[sc:general-category ]As some may be aware, every four years in Ontario we get new evaluations of the value of our home from the government. This is then used to base our property taxes on. I recently received mine and was reviewing it when I started to think about what options I had as I had been thinking of buying a new house.
While this was rattling around in my head I was also having a conversation with a colleague about where to host a WordPress installation. These two things collided in a sudden flash of insight for a metaphor as follows:
For the longest time the only option you had for where you placed your systems was in your own datacenter. Sometimes this was the classic “under the desk” hosting, but in all cases, you owned and controlled your systems.
This is just like owning a house. It’s yours to do with as you like (baring certain bylaws and home owner associations of course 😉
In many was I think we now undervalue this in IT. Pretty much everyone’s dream is to own their own home some day and its pretty much the exact opposite these days in IT.
Once the IT industry matured a little bit, it turned out there was money to be made in renting out extra space in a datacenter to others and this business model eventually morphed in to whole companies that just rented out the space and didn’t really have any significant footprint in their own datacenters.
This still makes sense in many cases as your business may not be close to a major internet truck and placing servers closer to users is always a good idea.
This is kind of like buying a condo. You own your own servers but you pay monthly maintenance fees and are more limited in what you can do by the condo association.
Shared hosting really took off when virtualization became a big thing. Before that you could still rent a server from a provider, but it was expensive and if you needed console access it was difficult. Virtualization changed all that. Vendors could load up big servers with lots of VM’s and give users direct access to pretty much the entire system.
This is like renting an apartment. You don’t own anything and if you don’t pay your rent you get kicked out on the street!
The final push these days is beyond shared hosting and in to the cloud. Don’t even rent servers, just consume services provided by others that you have no control over. This is the ultimate extension of the move away from ownership in IT.
It’s like living at the YMCA, you don’t get any privacy or say in how things are run. If you don’t like it, leave.