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Computing => Cloud Computing + IoT => Topic started by: windsmurf on May 27, 2019, 06:09:07 am

Title: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: windsmurf on May 27, 2019, 06:09:07 am
Let's kick off this forum with a survey on your preferred cloud services!  ;D
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: blueskull on May 27, 2019, 06:15:10 am
AWS -- I've used it, and I will use it if needed.
Alibaba -- Chinese AWS. If I need more CDN in China, that would be my way to go.
Google -- banned in China, not interested. Before that, I had terrible experience with GAE.
IBM -- sounds expensive and for big players only.
Dell -- sounds expensive and for big players only.
Azure -- I'm eager to try.
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: hendorog on May 27, 2019, 07:00:46 am
AWS fairly extensively.

Google Sheets for an internal UI in a specific use case, but haven't gone deeper than that yet.
Office 365 for the users, but nothing on Azure.


Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: Towger on May 27, 2019, 07:07:14 am
Azure - One of their main data centers is near the main offices and most customers.
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: steve30 on May 27, 2019, 10:54:17 am
Sunshine seems far more appealing :)
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: EEVblog on May 27, 2019, 11:04:10 am
I use AWS for my bulk mailing system, and used to use AWS for forum backups.
The number of services it offers is staggering.
Not particularly easy to use though.
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: madires on May 27, 2019, 12:44:55 pm
Based on current laws, especially the US CLOUD act, companies in the EU might violate EU laws when using those cloud services for processing or storing any personal data. It's a complex topic.
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: windsmurf on May 28, 2019, 07:29:00 am
I use AWS for my bulk mailing system, and used to use AWS for forum backups.
The number of services it offers is staggering.
Not particularly easy to use though.

The company I work for spends over $100K/month on AWS services...and we're just getting started.
We've started to dabble with Azure, and in fact I'll be at a Microsoft Tech Center the next 2 days to drink some of their cool-aid.
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: windsmurf on May 28, 2019, 07:34:38 am
Based on current laws, especially the US CLOUD act, companies in the EU might violate EU laws when using those cloud services for processing or storing any personal data. It's a complex topic.
Yes... we had to develop a whole different system for our Germany lab due to GDPR requirements.   
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: NivagSwerdna on May 28, 2019, 07:36:33 am
I host my web servers and services on Digital Ocean.

Docker, Nginx, Traefik,...

Couldn't respond to your poll!  It's not on the list!
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: bd139 on May 28, 2019, 08:33:09 am
I'm helping people move away from the cloud at the moment, particularly AWS, after they have been burned. I'm a cert AWS architect for ref so if that's a recommendation then I don't know what is  :-DD

Turns out the cross between political uncertainty, security uncertainty, difficult cost and security management and the initially high price for big iron and traditional architectural models that all the companies are still tied to doesn't make sense. The pay-per-everything model is difficult to price up front. We've seen cost models escalate to 3x the initial cost and at £2m+ to start with that's not a good deal. Also the staffing required does not decline in cost or quantity. On top of that some of the tools that provided don't serve the client well for example SES which is a royal pain in the administrative front requiring 1 hands on staff member just to look after it in an medium enterprise.

Case in point, TCO over 5 years for a high end pair of SQL Servers is no less than about £4m. In DC hardware it's less than that for the entire cluster over 5 years including capex and opex.

NivagSwerdna has it about right for cost effectiveness. IaaS only. Build your own cloud on top of it.
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: madires on May 28, 2019, 10:06:04 am
I host my web servers and services on Digital Ocean.

They host also a lot of SPAMmers and bots :(
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: rrinker on May 28, 2019, 06:46:37 pm
 We do a lot with Azure - in fact as a Microsoft Partner we resell Azure services. We do a lot of on-prem to Office 365 migrations, and many of those customers get set up with an Azure instance as well to host federation services. Fairly standard template - I have PowerShell scripts that can deploy the needed machines and set up the network infrastructure in one go.
 Have some clients who have stuff hosted in AWS - its FAR more complicated to work with and set up than Azure.
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: windsmurf on May 29, 2019, 07:25:54 am
I'm helping people move away from the cloud at the moment, particularly AWS, after they have been burned. I'm a cert AWS architect for ref so if that's a recommendation then I don't know what is  :-DD
...
Case in point, TCO over 5 years for a high end pair of SQL Servers is no less than about £4m. In DC hardware it's less than that for the entire cluster over 5 years including capex and opex.
...

