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API Design Style Guide

Michael's Blog
A bit about Starbucks-ese

Historical Figures in Modern Clothes

What is SSO?

Talking Around the Answer

My Next Adventure

On Prem, IaaS, Paas and SaaS

Why I dropped out of Social Media

Being Watched by TV

Why I Canít Support Bernie Sanders

Waking up from the Dream of the 90s

PIN is a Four Letter Word

Mundane Travels in an Amazing World by Michael Bissell

Keep Portland, Portland

The Odd Case of Interconnected Clocks

Meaningful Work that I Get Paid For

Time to Disrupt Disruption

How the TARDIS Travels in Time And Relative Dimensions In Space

Logging in with Facebook (and Google and Twitter and...)

Logging into Myspace in 2014

Heretics of Science

That's the time I feel like making text to you

We're Just Meta Uber Super Tool Users

Birthing and Idea

Fun With Chinese Hackers and Password Strength

How to Turn Off Google Location Tracking

Your Phone is Spying on Everyone

My New Not a Laptop

Advertising vs. Reality. Lays Kitchen

Brilliant Ideas in Dreams -- but it's still a dream

World Traveling Intros

Referencing your whacky theories

Is Being a Geek the Antithesis of Success?

3-Legged OAuth -- A Love Story

The Cost of Gentrification

Medieval Hoarding to the Hive Mind

Stealing money with bad web design

Newspaper Hospice

The Conversation of Learning

Watching Myself

Driving through a fly-over

Death of the Save Button

Deja-Google and the world traveller

The Loss of Everything or How I Lost my Phone

I'll Never be a Space Tourist

Global Training Director (and MacGyver)

Amateurs vs Idiots

Why I {heart} APIs

Buying Respect on Layaway

Latte Swilling Robin Hoods, sort of

Amateur Coffee Drinkers

The Houses are Trees

Why I Drink Starbucks in Europe

Polite Drinking

The Sounds of Spring

The Wizard's Gift

Another Country: The United Federation of Airports

I'm a Business Tourist

Traveling through Time And Relative Dimensions In Space

Resistance is futile... But it doesn't mean people won't resist...

We're Cybernetic Creatures

The Thing about Vegas

Middle Earth: Post-Apocalyptic Hell Hole

Surrounded by Technology

The Metaphysics of Nuclear Physics

How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You're Not Anywhere at All

Media is Plural (and the blame game isn't about the news)

Treasures, Junk and Corporate Serfdom

Reality is Mind Blowing Enough

Number 1 Star Wars Fan

False Engagement (or "My bank isn't really my bank...")

The Emperor's New QR Code

On Kings and Colonies -- Running Government as a Business

Just Another Day in Portland

Over Explaining Things

In a World Where I Have to Pay for Healthcare

Google Has Replaced Context

The Internet's Memory is Fuzzy

STOP HELPING ME (or My Computer is Killing Me with Helpfulness)

My Cat Thinks He's a Great Manager

Neglecting my Navel

Masterful Service

Warning: Do Not Operate Heavy Equipment while Thinking

"None of Your Business" by Anonymous

Hoarding Information

Attack of the Season

Subjective Facts

Portland Rain Isn't for Everyone

Visiting My Mother in the Hospital

My Dirty Little Secret is I'm not a Vacuum Cleaner

It's not Facebook, You May Already be an Idiot

Portland Composts and I Simmer

Japanese Manners Poster -- Please do it in America

Complicated Stuff that I'm Forced to Use

Get the Money out of Politics

Everyone is Special

Redberry vs Blackberry

Tea and Occupation

Advertising that smells like the man you want your advertising to smell like

Lack of Privacy as a Celebration of Life

You say ADD like a bad thing

My Private Life is Public, my Public Life is Private

I have an unnatural relationship with my phone

Mr. Monopoly sells gas

Do no evil... unless you can't help it

Cool off with a Pepsi... Air conditioner?

My Brain is Full

Pandora becomes more like Radio

Tony Chachere vs Big Easy Foods

Upgraded to Death

Now THIS is a collectable figure -- Darth Vader 'Star Knight'

Netflix Is Watching

Session vs. Red Stripe... Mmmm... Beer...

