May 17, 2016
Cloud computing is just over ten years old, but it is still a nebulous concept. Rumors, myths, and falsehoods about the technology are still alive and well. From security concerns to deployment models, confusion about this topic is preventing business owners and IT professionals from pursuing the cloud and seizing its benefits for their environment.
The cloud isn’t going away, and as time goes on, it will only become a more important component of the 21st century data center.
As Chicago IT consultants, one of our primary roles is to dispel confusion and demystify technology. Below are four examples of cloud myths that either prevent IT departments from pursuing the cloud or lead to complications after it is deployed.
1. The Cloud is Less Secure than On-Prem
There are two factors that perpetuate this myth throughout Chicago and the rest of the country. One, the hardware supporting your cloud deployment is off-prem and not readily accessible. Two, the hardware in public cloud deployments is shared among multiple organizations.
To address the first point, many colocated and cloud data centers provide some fundamental maintenance services for the hardware supporting your data. Any other maintenance to the applications and virtual machines can often be done remotely.
In terms of cloud security, cloud providers have a vested interest in ensuring the safety of their client’s data. Their entire reputation depends on it. If a public cloud provider, such as Amazon Web Services, experienced regular breeches and successful attacks, their clients would quickly catch wind and move somewhere else. Often security measures such as encryption and firewalls come standard with your data package.
2. You Do Not Need to Secure or Maintain Your Cloud
On the opposite side of the coin, there is a myth claiming that you do not need to provide any maintenance for your data in a cloud deployment. This is almost always untrue, but it varies from cloud to cloud.
Clients often assume that because their data, virtual machines, and applications are stored and powered by a provider’s data center that it is the owners of the data center’s responsibility to maintain the environment. This only describes half the picture. Oftentimes, the cloud provider will perform maintenance of the hardware the data is housed upon, but they will do nothing to maintain anything running on that hardware. The client must maintain their own virtual machines. All the cloud provider is obligated to deliver hardware, heating, and cooling to power your applications. Anything beyond that is up to you.
This is not the case with every cloud provider. Speak with your provider and clarify the security and maintenance components of your agreement.
3. A Cloud Migration is All or Nothing
This myth will end cloud conversations in a strategy meeting almost immediately. If the team believes that the cloud migration must be all data or none at all, the cost of the migration can become intimidating despite the immediate and long term savings available.
Cloud deployments can be achieved in all shapes and sizes, and many environments only migrate one area at a time. For many, public cloud isn’t the most valuable or viable option. According to an international survey released by SolarWinds.com, 60% of organizations polled believe their environment will never be fully migrated into the cloud.
Furthermore, it is important to remember that there isn’t only one kind of cloud. It can be easy to overlook private and hybrid cloud deployments, but they can be just as effective. In a hybrid cloud deployment, you can personalize which hardware in the data center should be shared among other users and which should be private. A private cloud deployment involves the creation of your own independent cloud data center for your private use.
4. Cloud Computing is Only for Large Companies
This myth couldn’t be further from the truth. Companies of all sizes can enjoy the benefits and convenience of the cloud. If your organization can benefit from powering, maintaining, and updating fewer servers in your data center, there is at least moderate value.
In fact, we are seeing many small-to-medium sized businesses signing contracts with major cloud providers. It makes financial sense for many of them. We live in a digital world, and to compete in modern business, you require some significant computer systems. Public cloud enables a small business to power their applications without the upfront capital investment needed to build an in-house data center.
Cloud Ready Assessments:
For a full understanding of the cloud, we recommend our Cloud Ready Assessment to begin your conversation. In it, our engineers analyze your applications, VMs, and network to ascertain which areas of your environment are ready to move to the cloud. Once discovered, our team will discuss migration and deployment options and develop a roadmap to navigate your organization through the solution that best matches your needs.
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