Yes I hear a lot from vendors about clients moving out of the cloud.  Lot of companies had FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and prematurely moved workloads to the cloud.  We luckily did our homework and decided not to move any existing workloads to the cloud... but all new developments were moved to the cloud, and they could only code using cloud native services like Lambda (and not EC2's).  I warned against that as well (cloud vendor lock-in); I much preferred going with agnostic container services like docker, so that workloads could be run anywhere. 
All our SQL servers and legacy apps remain on-premise. 
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: windsmurf on May 29, 2019, 07:42:33 am
We do a lot with Azure - in fact as a Microsoft Partner we resell Azure services. We do a lot of on-prem to Office 365 migrations, and many of those customers get set up with an Azure instance as well to host federation services. Fairly standard template - I have PowerShell scripts that can deploy the needed machines and set up the network infrastructure in one go.
 Have some clients who have stuff hosted in AWS - its FAR more complicated to work with and set up than Azure.

Yeah Azure is growing much faster than AWS now... and at a pace AWS has never had.  Many expect Azure to surpass AWS in 2021.

Problem with AWS is, its way too developer-centric, and everything feels like unpolished lego pieces you gotta figure out and put together out on your own.
Beauty is they have the most Lego pieces to play with.
Another problem with AWS... they find profitable customers using AWS, and crushes them... Circuit City, Toys R Us, Borders, all former AWS users... all crushed by AWS.  AWS now getting into Supermarkets, Pharmacies, VOIP/Phone Systems... they definitely don't have the best interest of their customers. 
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: bd139 on May 29, 2019, 07:55:07 am
I'm helping people move away from the cloud at the moment, particularly AWS, after they have been burned. I'm a cert AWS architect for ref so if that's a recommendation then I don't know what is  :-DD
...
Case in point, TCO over 5 years for a high end pair of SQL Servers is no less than about £4m. In DC hardware it's less than that for the entire cluster over 5 years including capex and opex.
...

Yes I hear a lot from vendors about clients moving out of the cloud.  Lot of companies had FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and prematurely moved workloads to the cloud.  We luckily did our homework and decided not to move any existing workloads to the cloud... but all new developments were moved to the cloud, and they could only code using cloud native services like Lambda (and not EC2's).  I warned against that as well (cloud vendor lock-in); I much preferred going with agnostic container services like docker, so that workloads could be run anywhere. 
All our SQL servers and legacy apps remain on-premise. 


Totally agree. My personal recipe of observation on how to fail at the cloud properly:

1. CXO decision panel. Watched a YouTube video by one cloud vendor. We need to move to the cloud. Everyone is moving to the cloud. The cloud tells us it will save us money and humans and is basically made of manna from heaven.
2. Goes and talks to existing architects who shake their heads and warn against the woes of doing this without lots of legwork and possibly rewriting the whole product from the ground up. CXO demands that rather than technically skilled, he wants yes men.
3. Company hires some yes men, usually from a consultancy but occasionally an enthusiastic architect who has watched all the same YouTube videos the CXO class has and is pissing their pants with excitement over getting to play with new toys instead of Java EE containers. Thus starts the death march.
4. Consultancy, after great expense, tells them they need to rearchitect everything cloud-focused i.e. plan for failure, automation (difficult on windows) and service discovery which is diametric opposite of what they have which is basically point and click operations on windows and semi-religious development with bits of legacy crap hanging off it and various bits of non portable black boxes like firewalls that abstracted the entire understanding away to an MSP. Everyone is sent for AWS training which people mostly nap through and check ebay.
5. Much money is spent on running around like dung beetles and rolling their turd around for the cloud which takes money away from things the clients actually need like fixing bugs, developing new features and what the business needs which is customer retention.
6. Eventually "migration weekend" happens, possibly the stupidest idea in the history of IT, where the entire staff of mortals is expected to execute a 1000 point plan with no failure points. By some miracle at 10pm on sunday night, victory is prematurely declared and everyone goes home, via the pub to get smashed.
7. Roll on Monday morning and everyone crawls in, hung over, expecting to celebrate their victory but nope the phone lines are jammed, latency is through the roof, literally everything is on fire, all the consultants and architects are stuck on trains or the M25 still leaving everyone stuck in AWS management console with no idea which thing to click to work out what is going on.
8. Eventually, mid morning, someone rigs up a status page which was a massive afterthought and manages to calm the issue which was basically caused by a transaction deadlock. The DBA is now outside smoking 8 cigarettes at a time because she managed to do this entirely blind with an opaque box and no hardware access at all which was not something practiced for or instrumented away.
9. The whole thing is still running like crap, latency is through the roof however. The consultants are phoned and tell them that m5.xlarge was still too small for the web servers and they need to resize the SQL instance to make this problem go away. These 100 or so clicks in the AWS management console instantly cost the company £1m a year but they have to eat it or die. Failure is not an option because the "cloud strategy" was a massive me too marketing drive so they can't be seen to fail and roll back.
10. Everyone responsible (CXO) sticks their fingers in their ears, blaming it on the waving the dead chickens in the wrong order. The consultants say they have done a migration like this several times and it wasn't them. The SRE team say they're just doing what they're told. The architectural team say "I fucking told you so" and are told by the CXO team that they're not being constructive.
11. CXO team externalise the blame to the consultants who were mostly ignored to cut costs, thus defusing the situation. Then they tell everyone it must have been the consultants and immediate step back to 3 and repeats.

