Myths can arise from doubts and scepticism about a particular topic. There’s nothing wrong with asking questions and being a little sceptical at first. In fact, it’s best not to be swayed by popular opinion. You want to find out for yourself about the truths surrounding a certain subject.
Some myths will remain as myths and some will be proven wrong. This it certainly the case for the many high tech solutions on the market today, particularly cloud computing.
What is Cloud Computing?
The concept of cloud computing is not new. When you use One Drive, Google Drive, or DropBox to save your files instead of using your computer’s hard drive, you’re using cloud computing. Cloud computing simply means storage and access to data, information or programs over the Internet. Although cloud computing is pretty normal these days, there are still a number of people who believe local storage is superior.
Cloud computing does not require a dedicated NAS or network attached storage hardware or in-house server. For something to be considered “cloud”, it should be accessed through your programs over the Internet or at the very least, data should be synchronised with other information over the World Wide Web. Cloud computing can be applied to individual or personal accounts or it can be applied to enterprise or business applications. Cloud for businesses usually implement SaaS or Software-as-a-Service, where a business subscribes to an application accessible over the Internet. Another type is called the PaaS or Platform-as-a-Service where a business organisation builds their own custom applications that can be used by everybody in the company. IaaS or Infrastructure-as-a-Service is where Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Rackspace provide the cloud backbone to be rented out to other companies.
Cloud Myths Debunked
Because enterprise cloud computing is continuously evolving, there are many myths surrounding it. Building an enterprise cloud with an open mind will ensure there are no unrealistic expectations. It will also let know what to expect from your target cloud infrastructure. Cloud computing is not one-dimensional and terms such as portability and accessibility may mean something different depending on your perspective or use of the cloud environment.
One thing is for sure, the cloud model is here to stay. We have seen many companies and enterprises expanding their infrastructure to some type of cloud platform. When the prospect of cloud was introduced years ago, adaptation rates were low and many companies were worried about the resources, capital and security involved with the move. Since then, cloud processes have come a long way and more and more solutions are becoming readily available for businesses. Let’s separate fact from fiction and debunk some of the most known cloud computing myths:
1. Customers In The Same Cloud Service Can Wreak Havoc On Each Other
A cloud service is not like “Clash Of Clans” where anyone can attack each other. It’s not designed like a PC or mobile game. This myth that a multitenant, cloud-based infrastructure is more vulnerable than traditional IT setups is simply not true. Public clouds share a pool of storage and network resources, thus many users think they are subject to attacks by other customers using the same public service. This is not true because there are three attack vectors in a public cloud environment:
- At the hypervisor layer. Primary separation between customers happens in this level of the public cloud service. Hypervisors are hard to attack and any public cloud service should have this in place.
- At the management layer. Maintenance and patches should be properly made to the hypervisor while normal software patching can be isolated from the end user resources at the management user interface layer.
- Within the multitenant networks. This customer concern is usually mitigated through the isolation of the VLAN (virtual local area network).
On top of already-installed security, cloud providers offer further options to mitigate multitenancy risks. All cloud users should evaluate the applications and requirements in choosing a cloud service provider based on their needs and applications.
2. You Can Do Better By Yourself
If you can do the same things a cloud service provider offers, you’re not human. Technology is evolving so fast that one person on their own or even a small team cannot keep up efficiently. Outsource some IT functions like cloud service to ensure your IT team can focus on core functions and processes for your company. By doing this you will be able to concentrate on your IT team and strategy, keeping your business up and running like a well oiled machine.
3. Cloud Is Always Cheaper Than Other Services
This is not always the case. Yes, you can save money by getting a cloud service provider, but going in with money in mind is not always the best way to go about your business. Saving money may end up being a cloud benefits, but you should not take it for granted. By going to cloud, you will save on infrastructure and maintenance. Keep this in mind and don’t go for the cheapest option. A cheap provider will offer cheap services, but they will usually not be on par with the best.
4. Losing Control In A Hybrid IT Environment
The days of a managed service with no control are gone thanks to the availability of platforms, plug-ins and portals. Your IT team will have more control if they want to manage it on their own.
5. Internal And External Attacks Are More Prevalent In The Cloud
Threats and attacks are real, but they are no more threatening to the cloud than any other service delivery process or environment. There are different defences that can be utilised against attacks including firewalls, encryption, network intrusion detection, multifactor access and monitoring. Implementing a series of defences can provide a good wall of security.
6. Cloud Should Be Used For Everything
Cloud is not a one size fits all application and it should not be used for everything. Yes, there are processes that will benefit from cloud infrastructure and other services, but not all workloads and applications will benefit in the same way. Discuss what your business will benefit from with your cloud service provider and your IT team.
7. Private And Public Cloud Services Means You Have Hybrid Cloud
Owning private and public cloud infrastructures without any joined-up strategy doesn’t give you the benefits of both worlds. A well-built hybrid solution should be a combination of public and private cloud environments that share a common orchestration layer. So, this means the data is managed and distributed in a way that enhances workloads, network resources and storage while limiting organisational risks, delivering agility and enhancing productivity. Deploying isolated private and public clouds at the same time is not necessarily a hybrid environment.
Don’t believe everything you hear about cloud. Do your own research and talk to many different providers to work out what is best for your business needs.