Netflix and @Qwikster

Pepsi Steals Christmas

Shanzhai -- The Ancient Chinese Art of Brand Identity Theft

Dealing with Google+ Spam

WhiteCube.com vs WhiteCu.be

Old Rasputin -- Beer and Nostalgia

Fake Republican Twitter Accounts

Pacman Noodles

Random Change

Oil of Okay

Sun Bucks Coffee

Ball Star Classic

KFC or KF China?

Johns Daphne vs. Jack Daniels

Interjecting Infidelity

The Case of the Identical Tablet: Apple vs. Samsung

They Know Where You Are: Privacy and Google Maps

Lazy logo design and a naked blue guy

The Season for Ignoring the Season

Apple Story

No one can resist my Schweddy Balls

Give me appIebees over Applebees any day

The Mystery of the Two Applebees

What's on the Other Side of that Link?

Losing millions... insiders cashing out... Surprise! GroupOn delays IPO

Facebook Party vs. Jane Eyre Introductions

Full Metal Internet

Branding Irons

Your iPhone is like Your Bifocals

Death of a Salesman's Store

Living in dots and vibrations

Virtual Disasters -- Watching the Hurricane on the Internet Traffic Report

Facebook Hates Your Link and other stories from arts meets geeks

Apple's Innovation of One Control Freak

Hashtags on TV

GroupOn -- Good for Meth Dealers, bad for Fishing Guides

This Video Is Not Available on Mobile

'Join The Conversation' Yeah... Corporations are sexy

"Did you mean?" -- Google's chiding nanny of search results

The Next Fad: Adword Optimization

The double standard of Mobile Web vs Mobile Apps

Branded Technology

Sharingspree.com -- Stealing more than GroupOn's Idea

The Internet Isn't Entertaining Enough

The Bullfighters EULA

Global Chit-Chat and the Norwegian Isolationist

It's not your bank... It's Apple's and Amazon's

Violated by Madison Avenue

Goodbye Murphy

Frustrated social-media serotonin hit

'Narcissism' by Michael R. Bissell -- Reading myself...

Facebook Reinvents the Meta Tag. Evolution? Or just weird mutant?

Dude, you were looking at web stats and laughing

If real life was like the world we see in commercials

"We need to..." Internet Marketing Myths

Facebook's deal with the Devil

My cool new phone is a little too cool.

You are never alone

Aw, Snap!

Promotion vs. Distribution... You'd think they'd know that one...

Miracles and Meetings

Facebook Causes Depression

The I-Don't-Understand-It-So-It-Must-Be-Valuable Valuation

Countries less valuable than Groupon

Politics and instantaneous communication

Live by your wits, until you get the flu

Who owns your friends?

Agonies of Programming for Facebook

Content for Social Media

Walking to Surreality

Fact Free Zone

Facebook did not topple Egypt

The Value of Ideas

Frustrating Miracles

Social Media Slot Machine

Anonymous vs Me

The Numbers Game

The Internet and our Sedentary Society -- maybe some hope?

News from the Twitter Follow Campaign Trail

The Death of... Well, everything...

The art of Indiscriminate Twitter Following

The Cloudy Meaning of The Cloud

My Emotional Repsonse to iAnything

Alien Technology and Government Conspiracies

Portlandia... Yeah... it's probably true

A Short Rant about Los Angeles

Time for a New Reality

The Great Popularity Contest of the 21st Century

The Death of Email

Protecting Free Speech... Anonymously (and geekily)

Farewell to Doug -- the Dali Lama has moved on

Amazon Shouldn't Have Shut Down WikiLeaks

Google isn't the bad guy... this time

Thankless Jobs

Making Money -- Or Money Making You

Kids In Charge

It's Okay that Roger Sterling's Book Sucks

Sex, Seduction and Manipulation

The Superpowers of the Hive Mind

Big Brother is Finally Here

Time for New Ideas

Comcast, Netflix and the Mystery of the Modem

Custom Tailored Crap

The Great Technical Disconnect

New for the Sake of New

A Retail Store Built Like the Web

A Quick Rant -- The New Twitter and Real People

Disposable Personas

When did Google Start Policing the Internet?