We do a lot with Azure - in fact as a Microsoft Partner we resell Azure services. We do a lot of on-prem to Office 365 migrations, and many of those customers get set up with an Azure instance as well to host federation services. Fairly standard template - I have PowerShell scripts that can deploy the needed machines and set up the network infrastructure in one go.
 Have some clients who have stuff hosted in AWS - its FAR more complicated to work with and set up than Azure.

Yeah Azure is growing much faster than AWS now... and at a pace AWS has never had.  Many expect Azure to surpass AWS in 2021.

Problem with AWS is, its way too developer-centric, and everything feels like unpolished lego pieces you gotta figure out and put together out on your own.
Beauty is they have the most Lego pieces to play with.
Another problem with AWS... they find profitable customers using AWS, and crushes them... Circuit City, Toys R Us, Borders, all former AWS users... all crushed by AWS.  AWS now getting into Supermarkets, Pharmacies, VOIP/Phone Systems... they definitely don't have the best interest of their customers. 


I prefer to think of AWS in particular as a spell book. Each spell can go well or go critically wrong depending on how you issue it and your understanding of it and where you cast it. Many people I know treat it as a single source of truth, then find administrative and complexity problems galore.

Edit: as a consultant who deals with this most of the time these days, I figure that perhaps 1 in 10 companies are ready for the impedance change required to move their whole whole mess over. The real problems are bottom of barrel quality staff, legacy that hasn't been dealt with, gullibility and fads. None of these are a problem with cloud providers as such but more a damning review of the human race's inability to manage complexity.
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: jeremy on May 29, 2019, 08:18:14 am
@bd139: ouch, too real.

One of the major downsides with the cloud providers is the amount of data used, in that they are totally not optimised for the low end (I'm looking at you, AWS IoT). It's fine if you are talking to a WiFi connected device, but when you have a cellular modem with a plan where every byte counts, it's a real struggle. For example, I have worked on a product where the cloudfront headers added to the HTTP response are 10x larger than the payload itself. And that's not counting the unnecessary TLS handshake which is required by AWS IoT (an RSA-2048 handshake is ~10kB).

They also seem to randomly drop standard features (for example, AWS IoT does not allow QoS level 2 on MQTT). I understand this is for scalability, but it's still part of the MQTT standard...
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: Fire Doger on May 29, 2019, 09:01:49 am
Tried to use this https://thingsboard.io/ but couldn't figure out how to make it work for individuals....

Any recommendation on IOT platform with MQTT with individual users that can register an account and bind their IOT devices to view a simple graph? :-//
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: jeremy on May 29, 2019, 10:25:48 am
Tried to use this https://thingsboard.io/ but couldn't figure out how to make it work for individuals....

Any recommendation on IOT platform with MQTT with individual users that can register an account and bind their IOT devices to view a simple graph? :-//

If you are just mucking around, you can use the public mosquitto server. As for the visualisation, I’ve never found a platform that was even remotely as useful as just writing a python script to put the data in a database (or a text file, csv, etc) and plotting it from there.
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: Electro Detective on May 29, 2019, 11:09:19 am

and the difference between cloud servers and old school upload/download file servers is... ?  :-//

If taken literally, cloud servers must be lighter, float on air,
and parked in tidy groups under the blue Dome above, beyond human vision, right?  :popcorn:

To be BLunT, if you don't know exactly where your data is and who has it, then you don't really have it do you?  ???

