The Cloud

“And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.” (Mark 9:7 KJV)

“… and a voice came out of the cloud…” Virtualization. It is one of the hotest technologies around at present. It is hot because it offers manageability features like no other technology. In an age where everyone wants to be “green”, it offers the ability to reduce the amount of energy necessary. In an age where everyone wants remote manageability, performance metrics, error alerting, containment, quick and easy disaster recovery, and so much more; the technology seems attractive. It offers these features to systems that were traditionally small x86 systems that did not necessarily offer these features, and they are now easily available. There are several methods to implement virtualization from a number of vendors all neatly wrapped into costs that can be budgeted annually. The next step in the virtualization process is the accumulation and manageability of the data. Instead of storing the data for all these systems on local hard disk drives, you can aggregate the data in any of a dozen shared storage solutions. Like the virtualized server hardware, the data also now becomes more manageable, more efficiently stored, easier to back up, easier to DE-duplicate, easier to make mirror copies, and easier to allocate for future project requirements. All these technologies which used to have physical finger prints are now migrated into the cloud. A cloud where all is managed and no one part of it is incapable of withstanding even a moment’s failure. Read almost any technical article on cloud computing and the author quickly acknowledges that it is a full paradigm shift on how so many companies can now work together in a community to manage processing and data storage resources. Unknowingly, in the culmination of acts that completely lack surrender and are totally intent on managing really well designed systems, Man begins to create the cloud from which day to day knowledge speaks. Our data can seem so much more applicable to our specific query from our cloud than the seemingly wasted time in patience in listening to the voice and direction of God from His.

So, let us consider a few questions. Is technology inherently bad? Probably not. Is working together to solve a problem bad? Even less likely. So why the race to the edge of a cliff here? I mean, how many movies have we seen of technology gone awry? Our first instinct is to question the day to day information. Is the data clean and error free? Is the data relevant? Does the data have a sufficiently large sample size? Has any data been intentionally gleaned out? Next we may consider, are we acknowledging the actual data or are we going with our presumptions? Is the boss ignoring the information or are they going with their gut instinct? The sad part is eventually we work our way through all the horror stories, dramatizations, and eliminate the “puppets” from power and come to the root of Man’s knowledge base. The question at this point becomes, do with go with Man’s word or God’s word? Inevitably we always find there is a difference. Like an addict who has processed all possible logic and reason, and he has arrived at the conclusion that his next “fix” is the solution to his problem. He is perplexed when he hears what he thought was his friend suggest that maybe a program to separate him from the drug is really the best course of action. He is unable to even conceive of this as being valid data. Yet, in time, with surrender to the message his friend is offering, he can one day recover to see the realness of this answer. No matter how great our data stores and knowledge bases are we are inherently fallen creatures. We need the saving hand of God (see Romans 3:23). Hence the voice out of God’s cloud said, “This is my beloved Son: hear him.” If we fail to, then our accumulation of day to day information from all our logic is bent. All our efforts ultimately give us a well oiled and well designed path to somewhere that we do not ultimately want to be.

“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.” (Revelation 13:1 KJV)

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