I talked to the folks who are in charge of the windows azure blog, and they were kind enough to publish it. I tried to focus on what the real benefits and challenges of cloud-based systems are (especially for startups), instead of the faux issues of control and security that seem to be the focus of many of these conversations.
As far as I’m concerned, the issues with the cloud come down to disk speed, network speed, and cost control. Disk speed, because it’s hard to run a big-ass MySQL database on a virtual machine with poxy IO performance. Network speed, because it’s hard to quickly move gigabytes of data into the cloud. And cost control, because it’s easy to get sloppy and waste money when you can scale your infrastructure (and your costs) at the push of a button. Remember the spider-man credo: with great power comes great responsibility!