Your data is existing on borrowed time till there's a massive multi server stuff up, a crooked IT geek's money spin security hack goes south,
opposition corporat s@botage, or Clouds-R-Us Inc. goes belly up after the CEO does a runner with the reserve cash,
and the liquidators then move in and box up hard drives for resale on Ebay...

Better have a clunker server gathering dust in the office, mirrored with what's in the clouds IMHO  :phew:


Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: bd139 on May 29, 2019, 11:13:49 am
Having run on site and cloud hardware, I trust the cloud vendors considerably more than the average part time sysadmin or MSP.

All eggs in one basket is a bad idea though which is why I think anything other than IaaS is a mortal business risk as you're not portable then!

Really the biggest problem is twofold:

1. Competence. Discussed above.
2. Increasing costs. They are currently going down but history teaches us tales of monopolies that price gouge once established.
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: lty1993 on May 29, 2019, 12:29:55 pm
We use a hybrid cloud configuration. (Running own hardware at co-location site and have fiber direct connect to AWS)

CPU intensive and memory intensive workloads are much cheaper to run on own hardware than AWS.

AWS primarily used for handling surge traffic.

Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: madires on May 29, 2019, 02:21:14 pm
If you move your IT into the cloud don't forget to become multi-homed. ;)
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: rrinker on May 30, 2019, 01:23:49 pm
I do have a large print of a sticker I saw hanging in my cube.

This one

(https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1200/1*el4nHcOQdfHxzzcTC99jDw.png)
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: mrpackethead on May 31, 2019, 08:24:37 am
Not particularly easy to use though.

What do you find 'not easy'?
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: mrpackethead on May 31, 2019, 08:30:30 am
I'm helping people move away from the cloud at the moment, particularly AWS, after they have been burned. I'm a cert AWS architect for ref so if that's a recommendation then I don't know what is  :-DD
I'm AWS certified as well,  but the certification just means you've paid $300 and can pass the exam.    I've been moving services into the cloud, after organisations could'tn keep on premise going reliably.

Quote
We've
seen cost models escalate to 3x the initial cost and at £2m+ to start with that's not a good deal.
[/quotes]

That just means you had no idea of what your load was, what you were building.

Quote
Also the staffing required does not decline in cost or quantity.

See above point. Being certified means nothing.

Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: bd139 on May 31, 2019, 10:05:08 am
I'm not talking about on-prem but traditional hosted DC infrastructure migrating to AWS which is the market I sell myself to. On-prem is usually a mishmash of MSP managed and semi-competent admin crud that needs consolidation rather than stacks of kit. The workload impact profile is usually entirely different on AWS compared to infrastructure you built yourself which is where cost models fall flat on their arses. The last platform I moved back was 150k requests/second HTTP and they couldn't get the 90th percentile latency back down below 700ms on AWS because of the sheer shitty price/performance ratio. Back to a couple of stacked C7000s it went.

Incidentally my certification was a stab at the certification process which was so easy it is pointless. Also the trick on the market is to get someone else to pay for the training which you mostly just sit on ebay through buying test gear then pay for the exam then leverage that to increase the daily rate.
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: windsmurf on June 01, 2019, 08:45:11 am
I came away more impressed with Azure after my 2 day visit to the Microsoft Tech Center, as were our software architects and machine learning guys. 

Some items of note I found superior to AWS:
AutoML:  Will test run your dataset against about 100 different deep learning models/algorithms to find the model with the best convergence.

Cosmos DB: More friendly to database admins and developers than DynamoDB, with more features (like SQL-like query available)
        https://db-engines.com/en/system/Amazon+DynamoDB%3BMicrosoft+Azure+Cosmos+DB%3BMongoDB

Bot Service: Easily integrates with Azure cognitive services (voice to text, image ID/classification, faceID, translation and language detection, etc); build just one bot and deploy it automatically to webchat, Facebook, Line, Skype, Teams, Kik, Slack, etc.  No customization for each channel needed!
https://dev.botframework.com/


Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: mrpackethead on June 01, 2019, 09:15:09 am
Microsoft and Amazon are both very good at impressing people and the whole point of why they have you at their tech breifing centers is to impress you.  They will be very pleased you have drunk the cool-aid.

