Blog July 3, 2014

Cloud Computing Pros and Cons

Companies all over the world and from virtually every industry are increasingly taking advantage of cloud computing and its benefits. A recent RightScale State of the Cloud Report, based on a survey of large enterprises, revealed some significant but not altogether surprising results. Ninety-four percent of the respondents (1,068 technical professionals from a cross-section of organizations) are using the cloud. Are you surprised? We’re not.

Many software companies offer their solutions as cloud-based, via a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. For example, hospitals use portable terminals to monitor real-time patient vital signs. Wearable technologies such as the Fitbit help people track their daily steps, calories burned, etc. through an app on their smartphone. For consumers exposed to these technologies day in and day out, it is easy to bypass the thought of just how much behind the scenes work is involved to maintain servers and continuously enhance these products and offerings.

Traditionally, IT teams have maintained data centers and infrastructure, but more and more companies are finding that they can take advantage of cloud computing with a cloud hosting provider.

Considering the popularity and widespread adoption of cloud computing, we’ve identified some points for consideration when doing business in the cloud:

PROS

  • No hardware/infrastructure maintenance: no need to maintain your own data center (power, heating/cooling, ventilation, security, etc.).
  • Focus on core tasks: enables IT teams to focus on core tasks, not day-to-day system maintenance. The cloud essentially becomes an extension of your IT team.
  • Scalability: systems can be quickly scaled or upgraded. This is especially true with a managed AWS solution.
  • Reliability: enterprise grade systems and dedicated engineering teams ensure your system is up-and-running 24/7 with 100% uptime.
  • Flexibility: the right cloud provider can offer flexible SLAs that meet your business requirements.
  • Dependability: unlike physical hardware only, most clouds are built with redundancy in place. This means in the event of a hardware failure, your VMs will automatically resume on different hardware with limited downtime.

CONS

  • Limited control of the infrastructure: your organization does not have instant physical access to your servers (although a reputable cloud provider should provide you with root access to your VMs).
  • Data security: security in the cloud is a hot topic and for good reason. Ensure your company is not at a security risk by carefully evaluating your cloud provider’s security features, practices and processes. After all, you are entrusting them with your data.
  • Potential for downtime: not all clouds are built the same. Be sure that you fully understand the type of cloud environment you are signing up for and ensure you have high availability built into every layer.

While there are plenty of things to rave about when it comes to cloud computing, there are a few cons you need to be careful about.

At Connectria, we provide our customers full root access to their environments so they never have to worry about being too removed from the data. We address security and downtime concerns with our 100% secure and uptime guarantees. We provide additional security features to organizations that are looking to adhere to HIPAA and PCI regulations as well. In fact, we were one of the first cloud providers to offer a HIPAA Compliant Cloud solution.

If your current cloud hosting provider is not able to address your current concerns, give us a shout, we’ll be happy to help. Feel free to add more bullets to the list by commenting below.

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