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Provisioning Servers in the cloud…literally

May 3, 2013 / Peter Eisengrein

Being in the technology business, one can become a little jaded when it comes to new technology and it takes a lot to impress us, especially when it is the very technology that your company offers. But today I had a real “wow” moment that stopped me in my tracks.

Let me describe the scenario.

I am working from home today and, like I always do, I am using my virtual desktop (VDI) in the cloud. It allows me to work exactly as I would if I were in the office. My colleague, Joe Pedano, SVP of Cloud Engineering, is currently flying at 34,000 feet, somewhere over Indiana, on his way to Las Vegas. He too is using his VDI over the in-flight WiFi. Literally in the cloud.

I knew he was traveling but at the same time I needed him to provision a new virtual server for me. So, we are both working on remote desktops, he shares his screen so we can work out the specifications and he provisions the server.

WOW.

Yes, his WiFi connection was slow and it took about an hour to complete, whereas it would’ve taken under 10 minutes if we were sitting next to one another in the office. But think about how this would have happened just a few years ago. The IT manager would have to put in a requisition to purchase a server, get approvals, cut a PO to the vendor, receive the hardware, probably upgrade the memory, rack the server, install the OS from disk, etc.

It would have taken a couple weeks, maybe a month, and cost a few thousand dollars. Today, we did it completely remotely in about an hour. Now, to sweeten this experience even further, the server he created for me is a standardized template from which several other servers will be cloned in about 3 minutes each.

Wow. Just wow. No matter where you are, the cloud rocks.

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