Getting back to HTML basics, thanks to Apple

Inspecting my Navel Base

Quantum Entanglement and the Death of Radio

A shoebox vs. an online backup

Cave Man Distribution Networks

Dressing for Work

The team that hates itself -- Visionaries, Managers and Technicians

iBooks -- Creative Epicenter or Gatekeeper?

The Failure of Success

The Economy is Going to Get Worse, but that's okay

Time lost on Twitter

Common Sense of the New Economy

Twitter's back alleys and dark places

Social Media is NOT Advertising

On censorship

Microsoft Courier

Form (designers) versus Function (geeks)

Bad Restroom Health Sign

PDXBOOM -- The power of social media and the portland pipe bomb

China and Apple -- Different organizations, same management

The volume of screens

Logorama

Sleeping through miracles

Who needs an URL anyhow?

Transmedia

That magical little tablet

The complications of making coffee

How your website can be in two places at once

Masterpieces created by sheer volume

Suing over lack of originality

A Primer on Internet Fame -- dancing babies, hamsters, numa numa, and more...

The Lawsuit Lottery

Checking my messages

Another Random Night of Arts in Portland

Rules are made to be broken -- in a reasoned, systematic way

So many accounts, so few passwords

The Dali Lama of Hillsdale

Who really uses Twitter? 60% of Twitter's traffic isn't on Twitter

Riding the commute route on Saturday

Not everyone is like you

The Web is a Jerry Rigged Kludge

Portland Bike Plan: Too Expensive or Playing with numbers?

Twitter: Asleep at the Mouse Wheel

Where regulation is good: Google Voice and Vonage

How Facebook is (unintentionally) forcing programmers to piss off users

The Twit Cleaner

Perfect Secretary's pitch for @Adbroad (and the Youtube API)

The Emotions of Text

The Shorty Awards Scandal -- Manual Spam is still Spam

Google Analytics, the cloud and missing numbers #fail

Helen Klein Ross & Michael Bissell Interview at Adweek's Social Media Strategies Conference

The Internet is the New 60's

Getting back in the saddle (bicycle saddle, that is)

Ranting about Portland Drivers

Cougars from New Zealand (and I don't mean big cats)

Adding facts together, or why you can't charge your cell phone from wifi

Social Media and the Destruction of the World

Rabid Fans vs Passive Viewers -- The Coco vs Leno saga

How to tell someone to retweet (without using up your 140 characters)

You can't buy social media

A book unopened is but a block of paper

Building the LOST: The Final Season Sweepstakes

Holiday SPAM (or the lack thereof)

Archiving Twitter

Too Many Toolbars

Random Censorship with Google Adwords

Accessibility and Shopping Online

"Upgrading" my flight

Twisted path to customer service

Flash: Shiny objects blinding your audience

Twollow and other gold rush scripts

Arthur Miller's All My Sons

GPS in a Laptop computer

Thinking outside the box... There was a box?

Twitter was designed for Text Messaging

It's not the corporations, damnit

Entrepreneur or Dreamer?

Adweek Social Media Twitter for Brands Presentation

Socializing is more than Social Media

Generational Marketing is a Myth (or Who's your Daddy?)

Social Media is Just the Way We Use the Internet

Twitter Followers Don't Matter (ask the porn sites)

The Internet is Gooder than Books

Sometimes you don't want your campaign to go viral

Best Twitter Branding Campaign

A Good Explosive Recipe and other found knowledge online

Like flies to crap, Spammy Twitter Followers don't really go away

Video Projectors for your phone

iPhone SMS Security Hole

How Flipmytweet works

Cell Phones as Microscopes

Markie's Birthday

Digg is not the Hijacker -- You Are

Steve Ballmer -- the walking dead?

Twitter as an open mic poetry reading

Automatic Social [un]Awareness

New York, New York

First splash for United Against Malaria

New Media/Old Media and the CLIO Awards

Interview at SXSW: Mad Men Twitter And Tracking

Saturday Yard Work

We've got an App for that -- it's called the Web

Made it to SXSW in Austin

What is Conquent?

