2011 is being hyped up as “The Year of the Cloud” but that hype comes with a lot of contradictory information. What’s true and what’s exaggeration? It’s time to take a few minutes to clear the air; let’s play mythbuster on some misconceptions about cloud computing.
Information security has developed and evolved alongside cloud-computing technology. In fact, they now share a common security model. Clouds house the hardware such as servers and hard drives where user data resides with an industry standard back-up/security scheme – redundant back-up and constant monitoring in a guarded facility for safe data storage. In some ways, companies offering cloud services are actually more secure because of this focus and implement access controls and stronger physical security.
It’s important to be thorough when reviewing contracts prior to signing; this simple rule applies to everything, and cloud providers are no different. Contract terms vary amongst providers, but the ownership of information or data should be explicitly stated. Reliable and proven cloud providers have a handle on this to provide a problem-free cloud experience in regards to ownership.
With a well thought out and designed architecture, when one server crashes, a redundant one assumes control with no downtime nor impact to the end user. Workflows won’t change because this redundant design creates multiple resources as a safety net – and usually multiple redundancies are used for absolute protection. Even with shared physical resources, strategic placement of redundant servers and ease of rapid deployment to handle spikes in usage actually lowers the risk of downtime and increases stability.
Of course, every cloud provider is different, but technology exists to provide the flexibility, scalability, and accessibility for a varied customer base ranging from a small start-up team to enterprise-level organizations. It’s important to verify with your cloud provider that they can support your short-term and long-term needs, but reputable cloud providers are able to support this level of scalability and customization without any problem.
This is one of the biggest misconceptions about cloud services! The reality is that the ROI for cloud computing is very high. Consider this: cloud applications don’t require the licenses, IT support, hardware, or troubleshooting usually associated with local installations. Combine that with greater stability, higher availability, improved hardware utilization, and fewer resource requirements, and the math becomes pretty plain to see.
When choosing a cloud provider, keep in mind that it’s just like shopping for anything else – there are good providers and bad providers, new kids on the block and long-time stalwarts. If your IT staff was researching the merits of competing applications, they’d do their due diligence before selecting one for mass installation. Cloud computing should be treated the same way; a reputable and proven cloud computing provider can give you all of the benefits mentioned above, from stability to access to ROI. An unreliable cloud provider can quickly reinforce those misconceptions.
If you’d like more information on any of these misconceptions and the facts behind them, feel free to contact us at WebDAM. We’re happy to explain why cloud computing is here to stay – and will only get better.