I have found that there are many questions about cloud computing platforms that do not fit well on either StackOverflow or ServerFault.

I have created a proposal for a new site, specific about cloud computing.

Do users of ServerFault find that many cloud computing questions that are off topic are posted here? I am more of a StackExchange user and see this frequently.


Here are some questions I have found on SO, that I believe are off topic, but am not sure if they would be considered on topic for server fault.

EDIT: Here are some better examples of items I have found on SO that I believe are OT and not sure if they fit well here either.




1 Answer 1


I don't see any value in such a site, it would just add to the fragmentation and evermore specialization of Stack Exchange. This might be acceptable or even desirable for SO, but here it would be counterproductive in my opinion.

The way I experience it, most closed cloud-related questions we see would be bad on any site.

Let's break it down to your example questions:

How can I achieve transferring data from AWS Kinesis to Redshift in near real time?

From a quick glance of what these services are, I think it might be on-topic here, but has the potential to drift into SO land.

I am using a Windows machine, how do I SSH onto an AWS Ec2 instance using a pem?

Topical, but easy to google.

How do I create a new Virtual Machine in Azure, and connect to it using RDP?

The real answer is RTFM, but otherwise topical here.

How do I create an AzureML Studio workspace without an Azure account as a free user?

This also sounds like RTFM or "contact their support". Might be closed here today.

How do I generate a certificate on Windows to connect to the Azure Management APIs?

RTFM again, but also topical again.

So, most of your example questions would fit here today (if they weren't such obvious LMGTFY or RTFM cases).

  • Is "how to use a PEM key to SSH from Windows" really on topic here? I'd vote to move it to SuperUser.
    – Jenny D
    Feb 3, 2015 at 12:04
  • @JennyD: SU would be a potential target, but then we would need to send most SSH-related questions either to SU or to U&L. I likely would let it live with the unspoken assumption that AWS/Azure is business-related. Also, see this discussion.
    – Sven
    Feb 3, 2015 at 12:08
  • 1
    I actually do think that many ssh-related questions belong on SU or U&L. That is, the ones that are basically "how do I use this program" are at least on-topic there, but not here. The ones I'd like to keep here are the ones that are more complex, or that have their focus on the sshd side rather than the ssh side - or, at least, if the asker doesn't even have access to the serverside logs, then the question doesn't belong here.
    – Jenny D
    Feb 3, 2015 at 12:18
  • I wouldn't disagree with that, but that still means such questions are already welcome on existing SE sites and a new site is not necessary.
    – Sven
    Feb 3, 2015 at 12:24
  • I certainly agree with that. Especially the SSH questions - SSH does not magically become different just because the server on the other end lives in the cloud.
    – Jenny D
    Feb 3, 2015 at 13:08
  • I updated with some better examples of items I consider to be OT for SO, but am unsure of Serverfaults scope. Thanks for the feedback so far! Feb 3, 2015 at 13:24
  • @JennyD updated SSH question to how do I SSH to an elastic beanstalke instance, which I think is specific enough to the cloud? Feb 3, 2015 at 13:26
  • @djc391 Well, it's obviously OT on SO since SO is about programming, not about server management. But I think this discussion would be better held at the proposal page than here.
    – Jenny D
    Feb 3, 2015 at 14:12

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