The trouble with Wordpress and other templates

Wayward Words with Baggage

Speaking at SXSW March 17th

The fleeting Memory of the Internet

It's okay to say 'I don't know'

Good Morning America, now Go Fight Traffic

More surreality in Portland

Nike Takes Over Conquent

Facebook owns this title

Excuses, excuses

A little on Social Media

Feeding on Content

Attack of the Bots

Irish Music in Oregon City

Landing on an Aircraft Carrier

Got Curry? And some bizarre art?

Web 1.0

Random Music and Random Life in Portland

To the dump, to the dump, to the dump dump dump

Flight Simulator

Cold night, hot fire, happy cat

Net Neutrality

Walking to work in the snow

A window into Moreland of the Past

Getting clever with data feeds

Big and Little Beirut

The Other Credit Crisis

The Broadband Inauguration

T-Mobile owns Magenta and Other Patent Stories

The Risk-takers, Doers and Makers of Things

The noise of 20,000+ Twitter Followers

Reflections on my DC Trip

Born Again American

30,000 feet, 500 MPH Suburban Strip Mall

Cellphones, toilets and the Inauguration

The wall of pissing

National Treasure/National Archives

My trip to DC so far

Everyone is insane

Getting ready for DC

The End of Days (of song): Microsoft Songsmith Example

The Very Model of a Modern Major General

Browser Bigotry

The Death of your Soul: Microsoft Songsmith

Creative Development or Developing Creatively?

Race to Witch Mountain

The Myth of Wikipedia (or the Wiki-1400)

Online/Offline Sales -- is it really that bad?

Is PayPal Tacky?

Old School Web Design Still Works

Domain Squatting

Christmas Fire

Green Chri$tma$

QA 101

Portland Snow

Get some return on that web traffic

I think they have a backup...

I'd love to have that problem

The [un]importance of statistics

Don't be a tool of viral marketing

CAT Scan!

Follow up to the shoulder injury

Emails, discussions, blogs, wiki and web content

Ironic Injury

On the Santa Monica Pier

You Designed for Print First

You let someone else register your domain name

You figured .biz, .info, .us would work fine

What's after the Integrated Circuit?

Intelligent life is out there (but it's bugger all down here on earth)

Subject Matter Experts Talking Other Subject Matter

The Totalitarian Regime of Apple

Oversimplifying how people work

crowdSPRING

Creative Services for the New World

Reverse Anthropomorphism

The End of Time

Oil prices and birdsong

Watching Starship Troopers AGAIN!

Better Living Through Twitter

Lessons Learned From Apple

It's the Brand, Baby

Business Architecture vs. Web Construction

On Truth

You can't build life

Accidentally Drunk in Portland

Al Gore the Winner

Intelligent life is out there (but itís bugger all down here on earth)

Aussie Rules Football

Trip to Nostalgia Land

I am such an idiot

Long day of travel

Miami -- as far from Portland as you can go in the US

Inverse Peter Principle

COMPLETE GEEKOUT:MD5s as database keys

Random Knowledge

I'm fascinated with modern plumbing

Leaving Seattle (or why you should keep your ticket close)

On the Rails

The Hive

 

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On Prem, IaaS, Paas and SaaS

2018-05-19 09:53:03

Before I rant about the way cloud providers are taking over everything, I figured a primer on what the cloud really means is in order. Basically when we talk about "the cloud" we mean that data is stored a collection of servers that don't really know, or care, what's running on them.

Storage for your photos might be "cloud" because they're scattered in "buckets" in AWS, but a Storage Area Network is a Storage Area Network no matter if you host it on your own servers on upload them to a cloud service provider. The only difference is who manages that infrastructure.


Say you want to develop and deploy a web application like Jokeindex. You have a few choices:

On-Prem Hosting
Buying a server and hooking it up to a dedicated internet connection is how we started this adventure. Jokeindex.com was originally running on my Windows 98 PC at the end of a DSL line -- you don't do that anymore, but companies like Dropbox1, Target and Walmart2 are building their own data centers (not a bunch of Windows 98 boxes either). The idea is that if you're responsible and know how to manage servers, you might as well own your own.

This is the most complicated way to host anything because you have to manage everything. At the end of the day most companies don't have the resources to build, maintain, and properly manage a data center or server farm of their own, but if they do, they have 100% control of what they own.

