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The Odds and Ends of Cloud Computing

Updated on May 2, 2011

Cloud computing has turned out to be quite a popular term these days. It offers companies of all scales – small, medium and large – quite a large number of benefits that the companies can take advantage of. However, though, nothing is perfect and neither is cloud computing. There are also quite a few drawbacks that companies will have to take into accounts with regards to this new method of computing. But first, let’s take a look at what cloud computing really is.

What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing can be considered as an on-demand access to configurable as well as reliable resources. However, in order to enable this access, customers will have to pay each time they want to be granted access. In other words, it’s pay-per-use scheme.

The resources in cloud computing can usually be released and provisioned pretty quickly and, better yet, customers will not have to get themselves involved in the management of the resources. In addition to that, what customers will have to pay is only the resource they need to use. With that being said, they won’t have to bother buying any pieces of software or setting up the necessary infrastructure.

Advantages of Cloud Computing

The use of cloud computing has resulted in quite a few advantages as the following:

1. Reduced cost; companies investing in cloud computing is usually allowed to pay for the technology little by little. Therefore, the cost is reduced significantly when compared to the conventional type of computing technology.

2. More storage spaces; compared to the private or corporate computer systems that companies used to use at former times, there are more storage spaces available in cloud computing.

3. More automations; with cloud computing, IT practitioners will have to worry less about making sure that their applications are up to date.

4. Highly flexible; this particular computing technology offers flexibility that the conventional technology cannot offer.

5. Highly mobile; with the conventional computing technology, IT practitioners will have to stay put behind their desks when they work. Yet, with this new technology, they will always have access to their information no matter where they are at any given time.

6. IT practitioners can now focus on other things such as innovation because they will no longer have to be too much concerned about updating servers or other things.

7. Scalability; companies making use of this technology can feel free to add or subtract their capacity in accordance with their network load.

8. The ease of implementation; without the need of managing the resources, buying software or infrastructure, cloud computing is surely easy to implement.

9. Freed up internal resources; because this new technology takes advantage of the available resources “in the cloud” – meaning at the server side, companies can free up quite a considerable portion of their internal resources.

10. Offsite backup; just in case anything unexpected takes place, the cloud computing servers usually have offsite backup.

Disadvantages of Cloud Computing

However, with new technology comes new disadvantages and this also applies to cloud computing. Some drawbacks that come with this new technology include the following:

1. The constant need for a stable internet connection; this is pretty obvious as this new technology counts entirely on internet connection. Therefore, without a stable as well as constant connection to the online world, it is impossible for company owners to use this new technology for the survival and success of their company.

2. Unreliable with low speed internet connection; even though companies have a constant and stable internet connection, they won’t get the most out of the new technology if they are at low speed internet connection. As a matter of fact, even on a fast connection, there is no guarantee that cloud computing will work perfectly without no hassles at all.

3. Limitations of features; compared to the conventional technology such as desktop applications that are normally full featured, cloud computing counts on web-based applications and, as of today, there are not few such applications out there that are not fully featured just yet.

4. How secure is secure? Well, cloud computing service providers will usually assure companies that their data are secure because they are stored “in the cloud”. However, with ever increasing numbers of hackers/crackers, even the service providers themselves can never know how secure the data stored on their server really is.

5. Data loss possibility; with the possibility for multiple machines to access the data stored on the server, there is always a data loss potential. When this takes place, companies may face quite a hard time unless, perhaps, they take the time and hassles to back up all their data internally within their own environment using their own resources.

6. No control to the server; that’s right. Companies that count on this new method of computing will have no ways of taking control over the server. While this is secure, this is also a drawback. As a result, companies will have to hope for mercy from a third party which is the cloud computing service provider. Thus, companies had better trust their data to providers whom they think are trustworthy enough for keeping their data secure.

7. Data migration hassles; it will be very difficult – in fact, it even seems impossible sometimes – for companies to migrate their data from the third party’s server to their own internal server, especially if the data happens to be very large in size.

So, after all being said, it is highly recommended that companies really think over using cloud computing. While it is new and beneficial, the companies are about to entrust their data – which is crucial most of the time – to some service providers they may have never met before in their life.

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