Cloud computing has developed over the years and has become the backbone of a brand new breed of start-ups and medium sized business. Analyzing the dramatic increase in cloud services and providers over the last two years, it’s a right time to comment where cloud computing has gained strength over the past year in capabilities and services. At the same time, we are aiming to inspect the cloud setbacks.
Let’s first begin with the setbacks:
Reliability: Unplanned Outages and inability to deal with them
When you’re making an attempt to convince big firms to bet their business on cloud operations, the worst issue that may happen is for the cloud infrastructure you are thinking of using to bear an unplanned outage. Cloud providers/suppliers do have a better record for up-time than the average enterprise data-center however cloud architects still have to ensure to cut back the percentages of high-profile outages that hurt customers and damage the public cloud’s name.
Today duplicate systems (datacenters) should be in different Geo locations. And at the moment of crisis, it should be possible to transfer data from one to other. Therefore preparations need to be made. Data must be replicated to the backup site on an ongoing basis, so in the advent of a disaster data must follow the migration to the backup site. Recent Sandy storm is an example when some cloud customers face outage because there providers were not prepared. You cannot stop such incidents but a smart and aware service provider can help in quick recovery. Of course better disaster recovery should be a positive influencer and not a setback but cloud providers need to educate the customers better so that they understand how and why cloud helps them in efficient and quick disaster management.
Security and Compliance
Talking about cloud major inhibition and no mention of security, not possible! Security is actually a matter of perception and logically efficient cloud providers are quite better and secure than in-house management. Still it’s more about how comfortable business leaders and decision makers are with this concept. A researcher this year issued a depressing example of one virtual machine spying on another on the same physical server. The possibility of such risk affects virtual server users, who thus far had been instructed that the parameters of virtual machines are hard boundaries that couldn’t be breached. Cloud computing depends profoundly on the multi-tenant, virtual server host, where one physical server is used by multiple firms and customers.
These kinds of incidents are quite big setbacks for folks who are still in the evaluation stage and researching their surroundings before reaching to a concrete decision. Having more than a decade experience in industry popular SaaS and IaaS services like Hosted Exchange 2010 , Sharepoint 2010 hosting and VPS Hosting, we suggest that it is important to judge the credibility of your service provider. Some customers ask for the tours to the data centers but we strictly refuse that. Reason is simple, it’s still O.K to lose a prospective customer but it’s not at all feasible to put the existing customer’s privacy and security at risk. Our datacenters are completely insulated from the unauthentic entry or access.
Language of Cloud Pricing and SLA
Sometimes, it’s laborious to understand and analyze the cloud sales promises and real SLA and billing stuff. SaaS services like hosted exchange email are based on “Pay As you Go”. Ideally you should be able to see from billing code how much of the increase came from which business unit. The thing which is confusing sometimes is how cloud providers ensure that customers are getting properly charged for the uptimes only and what is the actual definition of 24*7*365 guaranteed up-time So understanding SLAs and complex bills could be a setback for customers who have tried to enter the cloud world but not happy due to these inefficiencies which are certainly specific to their cloud provider and nothing to blame for cloud technology.
Interestingly, things have changed and cost is obviously not the top reason for getting in. Along with cost effectiveness, scalability and business agility are top reasons attracting businesses to cloud.
As clearly understandable if implemented well Cloud computing helps businesses to eliminate upfront IT hardware and software cost and resource expenditure. In 2012 price wars among service providers have helped in bringing cloud storage costs down. Toward the end of the year there was the real competition in cloud storage. In theory, cloud costs ought to trend downward because the power of devices used in storage and computing have been increasing rapidly. Need of scalable solutions and business agility are working as catalyst in the adoption of cloud. Apart from reduction from recurring IT costs, cloud is customizable and could be implemented as per customer requirement.
The interesting fact for 2013 is – mobility and Innovation. These two could be the key drivers in cloud adoption in coming years. Last year has seen dramatic increase in the number of mobile business users which ensures that Cloud SaaS services like Hosted email (Exchange 2010 hosting, Google apps) would continue to attract businesses. Company’s mobile strategies are going to play important role in cloud adoption and usage. Innovation which is tightly couple with competitive advantage is soon going to be mainstream driver for cloud adoption.