Inside Uber’s move to the Cloud: Part 2
Uber has operated its own data centers for 9 years. What challenges did the company face, and why is it considering moving to the Cloud? Part 2.
Uber has been one of the few Big Tech companies operating its data centers, resisting the temptation to shift most of its compute and data storage capacity to the cloud, for many years. But something changed this year: in February, Uber signed 7-year agreements with Google Cloud and Oracle, starting their move to the cloud.
So, what happened and why? I’ve talked with infrastructure engineers at Uber to get a clear picture of the context that led to this, and what to expect.
In Part 1 of this mini-series, we covered these topics:
The history of Uber’s data centers. How did the SJC, DCA and PHX data centers come to be, and why was SJC decommissioned?
Challenges of operating your data centers. Hard drives, ODM woes, and automation of data center maintenance.
The push to the cloud. Incentives and pull factors from Covid-19, the Postmates acquisition, and CapEx and OpEx costs, and software considerations.
Cloud basics. A primer on data centers, regions, and availability zones. What do these mean for public cloud providers and businesses like Uber?
Since publishing the article on Tuesday, I added more details on how Uber outsourced its data center in 2013 and the software stack considerations to move to the cloud.
In Part 2 - this, final part - we tackle:
The groundwork of moving to the cloud. Uber’s hybrid cloud approach and why Crane – a 5-year project to support cloud migrations – was key.
Is the cloud necessarily cheaper? Spoiler: “it depends.”
IaaS, Paas, and SaaS. And why these differences matter when talking about “the cloud.”
What does Uber moving to the cloud mean? No: Uber won’t be fully on the cloud. A nuanced look at what this may mean for IaaS, PaaS and SaaS services.
Things can go wrong when operating your data centers. Power outages, flapping NICs, wildfires, and more.
Learnings about running your data centers. Engineers who built Uber’s data centers share useful learnings, relevant beyond Uber.