plus, the internet isn’t in the cloud anyways. It’s under the ocean.
95% of the world’s data is transmitted via submarine cables with the other ~5% being satellite. The world truly isn’t as advanced as we think it is sometimes.
(You can see the world’s submarine cable map here. It’s super cool.)
After all, the internet is very physical. Even to the extent you could actually physically manipulate these physical cables that keep our world informed and connected.
(Which has been done before for political reasons, such as the cold war.)
Even the world’s most cutting-edge cloud provider still has to rely on these fundamentals.
Don’t overthink it.
When it comes to finding the right solution to power your next project or hobby, don’t put too much emphasis on finding what’s the newest, sexiest, most cutting-edge platform out there to power it at a premium price.
Don’t buy into the marketing hype.
Oftentimes the smaller, cheaper, solution will provide a very similar solution at a respectable price in this industry (minus the annoying sales reps and expensive hidden fees).
Because, after all… it all comes down to the fundamentals.
If they’ve got that right? A good experience usually follows.