5 Interesting Cloud Computing Myths

01/12/2016

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Myth #1. Cloud computing is free or cheap

Most people’s understanding of the cloud is from the home computer accessing Gmail or a service like Dropbox, which are free services. When trying to figure out the best way to store data for your business, many times these free services are not the best route and usually, they are very limited on storage space and features. Businesses need a lot more flexibility and security to scale their data and configure it to work for different departments. These free services usually aren’t backed by any guarantees or have any service level agreement guaranteeing uptime for your data or your business.

Recently, I encountered a small business that grew from a couple of employees to 12 in a matter of two years. All along, this business owner was using freeware cloud services to host data here, there and everywhere. More than $1 million in sales and 12 employees later, what was left was a mess. Lack of security, people having to go three or four different places to try and locate data. Not only did this decision hinder growth potential for the company but it outright stopped it, and the migration from these various services were complex and expensive. Sometimes, free decisions aren’t always the best decisions.

Myth #2. The cloud is all or nothing

The cloud is not an all-in or fold scenario. Sometimes, it just does not make sense to move all or some of your legacy apps to the cloud. The cloud just may not benefit all of your workloads; this is why it is important to consult with an IT profitability specialist to help guide you toward the best option for your particular environment. You need a cloud strategy to identify the goals and benefits of any cloud migration.

Myth #3. Data is not secure in the cloud

This has to be one of the most over exaggerated myths out there, that your data is not safe in the cloud. It depends on various factors like whether you choose a public or private cloud provider, what types of security guarantee your provider has and ensuring you have ownership of your data. With a public cloud, you have no idea who has access to that data, and usually, nobody can tell you where it is physically stored. You also have zero control over the firewall at the provider, but with a private cloud solution you should be able to control every aspect of it—you control the firewall as well as the resources.

Usually, security concerns are the main stumbling block to considering the cloud. It’s natural to believe that things that we do not have full control of are less secure. However, one of the top reasons cloud providers exist is network security. The fact of the matter is that any network can be targeted out by hackers. The question is what is protecting your network? How many layers of security are you providing on premise compared to what your cloud provider can do to better protect that same data?

Myth #4. Virtualization is the same as a private cloud

Calling the infrastructure you have in place a private cloud doesn’t mean that it is one. It is a very common thing for private cloud and virtualization to often get confused with each other however virtualization is actually a function of the cloud whether it is a private or a public cloud. It is critical that you are aware of what you are getting so you can compare apples to apples.

There is a blurred line between the virtualization and private cloud, and many companies do not know what they actually have. For a cloud to be actually be considered totally private, it must be an environment that can be completely controlled by the customer. It must also have a service level agreement that stipulates ownership of data, insurance clauses and guarantees of the location of that data. If any of those key elements is missing it is not a private cloud.

Myth #5. The cloud should be used for everything

This is not true, as a local server may still serve a purpose. It is important to figure out, as part of your cloud computing strategy, what workloads are appropriate for a cloud, and if so, which cloud? Is it a public, private or a hybrid solution that will work best for your business goals?

For some businesses, there are applications that cannot move to the cloud at all. For example, AutoCAD is too graphical intensive for the cloud, and it just would not be cost effective to move it to the cloud. Bandwidth and graphic requirements of these 3D rendering applications set the stage for how the end user will be able to utilize the application in the cloud and what the overall experience will be. Be smart and choose a provider that has the experience to help you decide what may, or may not, be cloud compatible.

 

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