Cloud Nirvana

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Published on: November 12, 2013

TSQL2sDay150x150T-SQL Tuesday is a recurring blog party, that is started by Adam Machanic (Blog | @AdamMachanic). Each month a blog will host the party, and everyone that want’s to can write a blog about a specific subject.

This month the subject is “Cloud Atlas”. If you want to read the invite, please click the image below to go to the party-starter: Jorge Segarra (Blog | @SQLChicken).

For me, this will be a quick entry on my part to participate.  I have a mixed bag of feelings about the Cloud and the buzz-wordiness that implies.

mushroomDisaster Struck

One of my biggest concerns with the cloud is the gloom and doom that has been felt by a client after a bout of corruption struck their database.  The person on staff responsible for backups did a fantastic job of ensuring the database was backed up on a daily basis.  That is not the doom and gloom sadly.

This particular case turned sour after corruption hit the database.  The web application no longer connected to the database.  The data was corrupt.  The database was inaccessible.  The client was distraught and sweating bullets.  The client and the employee new not what to do so they sought me out to get some help.

After an assessment, we determined that the database needed to restored from backup.  All of the backups were done fastidiously – to the cloud.  The backups were only accessible through a specific application and the process required copying the backup from the cloud down to the server via the application.  The process is pretty easy, right?

The recovery of the database took an entire week!  The copy down through the application from the cloud was destructive to the business to say the least.  The company had little to no chance of surviving being out of business for the outage caused by this scenario.


On the more positive side, there may be a silver lining to the cloud for many people.  I have done more than my share of successful Cloud migrations.  I have also seen many applications work very well from the Cloud.

One benefit to me personally about the Cloud is the ability to quickly spin up resources or even servers.  Much like a VM farm, I can request more resources for a Server during specific workload times.  And I can also dial down the gauges a bit when the workload is less intense.

I really like the idea of spinning up a machine in a matter of a few clicks and minutes.  When SQL 2014 released CTP2, this was fantastic.  I know several people took advantage of this ability and began playing with CTP2 almost immediately after the announcement of the CTP2 release.

Is the cloud right for you?  I can’t say.  I have had success and failure related specifically to the cloud that might not have happened in a less “nimble” environment.  The decision to move to the Cloud is frequently the decision made by somebody other than the technologist that must support the technology and the decision.  If you are moving to the Cloud, you may succeed and enjoy it or you may fail and hate it.  Your mileage will vary.

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