Its horses for courses.   I really like using Lambdas, and the API gateway. mostly what i'm doing is small stuff.  What does concern me is that it locks me in too one particular vendor.  Could i build what i'm doing with the same level of resilance and security for the price.   
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: bd139 on June 01, 2019, 09:45:07 am
Your latter point is what worries me. Once you’ve glued everything into lambda you’re SOL if you want to move away. I only recommend the IaaS and portable services when I architect anything for the cloud.
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: windsmurf on June 01, 2019, 09:49:22 am
Microsoft and Amazon are both very good at impressing people and the whole point of why they have you at their tech breifing centers is to impress you.  They will be very pleased you have drunk the cool-aid.

Yes agreed... a thorough POC testing is needed to vet out the truth.

Its horses for courses.   I really like using Lambdas, and the API gateway. mostly what i'm doing is small stuff.  What does concern me is that it locks me in too one particular vendor.  Could i build what i'm doing with the same level of resilance and security for the price.

Lambda's are fantastic, especially the way in which it integrates with all other AWS services.   I thought about using open-source serverless in a docker container within EC2 for portability to other clouds or on-prem... but why?  It'll just cost more and lacks seamless integration with all the other AWS services. 

Forgot to mention Azure IoT and IoT Edge... seems to be more refined than AWS IoT/Greengrass.  Certainly seems to have better acceptance from manufacturers, at least the ones I know about...
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: windsmurf on June 01, 2019, 09:56:09 am
Your latter point is what worries me. Once you’ve glued everything into lambda you’re SOL if you want to move away. I only recommend the IaaS and portable services when I architect anything for the cloud.

Its ultra-cheap... but yes you get locked in...
its the same story.... pick 2 (cheap, transportable/resilient, performant)
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: bd139 on June 01, 2019, 01:10:11 pm
It’s not even cheap though. The price curve is pretty flat and then goes straight up your butt.

I’ve seen a couple of startups nearly hose themselves with a finger in the air cost estimate.
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: madires on June 01, 2019, 01:39:55 pm
Some items of note I found superior to AWS:
AutoML:  Will test run your dataset against about 100 different deep learning models/algorithms to find the model with the best convergence.

You could read that also as "you'll train our AIs for free". >:D
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: bd139 on June 01, 2019, 01:57:15 pm
All the AI offerings are a joke so I wouldn’t worry. I know a big fintech that went through them all spending millions for basic risk management stuff and came to the conclusion a pigeon pecking on a yes/no button had the same outcome quality.
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: windsmurf on June 01, 2019, 08:33:14 pm
It’s not even cheap though. The price curve is pretty flat and then goes straight up your butt.

I’ve seen a couple of startups nearly hose themselves with a finger in the air cost estimate.

Well, yes overall its not going to be cheap, since you'll need miscellaneous services other than just lambda... our spend on lambda is less than 1% the cost of our spend on EC2, which is amazing considering how much we use lambda...


 
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: windsmurf on June 01, 2019, 08:57:01 pm
All the AI offerings are a joke so I wouldn’t worry. I know a big fintech that went through them all spending millions for basic risk management stuff and came to the conclusion a pigeon pecking on a yes/no button had the same outcome quality.

The canned AI model offerings from cloud providers are too generalized, so they won't give good results on everyone's specific datasets.

Our machine learning team regularly avoids using cloud services for any model training/tesing due to high cost.
Good guide for DIY deep learning setup here:
https://timdettmers.com/2019/04/03/which-gpu-for-deep-learning/
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: mrpackethead on June 02, 2019, 02:32:30 am
Your latter point is what worries me. Once you’ve glued everything into lambda you’re SOL if you want to move away. I only recommend the IaaS and portable services when I architect anything for the cloud.

To a point.  The databases that the lambda connect to could be easily migrated to.  MySQL = MySQL.     The object store ( S3 ) coudl be done with something else.       I'm using Python for my lambdas.    I'd have to investigate what kind of API you could stick in front of them, to make them lambda like.         At least for my use case, the costs are not crazy.    I'm in the league of a few thousand requests per day,   not 100,000/sec
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: guenthert on June 06, 2019, 03:42:03 pm
I do have a large print of a sticker I saw hanging in my cube.

This one

(https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1200/1*el4nHcOQdfHxzzcTC99jDw.png)
There are no utilities, just someone else's generator.
Title: Re: Which Cloud Service do you (or your company) use or plan to use?
Post by: bd139 on June 06, 2019, 03:50:37 pm
Solar panels?