December 30, 2011
To The Cloud
...and we're back.
I took advantage of the holiday break to do some digital re-organization. I've retired my tired & faithful Gentoo Linux server and pushed everything up to "the cloud"&emdash;a virtual hosted server within Rackspace.
I'm no stranger to the cloud. I'm Product Manager at Digi International for the iDigi Device Cloud allowing ubiquitous access to any device to any application, anywhere. My home thermostat, gas and water meters are connected to my iPhone for monitoring and control via Digi International's Energy Daytrader application--incidentally, Energy Daytrader won Postscapes People's Choice aware for Best Internet of Things Self Tracking Application of 2011.
None of us are strangers to the cloud: so many of us use web-based e-mail applications such as GMail, social networking sites such as LinkedIn, and storage services such as Dropbox. We even use less obvious clouds like Flickr, Netflix and Hulu. In a sense even common infrastructure such as the mobile phone networks from AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint can be seen as clouds if one takes the term "cloud" to mean massively scalable, multi-tenant and secure products distributed as a service. I just hate the term cloud, it's opaque and literally nebulous.
Nonetheless the cloud is great. I migrated my Linux box up to Rackspace's cloud storage in hours using Duplicity and then executed a few commands to migrate my databases and get my webserver running. My site is faster, I can easily scale the performance and it's fully backed up. I'm so happy!
Hosting my machine at Rackspace will cost me about $263 per year or $21.90 per month. The electricity alone on my old server cost me about $60 per year or about $5.00 per month. Taking electricity into account, my overall cost of switching to the cloud is around $17 per month which I deem to be a fair price for the additional performance and services I receive.
I've got some big plans for 2012. Watch this space!