What are the pros and cons of cloud and non-cloud computing?
In the light of the recent rapid development and innovation of the ICTs, some experts now believe that computing is on the steady road of becoming the fifth basic need (The first four being water, electricity, telephony and gas) within the next couple of years. The computing experts have come up with a variety of solutions that are geared towards making this a reality and the latest paradigm is the paradigm of cloud computing.With Cloud computing, the user will have access to all his files and important information from any desktop irrespective of his geographical location.
While the mobility that is brought about by cloud is desirable, there remains a question on whether or not the cloud computing architecture is desirable for all purposes and all users or whether non-cloud computing remains to be superior. There has been a debate among the computing scholars on which is the best way to go as far as cloud computing is concerned. While some have held the opinion that cloud computing is the best solution to the unique challenges of the modern day dynamic environment, some hold the view that non-cloud computing is still relevant and is more powerful than cloud computing due to its reliability. What i will do in this hub is give you the pros and cons of cloud computing and leave you to make your own verdict
Pros of cloud computing
- Cloud computing will eliminate the need of having programs installed on the computer. Needless to say, having so may programs running on your desktop machine eats up not only your hard disk space but most importantly, your memory and processor speed. Cloud Computing is therefore suggested as the ideal solution to fully optimize the processor speeds since there will be no iterative processes that result form localized software
- The user will not have to incur unnecessary costs in purchasing software. Most of the programs that are to be used for cloud computing like the Google suite are open source thereby making them absolutely free for the user. This is a good reason to consider cloud computing since a lot of money could be saved.
- Cloud computing brings the reliability that is presented by the fact that the user will not have to be in the confines of his or her office to access his data. Document portability is very crucial in the present dynamic environment. People often want to work while away from their offices. For instance, one may decide to work while on bus, or when at home. It is usually frustrating for many people to intend to carry a document only to realize they left the document on their office computer or they lost the memory stick that had the file. With cloud computing, one can be able to access the files from wherever he is without needing any auxiliary storage. All one needs is an internet connection and a computer and the user can continue to work on a project
- The universal availability of documents comes with the advantage of one always having the most recent copy of the document. For instance, if you edited a file when you were stuck in traffic or while still at home, when you access the file from your office later on, you will have the file that has the recent updates you made. This is a big challenge with non cloud computing as consistency of the file is many times last if one has to work on the file from different locations.
- When peers within an organization are working on a project together, there is often a need to have a shared access to a file or a document. This has traditionally proved to be a hard thing to achieve for the non cloud computing architecture especially when the co-workers were located in different locations. Even though some paradigms like relational databases have been suggested to solve this, Cloud computing is by far the best paradigm that enables the collaboration of different people on one project with enough flexibility and ease
- Another important fact is that the I.T field is a very dynamic field. There is always a need to upgrade to new software versions. One of the main disadvantages of non-cloud computing is the regular cost of upgrading software. Users are often found in a dilemma on whether to incur the cost and upgrade or save money and remain with obsolete software. Cloud computing has a solution for this as there will be instant updates to the programs thereby reducing not only the cost but also the time used to upgrade. Using the online based software ensures that you have access to the latest version of the software without incurring any additional costs
- The non cloud computing has the characteristic of producing documents that may not be compatible across all platforms. For example, a Microsoft word 2007 document can not be viewed on a computer running a Microsoft word 2003 or lesser. Using cloud computing however ensures that one doesn’t need to be worried about this as the applications developed for the architecture supports all platforms and all operating systems. This is one of the reasons why collaborating by different users on a project is an easy reality with cloud computing
- Non-cloud computing has a limit to the storage space. Users are always being forced to upgrade each time they exhaust their hard disk capacities or resort to auxiliary storage devices like external hard disks and that implies that one has to incur additional costs. Cloud computing however has unlimited space with the user having access to petabytes (millions of GBs) of disk space in their hundreds.
In the non-cloud computing environment, users are tethered to a certain environment for example, the company local area network or the office workstation. One may not be able to use even a different workstation in the same office due to the programs that one need which may only be on his or her workstation. This is a limitation that has been overcome with cloud computing. A user has the flexibility of using any computer including the portable devices and the computer needs not have any specialized software. Ideally, all one needs is a computer that has n internet connection and he or she will be able to access the documents that have been stored conveniently in the “cloud”
Cons of cloud computing
- Even though it is true that cloud computing applications are provided free of charge, it is the view of some experts that cheap is actually expensive. The rationale behind their anti-cloud computing is that many of the cloud computing applications are not as versatile as their counterpart non-cloud computing applications. For instance, the Google docs may allow a user to open and edit word documents but there are some features that Microsoft office offers like mail merge that makes the desktop applications more powerful. Another example is the presentation packages of Microsoft which will generally provide better presentations than the Google presentation applications. This makes many users feel reluctant to switch to cloud computing
Cloud computing raises serious security threats since all the data of an organization is stored in a cloud. Even though the companies that are offering cloud hosting insist that the data is safe, some believe that the industry is too young for one to be too sure about it. A hack into the system could reveal very sensitive data to the wrong people which could have serious implications for the company. Non-cloud computing has the advantage of limited security loopholes as the company has access to the data and it can put in place measures to guarantee the integrity and security of the data is maintained at all times.
Another important question that has been raised by some experts is the reliability and availability of data stored on the cloud. The question arises on what would happen if something happened and the data was lost. The only way to survive such a catastrophe is if one had physically duplicated the data from the cloud to the desktop computer and needless to say, few people using the cloud computing actually do that. Quite on the contrary, the non-cloud computing environment allows the users to periodically perform routine backups which have proved useful in the past when data is lost for what ever reasons.
- most of today’s internet users still rely on dial up broadband connections. Cloud computing usually needs very high connectivity speeds which the broad band may not be offering. Cloud computing will require a constant and very reliable internet connection as the internet is the gateway to accessing the “clouded” documents
In the event of a break in internet connection, there is no work that can be done. Quite on the contrary, the non-cloud computing may not be affected by slow internet connections. A user can always multitask to work on something else as he or she waits for a document to finish downloading. In other cases, users will not even require an internet connection to work.
The non-cloud computing environment also guarantees the user instantiations access as opposed to the cloud computing environment. Ideally, using documents in a cloud will involve sending them back and forth from your workstation to the cloud host via the internet. This could prove to be slow when dealing with huge programs, when the internet connection is slow or in the event that the servers are being backed at instance of access.
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