The chrysalis of cloud computing is yet to turn into a fully developed butterfly. Even users in the small, medium and large sectors are taking only hesitant steps in implementing cloud solutions and justifiably so, given the various issues involved. Given its benefits, cloud computing may see widespread use and should mature further with better security and service infrastructure in place and offerings of cloud and mobile-cloud enabled apps that perform flawlessly regardless of the platform.
Cloud computing does offer cost reductions and takes a load off you in terms of maintaining the underlying hardware and resources but before you switch over to cloud computing, give a thought to a few related points. These could broadly cover the points given below.
- Cloud services are scalable and you pay only for what you use. This is tempting but when you decide to make that switch consider reliability, accessibility and cost savings. If you think you are saving on infrastructure, software and other costs, also factor in increased internet bandwidth usage and perhaps the necessity to have high speed internet connections that could even out the perceived gains.
- Assess whether it is worth it to switch to the cloud when it comes to applications, modifying them for the cloud and scaling them and the underlying infrastructure or will a cloud be the cost efficient answer.
- Not all cloud service providers are equal or deliver on what they promise. Before selecting any particular one, it pays to evaluate fully all aspects. Check the response time, performance, uptime and importantly security as well as data back up and data erasing (when you decide to switch to another cloud service provider) services they offer.
- A doubt everyone has whether a cloud service provider will be stable and will deliver services or will he just fold and vanish in which you are left high and dry. This means going in for higher priced services from well established players. The high cost may negate whatever cost savings you thought cloud services could bring.
- Data security is another concern. Is the staff of the cloud service provider to be trusted? What are the policies of the cloud service provider in the event local authorities want to access data for any reason? A cloud service provider may have its office in one country with servers in another country or different countries with different laws.
- The cloud does offer operational ease and cost savings but may not match requirements of security, performance and functionalities as can be obtained in a private environment. A public cloud has a uniform operating environment in which your needs may not be met. In the current environment, some data and common functions may be shifted to the cloud while retaining sensitive operations in the premises to ensure confidentiality and security and also from practical considerations.
If you must move to the cloud, do it a step at a time, wetting your feet a little bit first is the general consensus.
The cloud may or may not be the final destination but certainly looms large on the horizon. The global cloud computing market is going to be worth USD 70 billion in a year or two.
India has a powerful base in IT that will contribute a lot to this. Microsoft is seriously engaged in cloud computing and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, stressed the impact of the cloud in a keynote address at IndiMix 2010. Microsoft foresees a cloud environment that blends in enterprise data, internet, phone and TV through a better, unified interface.
Developers will have applications that will work seamlessly on any platform and react intelligently according to the resources of the devices on which they are used.
People use Microsoft Office Suite installed on their computers. Microsoft has released Office 365 Home Premium where a user need not install the Suite but can make use of the applications in a cloud based environment. This is an indicator of the way things will be in the cloudy future.
Pravin Anchan is a professional Blogger and Technology Lover. He currently intrigued on Cloud Computing and work on a Cloud Computing blog.