As technology purists, we’ve proudly maintained our own internet infrastructure since the days of UNIX uucp connectivity in the early 1990s. We did lab experiments to explore alternative architectures and built proof-of-concept prototypes to extend a product designed for one application into another. We got so good at it that we made recommendations to clients and developed and documented industry best practices based on our expertise.
Why does any of that matter? To use a popular phrase, we ate our own dog food in the form of using the infrastructure we recommended. But times have changed. It's easier to outsource web sites to those who do it all the time, and Google can run a better mail server than we can. So in July 2016 we took the first step in migrating to the cloud by outsourcing our web sites and decommissioning our web server that had been running without a hitch since 1999. Yes, we gave up some control, but we also freed up time so that we can work on strategic projects rather than supporting infrastructure. If “eating your own dog food” now means moving to the cloud, maybe it’s not a bad thing. We might even do more of it.
Image: The servers and switches we used to prototype our infrastructure using Sun's iPlanet Portal Server (circa 1999) in a service provider environment.