My fears about my own cloud migration

I try to eat my own dog food, as the saying goes. Nonetheless, I found myself going through all the various steps in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs when my mailing list hosting provider sent me an email last week telling me that they were moving my server to the cloud.

Funny, isn’t it, when it happens to you? Exactly my thoughts. For the past several years I have been using the North Carolina-based ISP EMWD.com and their very reasonably priced Mailman list services to distribute this newsletter. I am very happy with EMWD: they are very service-oriented, the fee is low, and as I am very familiar with Mailman, there is nothing for me to learn. And over the last several years, I have given them referrals from people who have wanted to start their own mailing lists, and these friends are happy as well with their service.

Mailman isn’t as pretty as Constant Contact or Mailchimp or other Web-based emailers: it is just for sending out text-based emails to a bunch of people. If you want HTML hotlinks or embedded graphics, these two are probably better services for running your list.

So anyway, last week I got an email saying my provider is going to the cloud. My first thought was unprintable. My next thought was what was I going to do? Was it going to be secure? Would I have to spend a lot of time debugging things? What did this really mean for me?

Then it hit me: I was acting like a customer who had never used the cloud before. Stop it! After all, what difference did it really make to me whether my server was sitting in EMWD’s data center or somewhere else? All that mattered was an IP address, that the server was running, and that it worked the same. Calm down, Strom.

But that is exactly the issue for many of your own customers, who may not have as much knowledge or understanding of what is involved. And these days it is getting harder to tell what is in the cloud and what isn’t, as new products blur the line even more so.

My hosting company was moving to the cloud for all the usual reasons: quicker provisioning, lower costs, more flexibility and scalability. Now, I am not a very demanding customer of theirs: all I use is their Mailman hosting, and that wasn’t changing.

So the migration day is today. I put a new IP address in my DNS, and a few hours later, all is well. At least I hope so. Everything looks the same from my end. And so much for my cloud migration story. But perhaps you can learn from this too, and understand that sometimes change isn’t all that big of a deal.

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One thought on “My fears about my own cloud migration

  1. Your mailing list provider was already “in the cloud” as far as you were concerned. He wasn’t on your corporate LAN. You got excited because they added a further layer. Now, the guys you were contracting with and expecting to do business in a certain way were changing. They were giving up a degree of control and security in moving their service to the cloud. The only question for you was how had that changed from doing business with them. One sure difference is that there is now another link in the chain.

    Changing IPs can make a BIG difference. Many web and e mail hosting providers have so much spam or perceived spam that their entire IP blocks are blacklisted.

    You are right to worry. Your provider should be telling you not only what you are gaining with the change but what you stand to lose. Virtually nothing is “cost free.”

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