As far as we know, the cast of Mythbusters has not looked into cloud computing yet, so we thought we’d give some thought to the myths surrounding cloud hosting and computing.
When cloud computing first hit our collective radar screens it was initially met with a healthy dose of skepticism. Many IT executives treated it as a fad and kept up business as usual. Today, cloud hosting is well established and growing. Many business owners remain skeptical and cite security issues, compliance concerns and outages as their primary reasons for not migrating to the cloud.
While these are valid concerns, cloud storage providers have addressed these issues directly and they shouldn’t be used as an excuse to keep from migrating your business to the cloud. They are a reasonable risk in a service delivery model that should be a
ddressed by proactive planning and design.
We’ve all read the stories of major breaches on sites like Dropbox or Gmail. It happens on occasion, but these are usually large, very infrequent, consumer based attacks.
The economies of scale, allow cloud storage providers to employ security measures that rival those of the DoD and most Fortune 500 companies. With most public cloud service providers, the shear amount of data and infrastructure used prevents even the most cunning hacker from findi
ng and accessing your company’s specific data. Additionally you can implement even stricter security inside your cloud server instance. As a general rule, the cloud is extremely safe.
Sarbanes-Oxley, PCI and HIPPA have added a burden to business reporting. However more and more cloud storage providers are bringing solutions to market to help address these compliance requirements.
While there are occasional outages cloud storage providers have contingency plans to replicate data and services on-site so the duration is significantly shortened and clients can continue working while the problem is resolved. Even major outages like the Amazon.com incident of a few years ago lasted less than a day before being resolved. Even in an internal dedicated server, outages happen, these outages can last much longer and require significant cost to resolve.
Benefits of The Cloud
The fact is, the cloud offers businesses a significant advantage, not only with these concerns but also with day-to-day operations. The cloud provides:
- Flexibility – Scalable hosting allows companies to adjust bandwidth based on need.
- Disaster Recovery – Relying on the cloud eliminates the need for costly and complex data recovery plans. Redundancy means data is automatically backed-up and available.
- High Availability – When a physical piece of hardware dies instead of facing a long downtime the cloud will start your server up on spare hardware to drastically increase overall uptime.
- Security – With data available 24/7 online, even a lost or stolen laptop means your information is safe and secure.
- Mobility – The cloud is available 24/7 from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. This means you can work from anywhere on anything at anytime.
Cloud computing is maturing and addressing these business concerns daily. As business continues to become more mobile and we come to rely more and more on alternative devices, the cloud makes sense. There is a long journey ahead, but the cloud is no fad. It’s here to stay!