Re: The Cloud...
"You mean other people's computers that cost much less to run and are far more reliable than the ones you do have control over? That cloud? Where do I sign."
It's a good debate to have for sure but it's not nearly as "rainbow and unicorns" as that statement claims.
"Cost much less" ?
In some cases. In others, not. We've selectively targeted workloads that would be cheaper in the cloud as candidates, other workloads, not so much - in fact, some would cost many times more.
"far more reliable" ?
Google Compute Engine's SLA is 99.95%. That's a very good claim, but that one 211 minutes alone sets them at 99.5% for that month. A 10% credit towards the next month (as per their SLA) doesn't make up for 3.5 hours of unscheduled chaos.
In the end it depends on how critical your systems are and how good you are at maintaining them. I trust Google to know their shit, obviously, so yeah their cloud is very reliable. But I also understand that my SLA (the one I provide my customers) is the last thing on their mind when things go tits-up (and things invariably do). For these "absolutely must not fail", where you can afford to plan specialised backup / redundency / disaster recovery scenario, you can definitely be more reliable than the cloud. Or at least, when all hell breaks loose, you get direct control of the fixing process.
As you can probably see from that, I'm a bit cloud-shy. I do see it as "another guy's computer, that won't even take your calls when things go wrong" (well, you sure as hell are not going to talk to "the guy" unless you have a lot more clout with Google than I do)!
My general thinking is that I'll happily "cloud" anything that I would have run on a rented server at the local datacenter/colocation facility. Anything more serious than that, and I get scared.