Sunday, May 22, 2011

What is Right and Wrong with Cloud Computing

What is Right and Wrong

With Cloud Computing

Author: Dave Warner

Although cloud computing is the ‘in' thing, it is better to know its merits and demerits before you take a flight into the cloud. Cloud computing is a big buzz word. In cloud computing, storage space, processing power, services, and software are abstracted from the users' own devices to third-party servers accessed through internet. It represents a paradigm shift in how we use information technology. Users can access their data from any location and on any device by paying cloud services provider. Built on SaaS (Software-as-Service) model, cloud computing has tremendous appeal, especially for small businesses and entrepreneurs. In the study, Future Security Challenges in Cloud Computing, published in International Journal of Multimedia Intelligence and Security, researchers enumerate merits and demerits of cloud computing. The merits include geographic independence, and redundancy in both software and hardware; cloud services can meet bursts of demand without any upgrades to the systems in your office. The demerits include security, system outages, and the technical aspects of dealing with cloud computing.

 Cloud Computing Basics : What is Right and Wrong with Cloud Computing

What is Right with Cloud Computing

Low Cost of Entry: With its reach and access, cloud computing is the best option for any startup. You can test your idea very quickly or scale a division of your company to the world at low cost.

Scalability: In case of businesses which show highs and lows, the firms are forced to meet every contingency. That leads to underutilization of infrastructure during lows. It makes sense then to outsource highs to a cloud computing service provider. The scalability doesn\'t require any hardware purchases.

Faster Decision Making: The success of every idea depends on available infrastructure. Cloud computing offers flexibility because you pay as you go. You need not make long-term commitments on infrastructure, and need not wait long periods to get the services. These advantages lead to faster and better decision making and intensify the focus on the core business.

No Capital Expenditures: The costs of cloud computing are operational rather than capital. Since the IT infrastructure needs are handled by a third-party, the costs shift from capital to operational.
What is Wrong with Cloud Computing

Security: With cloud computing, you have your data in a remote data facility without any control. Security is huge concern for firms which want to be in the cloud.

'Think of the cloud as concentrated data, assets, information, and the target profile increases dramatically in its attractiveness,' says John P. Pironti, president of IP Architects. Moreover, users and service providers are not sure who is responsible for the security, each passing the buck to the other. According to end-user agreements, cloud service providers are not responsible for security as long as they make some efforts at it. It is always a huge risk to put an application that has competitive edge and advantage, and customer-sensitive information on a public cloud.

Shared and Dedicated Servers: With cloud computing, you have two options: dedicated and shared. In a private cloud, only your data is on a server, which might be very costly. In a public cloud, the storage space is shared by others, which may bring fresh headaches such as server crashes and security breaches. If you are using a public cloud, it will surely affect your applications\' performance.

Bandwidth: If you require huge storage space, then it is better to buy that yourself rather than pay someone else for it.

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