Recently we went through a migration from one version of a cloud service to another version (an upgrade) with the same cloud provider.
This is supposed to be the glory part of the cloud. As a CIO I didn’t have to staff up, invest $ in testing environments, and all those good things that “just happen” when you are in the cloud. Well…guess again.
The funny part is, our IT organization has enough grizzled vets to know that it doesn’t matter what it is, it needs to be tested. We asked the cloud provider ten ways from Sunday how to test the environment. What came back was – it was tested and everything is ok. Fool me once, shame on me. I won’t get fooled again. What I learned in this process, and am seeing elsewhere is that, unfortunately, the cloud providers don’t have the same grizzled-IT mentality. Maybe the cloud provider just doesn’t want to invest in the test environments necessary to test properly. I can tell you that within our organization we spend on average 10 times the dollar amount of the original software in testing (additional hardware, software, people, processes, etc.). Until the cloud provider proves that they have a true IT mentality, I can never trust them again.
I now laugh twice as hard as I did before at any of the so-called guru’s that say that you won’t need IT because of the cloud. You need IT people because they have been through the grinder, they know what life is like when you don’t plan, test, evaluate, plan, test again, do a mock, then UAT it and then move it to production. IT people understand the criticality of planning, mitigating risks, planning for disasters, understanding the nuances of the data to be migrated, the api’s that have to be tested, etc. And as for the platform itself, just because it’s in the cloud doesn’t mean that it’s been thoroughly tested for your needs. So long as there are humans involved, you have to plan for the worst.
The long and short of it is this – no matter how big or small that cloud solution is – do not trust the cloud provider when they said “they tested it”. As an old hero of mine once said – “Trust but verify”.