IaaS
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) means you're renting servers. This is how the "cloud" started -- now you don't have to worry about blown capacitors, keeping gas generators fueled up in case the power goes out, or even how old those boxes are that are running hot and loud 24/7.

When we retired the server room in the basement of my office and we moved Jokeindex out to "the cloud" we just set up a debian server. Suddenly hardware, power, routers, switches and cables were a thing of the past. All we had to worry about was picking an Operating System, installing all the software and dependencies the website needed, runing security patches and updates regularly, oh and tweak the firewall settings and monitor how much CPU and memory we were using in case we need to rent a bigger instance...

If you're a software developer, you're probably not a hardware guy, so you hire that hardware part out. But... if you're a software guy, why are you still futzing with Operating Systems? Which brings us to...

PaaS
Say you're a java developer. You just want a place to deploy your code without worrying about hardware or operating systems. Drop On-prem, drop IaaS and enter Platform as a Service.

Tools like AWS Lambda take care of all that patching under the hood. They install the dependencies for a Java environment. They take care of scaling and routing traffic.

They also limit you in odd ways. If you're a Database Admin and you move from your own SQL server to one on AWS' RDS you suddenly find out you aren't a DB Admin anymore -- those super admin tools are reserved for Amazon's employees. You find you have to work around the limitations enforced by the service provider, and that your software is becoming less portable. If you're using dyanmoDB because it's a cool PaaS tool, you're going to be in a world of hurt when you try to move back to MongoDB.

Or maybe not a word of hurt, but you'll also find PaaS limits you in other ways so you have to make workarounds. And all these PaaS tools are billed by the hour and by the storage and by the transfer -- you start building work arounds, you start adding time to the meter for all the extra bits and bobs you have to build to make it work.

SaaS
Now say you aren't a developer at all. All this CPU and OS and DB stuff is just alphabet soup. You want a tool, not a software development stack, so you use something like Gmail for your email rather than standing up your own Postfix server. You use Wordpress.org rather than download Wordpress and installing it on your own servers.

There are a lot of reasons to use a SaaS provider for business functions -- the idea that we can just roll our own is usually based more on business ignorance than engineering arrogance but both mean you're building and supporting something in your own ivory tower silo.

But the other side is true too -- if I need a tool and I really do have unique business requirements, locking myself into a SaaS tool like Salesforce.


At the end of the day, the reason to use one or the other is always going to be driven by business need, but, I have a few rules I like to put in front of the whole infrastructure question:

1) Is it portable?
The more you get tied to a single company, the more they own you. I like to build applications on portable tools -- they don't have to be open source, but they have to be able to be installed somewhere else. I've heard the argument "Well if Amazon goes down we have bigger problems" but that argument is like saying "I'm putting all my money IBM"

You should always have your data backed up and have the ability to run your systems outside the vendor's infrastructure. Even SaaS tools like Wordpress.com have ways to export and move to another platform. If information really is the currency of business, you need to be able to cash out anytime.

2) Do you have the expertise?
I understand the idea that a company doesn't want to have to reinvent the wheel. You may not have a proper operations team to understand how to manage servers on-prem or even instances in an IaaS data center.

But let's be honest -- this stuff is complicated. Buying into a PaaS model requires a different kind of expertise. The architectural bugaboos that might bite you on the come in really hard and fast. Not only that, you don't own the infrastructure so you can't change it if you need to. If you suddenly run against a limit of a PaaS tool, you're going to have to stop, regroup and rebuild. Which brings me to the final question...

3) What does it really cost?
Dropbox left AWS because it turned out to be a LOT cheaper to run their own data center. Moving the servers out of my basement and into a cloud service saved huge amounts of time and money for my small org.

It depends on what you're doing -- I actually hate the vague recommendations you get from a lot of consultants, but at the same time, I hate even more the "THIS is the ONE WAY to do X." To me that's a way of closing your eyes, letting the vendor wrap their tentacles around you and not actually solving the business problems that make your company... yours


1. Why Dropbox decided to drop AWS and build its own infrastructure and network
2. Target And Wal-Mart May Move Away From AWS, Will Amazon Be Affected?


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Be sure to see my blog over at Cloudenity. This week's topic: The Physical Impossibility of Migrating to the Cloud