Like many disruptive, evolving technologies, Cloud computing is going through a phase characterized by some real and many unfounded concerns. So how do you determine what’s really going to work for your organization?
Separating the myths from the facts of Cloud computing and the realities behind those myths can help you make more informed decisions about advancing your information infrastructure by utilizing the substantial benefits of the Cloud.
Myth 1 – Cloud is just a fad.
Cloud as a term is new, but the concepts and requisite technologies have been evolving for years. Cloud computing continues to emerge as a game-changing technology, with high adoption rates and investment. Gartner Research predicted that by 2012, 80% of Fortune 1000 enterprises would be paying for some form of Cloud computing services.
Myth 2 – My data won’t be secure in the Cloud.
Whereas the traditional security perimeter is a network firewall, the Cloud security perimeter now becomes the hypervisor and/or underlying Cloud application. Companies are used to having direct physical access to both equipment and data and, understandably, this is equated to security. Stored data on-premise has more inherent risks (fire, water damage, theft, tampering, temperature etc) than Cloud. Being able to see and touch your data doesn’t make it safe. Cloud provides security from top to bottom; paying more attention to such issues as temperature control, around-the-clock monitoring, controlled and restricted access to files, virus protection and firewall security.
Myth 3 – You lose data control in the Cloud.
Most of this mistaken notion stems from the fear that you won’t be able to access your data whenever you need them just because you don’t have the physical equipment at your office or place of work. The truth is with Cloud hosting, you can maximize access to your data; thus allow you better data control and management through the web-based control panel.
Myth 4 – The Cloud is not reliable.
No system has 100% uptime, and neither does the Cloud. Given the scale, however, Cloud computing services are typically designed to provide high redundancy and availability. While this same level of redundancy/availability is possible to achieve in-house or with dedicated hosting, it’s generally cost prohibitive except for the most critical systems. The Cloud enables a higher level of reliability at a fraction of the cost.
Myth 5 – You can’t scale up in the Cloud.
The dynamic capability to scale up and scale down is called “Elasticity”. This is the most important attribute of the Cloud. You might start running your application on just a single server. But if demand instantly changes, Cloud computing enables you to scale your needs immediately to run on 100′s of servers. Once the traffic and usage of your application decreases, you can scale immediately down to 10′s of servers.
Myth 6 – Downtime risk with the Cloud.
There may be a perception that because there are so many businesses operating on a single machine, the Cloud may have increased potentialities for stability. With Cloud computing, if any one of the servers crashes, your data can easily be redeployed to other servers without experiencing any downtime.
Myth 7 – You lose data control in the Cloud.
Most organizations will need help from IT to choose, configure, integrate, and monitor Cloud services properly and migrate applications and data to the Cloud. The Cloud in turn can help make IT much more agile and responsive in delivering the applications and capabilities its internal customers require.
Myth 8 – Low cost is the Cloud’s chief attraction.
Low cost is the definitive advantage of the Cloud, but for many organizations, agility, scalability, time-to-market, and fast access to high-quality infrastructure present more compelling benefits. Cloud computing allows many businesses to get up and running fast with a new technology or scale computing power to handle peak loads much more rapidly, efficiently, and cost-effectively than they could possibly do in-house.
Myth 9 – There is a large capital expenditure.
You get to turn capital expense to fixed expense. With Cloud computing instead of buying, owning, and maintaining your own datacenters or servers, you buy the compute power, storage, management and maintenance services from a Cloud infrastructure provider and leave IT infrastructure to them. You get to turn capital expense to fixed expense.
Myth 10 – The Cloud is always less expensive.
That depends on several factors: network and bandwidth requirements, special hardware needs, the Cloud service and application that are being considered, and, of course, what you’re comparing the Cloud to on the other side.