What cloud computing can learn from good BBQ


You can’t beat good BBQ. As long as I’ve been eating, I’ve loved the taste of BBQ cooked correctly, and I’ve loved the science of getting BBQ right, no matter brisket, ribs, pulled pork, or chicken. (Vegans may want to sit this blog out.)

What’s clear to me is that the process and ingredients that it takes to make your cloud computing project work are directly related to how you get a perfectly smoked piece of meat. Here’s a bit of advice about both.

The long game wins the race

In the world of BBQ, you hear the term “low and slow” a great deal. It’s really the process of smoking meat at a lower temperature, for a longer time. Typically, eight to ten hours for a brisket.

Cloud computing migrations typically work best when there is a slow and methodical plan, and corresponding methodical execution, inside enterprises where the movement of data and apps from on-premises systems to the cloud happens at a slower, but steady, pace. This lets IT react to issues, whereas moving too fast often results in missed issues, such as overlooked security vulnerabilities.

This methodical pace does not mean slow or sporadic progress. The idea is to never stop the momentum, but every week make a bit of progress in moving to the cloud. In many instances, those enterprises that move slower often finish well before their counterparts that move too aggressively and thus make mistakes, so have to hit the reset key a few times.

Monitoring is key

Good pit masters are fanatical about temps. The temperature of the pit, the meat, even the air temperature around the pit. Indeed, a whole industry has arisen around the remote BBQ monitors, using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

. Some enterprises never get to a steady state. But you have to be finished migrating at least a portion of your applications and data at some point so you can get to operations. This means day-to-day operations, including business continuity and disaster recovery, proactive security monitoring, performance monitoring—anything that keeps things running for a long time.

The BBQ analogy should make the process of good cloud computing easy to remember. It also makes me hungry.